born on 5/2/1941 in Dublin, Ireland
died on 4/7/2021
Richard Quentin 'Rick' Laird is a jazz musician, born on 5 February 1941. He is a bass player best known for his place in the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Laird was born in Dublin, Ireland. He played music from a young age and enrolled for guitar and piano lessons. He started playing jazz after moving to New Zealand at the age of 16 with his father. He played guitar in jam bands in New Zealand before buying an upright bass. After extensive touring in New Zealand he moved to Sydney, Australia where he played with many top jazz musicians including Don Burrows.
He moved to England in 1962 and became house bassist at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London, playing with many greats including the guitarist Wes Montgomery and Sonny Stitt. From 1963-4 Laird then at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was recorded on Sonny Rollins's record Alfie and played in The Brian Auger Trinity (July 1963-February 1964) and The Brian Auger Group (Feb-October 1964).
His next step was to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston, US, where he studied arranging, composition and string bass. He then teamed up with John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra to play electric bass until 1973, when the band broke up. After that, he moved to New York and played with Stan Getz (a tour in 1977) and Chick Corea (a tour the following year). Laird put out one album as a leader, Soft Focus. He was interviewed in Guitar Player in 1980 and Bass Player in 1999. Today, he is a successful photographer as well as a private bass tutor and an author of a number of intermediate- to advanced-level bass books.
Richard Laird, as he is known in the art world, recently (March 2009) came across a collection of photographs in a file cabinet that he had taken in years past of legendary jazz artists but had mostly forgotten about. The discovery of these historic photos that feature Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Elvin Jones, Keith Jarrett and many others led to the formation of an online archive
- 1977: Soft Focus (Timeless Muse)
|John McLaughlin Jan Hammer Jerry Goodman Rick Laird Billy Cobham Gayle Moran Jean-Luc Ponty Ralphe Armstrong Narada Michael Walden Danny Gottlieb Stu Goldberg Mitchell Forman Bill Evans Jim Beard Jonas Hellborg|
|Studio albums||The Inner Mounting Flame (1971) Birds of Fire (1972) Apocalypse (1974) Visions of the Emerald Beyond (1975) Inner Worlds (1976) Mahavishnu (1984) Adventures in Radioland (1986) The Lost Trident Sessions (1999, recorded 1973)|
|Compilations||The Best of Mahavishnu Orchestra (1980) The Collection (1994)|
|Live albums||Between Nothingness and Eternity (1973)|
|Related subjects||Discography Miles Davis Shakti Jazz fusion Instrumental rock|