Rick Laird (Mahavishnu Orchestra)


He anchored the first and most influential of many incarnations of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra.


However before Rick Laird assumed rock star status on electric bass with the classic lineup of McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer, and Jerry Goodman – he was an upright player who served as the house bassist at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London in the early 1960s. Rick backed many of most revered artists of the era, including Sonny Stitt, Buddy Rich, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, and Wes Montgomery to cite a few. Rick’s credits as a sideman also include Eric Koss, Yusef Lateef, and Richie Cole.


A student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Dublin-born Laird’s fluid lines, warm tone, and tuneful solo break on “One Word” from the classic Birds of Fire (1973) album exemplified fusion at its finest – melding rock and jazz into a coherent, mind expanding listening experience – as opposed to a serving as a showy platform to display instrumental dexterity.


Among Rick’s voltage enhanced weapons of choice were the Fender Jazz, S.D. Curlee, and Dan Armstrong. Aside from his accomplishments as a musician, Rick forged a successful career as a photographer.


Rick Laird Sound & Vision….


“One Word” https://youtu.be/GWT6xt6QMpQ


“Now You Know” https://youtu.be/FQHNabnyyuM


Rick on BBC TV with the Victor Feldman Trio https://youtu.be/LLwvdv5oWVw