Milestones

Ricky Ford

42 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

in those days he kind of did himself in, missing planes and acting the Star. Looks like he's grown up, which is nice to see.

I don´t know how he acted then. With Mingus I don´t think he had time or possiblility to act like a primadonna. He was very articulate then, and they did all those great tunes live (Cumbia, Three or Four Shades of the Blues, Noddin Ya Head Blues, For Harry Carney ) , which sounded much better than the overproduced Atlantic Studio recordings. Jack Walrath and Ricky Ford, and on piano first in 1976 Danny Mixon (Viena and Switzerland "Willisau") and Bob Neloms 1977 (Italy). Ricky and Jack had the role of that call-response on "Cumbia" while on the studio it was also oboe and bassoon and trombone. So Ricky and Jack had to carry all the load but did a great job on that. And on that rap passage (Mama´s lil baby don´t like no shortnin´ bread....) all those honks on tenor. He was really strong, and I think he was very very young then, in his early twenties. 

The first time I heard him in 1976 first I was a bit disappointed that it was no more George Adams, that´s how it started....

But as for Mingus sideman it´s interesting I have albums of Adams-Pullen, but don´t have individual albums of Walrath, Ricky, Neloms or so. 

Edited by Gheorghe

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The potential always was there .... but for me he rarely transposed it to full extent .... still there are some platters dear to heart ....

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There seems to have been a quantum leap in both energy and creativityfrom the Muse records to the live Candid live things..

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3 hours ago, soulpope said:

The potential always was there .... but for me he rarely transposed it to full extent .... still there are some platters dear to heart ....

Would love to hear which those are ...

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Eric said:

Would love to hear which those are ...

Really dig his contributions on the early Kip Hanrahan albums from the 80`s (some great soloing in there !) and "Manhattan Blues" on Candid from 1989, where everything is clicking (to vast part also due to the Byard + Hinton + Riley rhythm kombo) .....

Edited by soulpope

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11 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

I don´t know how he acted then. With Mingus I don´t think he had time or possiblility to act like a primadonna. He was very articulate then, and they did all those great tunes live (Cumbia, Three or Four Shades of the Blues, Noddin Ya Head Blues, For Harry Carney ) , which sounded much better than the overproduced Atlantic Studio recordings. Jack Walrath and Ricky Ford, and on piano first in 1976 Danny Mixon (Viena and Switzerland "Willisau") and Bob Neloms 1977 (Italy). Ricky and Jack had the role of that call-response on "Cumbia" while on the studio it was also oboe and bassoon and trombone. So Ricky and Jack had to carry all the load but did a great job on that. And on that rap passage (Mama´s lil baby don´t like no shortnin´ bread....) all those honks on tenor. He was really strong, and I think he was very very young then, in his early twenties. 

The first time I heard him in 1976 first I was a bit disappointed that it was no more George Adams, that´s how it started....

But as for Mingus sideman it´s interesting I have albums of Adams-Pullen, but don´t have individual albums of Walrath, Ricky, Neloms or so. 

it was with both Mingus and Danny Richmond. I have first hand accounts.

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4 hours ago, soulpope said:

"Manhattan Blues" on Candid from 1989, where everything is clicking (to vast part also due to the Byard + Hinton + Riley rhythm kombo) .....

there were two more Candid albums by that same band. Ebony Rhapsody and African-American Blues.

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11 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

it was with both Mingus and Danny Richmond. I have first hand accounts.

Would like to read something about it. Since I was audience only. Usually the shows started with "For Harry Carney" and it was a fantastic contrast between the quiet parts and a growing tension, each soloist playing duets with Danny, and Mingus´ solo was up into the highest register of the bass, really very impressive....

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On 5/6/2022 at 2:42 AM, Gheorghe said:

Would like to read something about it. Since I was audience only. Usually the shows started with "For Harry Carney" and it was a fantastic contrast between the quiet parts and a growing tension, each soloist playing duets with Danny, and Mingus´ solo was up into the highest register of the bass, really very impressive....

there's nothing really to read except that I was told by some fellow band member that he was continually showing up late, missing planes, playing the prima donna. His sudden "fame" went to his head.

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I wish his "Tenor For The Times" was available on CD or digital.

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9 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

there's nothing really to read except that I was told by some fellow band member that he was continually showing up late, missing planes, playing the prima donna. His sudden "fame" went to his head.

Thank you. "fame went to his head" is a good interpretation. 
 It is interesting, that from the 76-77 band, I have not heard much about the players otherwise than with Mingus. 
Bob Neloms, Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, (and Danny Mixon before Neloms)... I had not heard their names before it and not very very much after it. (Ricky Ford I think did an interview for DB about his time with Mingus, and that Mingus had given him the nick "Ricky Ticky". 

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

 .... not much heard about the players otherwise than with Mingus .... 
Bob Neloms .... (and Danny Mixon before Neloms) ....

Which is a pity ....

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4 minutes ago, soulpope said:

Which is a pity ....

Bob Neloms must have been on schedule (I don´t remember in what context) at Wiesen Jazzfestival 1980.
I remember this event very well, because the then budding fellow pianist Thomas Barth (I played bass for him on some occasions), who was only 15 years old then but had a lot of talent even then, met some of the musicians, especially pianists and asked them for some advices for a young budding jazz musician.

He first asked Ronnie Matthews (with Griffin Quartet) and Matthew told him "don´t just play something, say something !". After that he met Bob Neloms, who seemed to be a bit juiced but made an astute statement: "well, and take care WHAT you say!".......

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1 hour ago, Gheorghe said:

Bob Neloms must have been on schedule (I don´t remember in what context) at Wiesen Jazzfestival 1980.
I remember this event very well, because the then budding fellow pianist Thomas Barth (I played bass for him on some occasions), who was only 15 years old then but had a lot of talent even then, met some of the musicians, especially pianists and asked them for some advices for a young budding jazz musician.

He first asked Ronnie Matthews (with Griffin Quartet) and Matthew told him "don´t just play something, say something !". After that he met Bob Neloms, who seemed to be a bit juiced but made an astute statement: "well, and take care WHAT you say!".......

:D .... based on his history with Mingus it seemed Bob Neloms would click in with musicians like James Newton (granting him a feature on his India Navigation LP "Portraits"), had a solo release on India Navigation titled "Pretty Music" but then - at least recordingswise - in the early 80`s he disappeared ....

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2 hours ago, soulpope said:

:D .... based on his history with Mingus it seemed Bob Neloms would click in with musicians like James Newton (granting him a feature on his India Navigation LP "Portraits"), had a solo release on India Navigation titled "Pretty Music" but then - at least recordingswise - in the early 80`s he disappeared ....

Hardly "recordings" in the sense you mean, but I have been posting many youtube uploads featuring Neloms in the Percy France thread in the artists forum.

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15 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

there's nothing really to read except that I was told by some fellow band member that he was continually showing up late, missing planes, playing the prima donna. His sudden "fame" went to his head.

Given Mingus' reputation, it seems weird that he would allow that to happen.

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17 hours ago, bresna said:

Given Mingus' reputation, it seems weird that he would allow that to happen.

           As I say, as a listener and spectator I didn´t see any signs of prima donna behaviour from Ricky Ford and it was only the interval of one year, late summer 1976-late summer 1977, and as much as I remember and I think it can also be seen on video clips, Mingus was more docile at that time.

           He was not anymore the "Angry Baron" . Sometimes you had the feeling that it was more Danny Richmond who pushed to players.

          Especially on those tunes where there is more ostinato bass ("For Harry Carney" and the first section of the suite "Cumbia and Jazz Fusion" as we observed, Mingus just plucked the ostinato bass figure and had a quite vacant look.

           He came a bit to live during the few short soloes he played (intro of "Noddin´ Ya Head Blues", the short bass solo after the Mingus´ vocal rap in the middle part of "Cumbia" after they switch from Db back to F,  then that short Walter Page like bass line on "Three or Four Shades" , and I think instead of an encore he would let Danny Richmond play a drum solo. But it is also possible he played a very short closer too. 


           Man, that happened 45 years ago, I say I think I remember Mingus didn´t have that dominant role he once had (and which I didn´t witness on stage) . But the music, I remember very very much of it, since the first thing I did when gettin home was to analize "Cumbia" and search posibilities to get it rehearsed together with some fellow friend musicians....

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