L.A.-based British composer/producer Richard Ford releases his album
Basso Profondissimo 2 (BP2)
As an accomplished composer, producer, and bassist, as an Emmy-winning music editor, and executive music producer for film, L.A.-based Brit-transplant Richard Ford humbly maintains a resume of impressive accolades. He has worked with many Oscar-winning filmmakers on such films as Sideways, Argo, and Hidden Figures and, all this as a kind of second career after spending his early adult life as bass player for British music icons like Joe Jackson, Bram Tchaikovsky, and revered guitarist Bill Nelson.
Richard Ford grew up in London to a primarily classical music family, his mother being an amateur opera singer. At age 11, he landed a gig singing in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s choir for some of their earlier performances and even recording with them at St. Paul's Cathedral, Abbey Road, and Decca Studios, West Hampstead. In his early teens, Ford became more exposed to pop music, which sparked an interest in jazz and psychedelic rock. His early influences included The Don Ellis Big Band, Yes, and Todd Rundgren.
At age 16, Ford left school and got a job at London's famed Sound City music store, a cultural hub where many of the major bands of the day would buy guitars and equipment. Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Steely Dan and many other name artists frequented the store, giving the young Ford a sense of the juiciness of the business. It was also during this time that he was exposed to the music of Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. This was the beginning of his sensibility towards Motown — a love affair that has not in any way waned — and at age 19, a friend recruited him to join a band backing up a young Scottish singer, Kimberly Clark, touring clubs in Scotland and the North of England, playing mostly Motown cover songs.
At 21, Ford auditioned for London-based band Omaha Sheriff, who had an opening because their original bass player had obligations that wouldn't allow him to perform with them. That bass player would turn out to be the legendary Tony Visconti, who produced the band’s album. Ford became a band member and worked on several other projects with Visconti in his London studio.
In 1978, Ford answered an ad in The Melody Maker magazine and fortuitously scored an audition with music-culture pacesetter Bill Nelson right at the beginning of the British New Wave scene. Nelson was impressed by Ford’s slap-bass and Jaco Pastorius-influenced style of playing and brought him on board as bassist for his iconic New Wave synthpop and art-rock experiment Red Noise. Ford played with Nelson for about a year, working on two albums, and a major UK tour before Red Noise finally disbanded in 1979.
With that experience under his belt, Ford went on to tour the U.S. with prominent UK punk/pub rocker Bram Tchaikovsky When the band returned to the UK at the end of the tour, Ford decided to stay behind with friends in New Jersey, and moved there permanently in 1981, gigging with various bands in New York City. It was during this time that Ford was approached to fill in as bass player for enigmatic new wave and jazz-pop musician Joe Jackson. Ford jumped on the opportunity to work with Jackson, completing two world tours, playing 10-12,000 seat venues, and recording the classic live album Big World in 1986.
Ford moved to Los Angeles in the early 90s after he landed a job as an assistant music editor for film. He cut his teeth and learned the trade working on several small film and tv projects before landing his first big feature film with American History X in 1998. He has since worked with a number of critically acclaimed filmmakers, including Ben Affleck, Alexander Payne, Ted Demme, Jodie Foster, and Kathryn Bigelow. He is best known in the film industry for his work on films such as Argo, The Descendants, Sideways, Hidden Figures, and Training Day.
After nearly 20 years working on movie scores and soundtracks, Ford began to miss creating music for music’s sake:
“I began to feel as though my music mojo was tapped at the end of the workday and didn't have the energy or patience to be creative working on my own music. So, a couple of years ago I decided to take the basses out of the closet, and made it my mission to take some time away from film work to write my own material ...I haven’t stopped since! After I finished the first Basso Profondissimo project, the muse of inspiration was still there, and I kept writing for what would become my next album, BP2.”
‘Richard coaxes moods and melodies from the bass guitar. This music is both new and reﬂective . Creating sonics not heard from the bass, transporting the listener in new and often cinematic ways, Richard Ford’s “Basso Profondissimo” is a real treat for the listener.’
Rick Frystak, KPFK Los Angeles
‘…mightily impressive. Can’t stop listening to Dusty Theatre… I love the way the track teases and there’s something wonderfully dark and threatening about it too.’
Laurence Kaye, music supervisor, former Director of Film & Media, Universal Music Publ (Europe)
‘…amazing!!! … this beautiful and original work is something else to my ears entirely.
will listen again and again. Bravo!!!
Paul Rubell, Oscar nominated ﬁlm editor
‘I just love the place you are on this record. It all feels like home to me. …
love that the outcome is as beautiful as it is’
Steve Kempster, music producer
‘awesome and inspiring’
Paul Broucek, President ﬁlm music, Warner Brothers Studios
‘… wonderful album… gorgeous and inviting… fantastic collection of pieces, showcases a huge talent’
Lyle Workman, Composer and guitarist (Sting, Beck, Todd Rundgren)
’…evocative EP, great (George Duke) cover.’
Garth Trinidad, KCRW, Los Angeles
'There is an interesting blend of sounds running throughout Richard Fords' latest album. I like how he never rushes, always taking his time with a tune, clearly understanding when to elaborate or to keep simple.'
CSRfm/Jazz Jams UK
'…as a belated personal statement after two decades of studio work it is warm, inviting and persuasive evidence of a composer/player who has that ability to turn sound into something more visceral and visual.'
'This is cool, we’re all over it!!!'
KHSU/Jazz, Arcata, CA
'Outstanding! Richard has great ideas. His Basso Profondissimo shows a keen feel for mood, and sharp awareness of nuance.'
KPFK, Los Angeles
Beto Arcos, Global Village
'It has great tracks. What a great surprise. I love it.'
Quisqueya FM/Mar Afuea
'Liking Basso Profondissimo very much.'
KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA
'1st track is jamming’'
Crossing Borders/North Bay Public Media: Rohnert Park, CA
‘I Like Basso Profondissimo very much, Playing: Dusty Theatre'
WGXC/ The Jazz Disturbance, Greene/Columbia NY
'This rendition of 'Malibu' took the groove for a long ride in a fresh new vehicle and there's room for everyone.'
'I love it!'
Jazz Flight/WQLN, Erie, PA