Today, February 5, marks the 74th birthday of jazz bass player Rick Laird. Laird was born in Dublin, Ireland, and started playing jazz after moving to New Zealand at the age of 16. He played guitar in some New Zealand jam bands and bought himself an upright bass. Laird toured extensive in New Zealand and moved to Sydney, Australia, to play with many top jazz musicians, like Don Burrows.
After Rick Laird moved to the UK in 1962 he became bassplayer at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. There Laird played with many greats, amongst others guitarist Wes Montgomery and Sonny Stitt. 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 (February–October 1964).
Lairs studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, US, before playing with John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Stan Getz and Chick Corea.
Happy birthday, mr. Laird. And many happy returns!