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  • Born

    4 March 1954 (age 64)

  • Born In

    Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States

Ricky Ford (born March 4, 1954) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Ford was born in Boston and studied at the New England Conservatory. In 1974 he recorded with Gunther Schuller and then played in the Duke Ellington Orchestra under Mercer Ellington from 1974 to 1976. After this he played with Charles Mingus (1976-77), Dannie Richmond (1978-1981), Lionel Hampton, and then in the Mingus Dynasty (1982). In 1985 he played with Abdullah Ibrahim. He has recorded extensively as a leader for Muse and Candid. He taught at Istanbul Bilgi University until 2006.

On Ricky's web site Born 4 March 1954, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Ford started to play drums, then changed to tenor saxophone at the age of 15, inspired by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Ran Blake heard him playing in a Boston Club and persuaded him to study music at the New England Conservatory. (Blake later invited him to play on several albums too, including Rapport, Short Life Of Barbara Monk and That Certain Feeling). In 1974 Ford joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the leadership of Mercer Ellington and in 1976 he replaced George Adams in the Charles Mingus group, recording on Three Or Four Shades of Blue and Me Myself An Eye. In the late 70s and early 80s he played with Dannie Richmond, Mingus Dynasty, George Russell, Beaver Harris, Lionel Hampton and Adbullah Ibrahim's Ekaya group. However, following the release of his debut album in 1977 he has worked increasingly as a leader, often recording with Jimmy Cobb and ex-Ellington colleague James Spaulding. His latest releases also feature one of his New England Conservatory teachers, Jaki Byard. A strong, authoritative tenor player, Ford's fluency in most idioms of modern jazz has perhaps hindered the development of an individual voice. Ricky is from 2000 Professor at the Bilgi University in Istambul.

Since many years, Ricky is living in Toucy (France). He always plays saxophone, but he's also: painter and gallerist and organize the Toucy Jazz Festival,

- 2003: Ricky Ford & Kirk Lightsey - Reeds and Keys - Jazz Friends Productions JPF006
(Ricky Ford, Kirk Lightsey)
- 2002: Ricky Ford Sextet - Songs For My Mother - Jazz Friends Productions JFP00
(Ricky Ford, Bobby Few, Jean-Michel Couchet, Frédéric Burgazzi, Emmanuel Grimonprez, Philippe Soirat)
- 1999: Ricky Ford Quintet - Balaena - Jazz Friends Productions JFP005
(Ricky Ford, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Ed Thigpen)
- 1998: Jaki Byard - July in Paris - Jazz Friends Productions JFP003
(Jaki Byard, Ricky Ford, Ralph Hamperian, Richard Allen)
- 1997: Richard Davis - Total Package -Marge 22
(Pete LaRoca, Ricky Ford, Dave Liebman, Lance Bryant, Jimmy Owens, George Cables, Santi Debriano)
- 1997: Pete LaRoca - Swing time - Blue Note CDP7 854876
(Richard Davis, Ricky Ford, Curtis Clark, Andrew Cyrille)
- 1995: Dave Burrell - Esquisses for a walk - Nocturne 319
(Dave Burrell, Laurence Allison, Daniel Huck, Carl Schlosser, Bruno Rousselet, Chris Henderson, Françis Varis, Ricky ford, Didier Levallet, Paco Sery)
- 1994: Yusef Lateef & Ricky Ford - Tenors of Yusef Lateef & Ricky Ford - YAL Records YAL 105
(Yusef Lateef, Ricky Ford, Avery Sharpe, Kamal Sabir
- 1993: Steve Lacy - Vespers - Soul Note 121 260
(Steve Lacy, Steve Potts, Ricky Ford, Tom Varner, Bobb Few, Jean-Jacques Avenel, John Betsch, Irene Aebi)
- 1992: Ricky Ford - Tenor madness too - Muse MCD 5478
(Ricky Ford, Antoine Roney, Donald brown, Peter Washington, Louis Hayes)
- 1991: Ricky Ford - American African blues - Candid CCD 79528
(Ricky Ford, Jaki Byard, Milt Hinton, Ben Riley)
- 1991: Ricky Ford - Hot brass - Candid CCD 79518
(Lew Soloff, Claudio Roditi, Steve Turre, Ricky Ford, Danilo Perez, Christian McBride, Carl Allen)
- 1991: Candid Jazz Masters - For Miles - Candid CCD 79710
(Claudio Roditi, Donal Harrison, Ricky Ford, Kenny Barron, Larry Gales, Joe Chambers)
- 1990: Richard Davis - Dealin' - Sweet Basil 66055011
(Cecil Bridgewater, Ricky Ford, Sir Roland Hanna, Richard Davis, Ronnie Burrage)
- 1990: Ricky Ford - Ebony rhapsod -Candid CCD 79053
(Ricky Ford, Jaki Byard, Milt Hinton, Ben Riley)
- 1990: Ran Blake - That certain feeling (The George Gershwin Songbook) - hat ART CD 6077
(Steve Lacy, Ricky Ford, Ran Blake)
- 1990: Abdullah Ibrahim - No fear, no die / S'en fout la mort - Tiptoe 88815 CD
(Frank Lacy, Horace Alexander Young III, Ricky Ford, Jimmy Cozier, Abdullah Ibrahim, Buster Williams, Ben Riley)
- 1989: Richard Davis - One for Frederick - Hep CD 2047
(Cecil Bridgewater, Ricky Ford, Sir Roland Hanna, Richard Davis, Freddie Waits)
- 1989: Mal Waldron - Where are you ? - Soul Note 121 248
(Sonny Fortune, Ricky Ford, Mal Waldron, Reggie Workman, Eddie Moore)
- 1989: Mal Waldron - Crowd scene - Soul Note 121 218
(Sonny Fortune, Ricky Ford, Mal Waldron, Reggie Workman, Eddie Moore)
- 1989: Newport Jazz Festival All-stars - Bern Concert '89 - Concord CCD 4401
(Warren Vaché, N)orris Turney, Ricky Ford, Scott Hamilton, George Wein, Gray Sargent, Eddie Jones, Oliver Jackson
- 1989: Ricky Ford - Manhattan blues - Candid CCD 79036
(Ricky Ford, Jaki Byard, Milt Hinton, Ben Riley)
- 1989: Ricky Ford - Hard groovin' - Muse MCD 5373
(Roy Hargrove, Ricky Ford, Geoff Keezer, Robert Hurst, Jeff Watts
- 1989: Ellen May Shashoyan - Songs for my father - New Ark NYEM101
(Ellen May Shashoyan, Wally Richardson, Reggie Workman, Joe Marshall, Bilal Abdurahman, darabuka & tambourine; Harold Minerve, Zane Paul, Harold Vic, Ricky Ford, Heywood Henry)
- 1989: Mike Clark - Give the drummer some - Stash STCD 22
(Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, Neal Kirkwood, Jack Wilkins, Chip Jackson, Mike Clark)
- 1988: Abdullah Ibrahim - Mindif - Enja 5073
(Benny Powell, Ricky Ford, Craig Handy, Abdullah Ibrahim, David Williams, Billy Higgins)
- 1988: Carmen Lundy - Night and Day - CBS 28AP 3320
(Carmen Lundy, Ricky Ford, Rodney Jones, Kenny Kirkland, Alex Blake, Curtis Lundy, Victor Lewis)
- 1987: Ricky Ford - Saxotic stomp - Muse MR 5349
(James Spaulding, Ricky Ford, Charles Davis, Kirk Lightsey, Ray Drummond, Jimmy Cobb)
- 1987: Sathima Bea Benjamin - Lovelight - Enja 6022
(Sathima Bea Benjamin, Ricky Ford, Larry Willis, Buster Williams, Billy Higgins)
- 1986: Riyuko Tanaka - Time take your heart - Break Time GGP-19
(Riyuko Tanaka, Ricky Ford, Roland Hanna, Richard Davis, Freddie Waits)
- 1986: Ran Blake - The short life of Barbara Monk - Soul Note 121 127
(Ricky Ford, Ran Blake, Ed Felson, Jon Hazilla)
- 1986: Amina Claudine Myers - Country girls - Minor Music 1012
(Patience Higgins, Carlos Ward, Ricky Ford, Amina Claudine Myers, Jerome Harris, Reggie Nicholson, Bola Idowu)
- 1986: Ricky Ford - Looking ahead - Muse MR 5322
(John Sass, James Spaulding, Ricky Ford, Kirk Lightsey, Cecil McBee, Freddie Waits)
- 1985: Lee Torchia - Loverman - JRCD 001
(Lee Torchia, Ricky Ford, Roger "Ram" Ramirez, Milt Hinton, Mel Lewis)
- 1985: Abdullah Ibrahim - Water from an ancient well - Blackhawk BKH 50207
(Dick Griffin, Carlos Ward, Ricky Ford, Charles Davis, Abdullah Ibrahim, David Williams, Ben Riley)
- 1984: Beaver Harris - Well kept secret - Shemp HWSI 2701
(Ricky Ford, Hamiet Bluiett, Don Pullen, Buster Williams, Beaver Harris, Francis Haynes)
- 1984: Ricky Ford - Shorter ideas - Muse MR 5314
(Jimmy Knepper, James Spaulding, Ricky Ford, Kirk Lightsey, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb)
- 1983: Fredie Hubbard - The rose tattoo - Baystate RJL-8095
(Fredie Hubbard, Ricky Ford, Kenny Barron, Cecil McBee, Joe Chambers)
- 1983: Danny Richmond - Dionysus - Red VPA 161 - Recorded May 30th 1983, Milano, Italy.
(Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Cameron Brown, Danny Richmond)
- 1983: Abdullah Ibrahim - Ekaya - Ekapa 005
(Dick Griffin, Carlos Ward, Ricky Ford, Charles Davis, Abdullah Ibrahim, Cecil McBee, Ben Riley)
- 1983: Ricky Ford - Future's gold - Muse MR 5296
(Ricky Ford, Albert Dailey, Larry Coryell, Ray Drummond, Jimmy Cobb)
- 1982: Mingus Dynasty - Reincarnation - Soul Note SN 1042
(Richard Williams, Jimmy Knepper, Ricky Ford, Sir Roland Hanna, ReggieJohnson, Kenny Washington)
- 1982: Tom Harrell - Play of light - Blackhawk BKH 50901
(Tom Harrell, Ricky Ford, Albert Dailey, Bruce Forman, Eddie Gomez, Bily Hart)
- 1982: Lionel Hampton - Made in Japan - Timeless SJP 175 CD
(Thomas Chapin, Ricky Ford, Paul Jeffrey, Glen Wilson, Lionel Hampton, John Colianni, Todd Coolman, Duffy Jackson)
- 1982: Lionel Hampton - The Boogie Woogie Album - Telefunken 6.25427
(John Marshal, Barry Reis, John Walker, Vince Cutro, John Gordon, Charles Stephens, Chris Gulhaghuen, Yoshi Malta, Tom Chapin, Arnett Cobb, Ricky Ford Glenn Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Axel Zwingenberger, Ralph Hamperian, Duffy Jackson, Sam Turner)
- 1982: Ricky Ford - Interpretations - Muse MR 5275
(Ricky Ford, John Hicks, Walter Booker Jimmy Cobb)
- 1981: Lionel Hampton - Ambassador at large - Glad Hamp GHS1024
(Johnny Walker, Pete Candoli, Billy Brooks, Wallace Davenport, Ed Neumeister, Buster Cooper, Garnett Brown, Yoshi Malta, Tom Chapin, Jack Kelso, Ricky Ford, Kenny Rogers, Zeke Mullins, Chubby Jackson, Frankie Dunlop, Sammy Turner, Frank Como)
- 1981: Lionel Hampton - Aurex Jazz Festival '81 - Aurex EWJ80207
(Pete Candoli, Wallace Davenport, Billy Brooks, Johnny Walker, Buster Cooper, Garnett Brown, Ed Neumeister, Woody Herman, Yoshi Malta, Jackie Kelso, Ricky Ford, Tom Chapin, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Hampton, Zeke Mullins, Chubby Jackson, Frankie Dunlop)
- 1981: Jack Walrath - Revenge of the fat people - Stash ST 221
(Ricky Ford, Michael Cochrane, Cameron Brown, Mike Clark)
-1981: Ricky Ford - Tenor of the times - Muse MR 5250
(Ricky Ford, Albert Daley, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb)
- 1980: Danny Richmond - Quintet - Gatemouth 1004
(Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Cameron Brown, Danny Richmond)
- 1980: Danny Richmond - Dannie Richmond plays Charles Mingus - Timeless SJP 148
(Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Cameron Brown, Dannie Richmond)
- 1980: Sonny Stitt - Sonny's back - Muse MR 5204
(Sonny Stitt, Ricky Ford, Barry Harris, George Duvivier, Leroy Williams)
- 1980: Ricky Ford - Flying colors - Muse MR 5227
(Ricky Ford, John Hicks, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb)
- 1979: Beaver Harris 360 Degrees Music Experience - Negcaumongus - Cadence CJR 1003
(Ricky Ford, Ken McIntyre, Hamiet Bluiett, Don Pullen, Cameron Brown, Beaver Harris, Francis Haynes)
- 1979: Ronnie Matthews - Legacy - Bee Hive BH 7011
(Bill Hardman, Ricky Ford, Ronnie Matthews, Walter Booker, Jimmy Cobb)
- 1979: Red Rodney - Three R's - Muse MR 5290
(Red Rodney, Richie Cole, Ricky Ford, Turk Mauro, Roland Hanna, George Duvivier, Grady Tate)
- 1978: Ricky Ford - Manhattan plaza - Muse MR 5188
(Oliver Beener, Ricky Ford, Jaki Byard, David Friesen, Dannie Richond)
- 1978: Ran Blake - Rapport - Arista Novus AN 3006
(Ricky Ford, Ran Blake, Rufus Reid)
- 1978: Charles Mingus - Something like a Bird - Atlantic SD 8805
(Big band with varying personnel)
- 1978: George Russell - Soul Note - SN 1039 CD
(Stanton Davis, Lew Soloff, Terumasa Hino, Gary Valente, Dave Taylor, John Clark, Marty Ehrlich, Ricky Ford, Roger Rosenberg, Carl Atkins, Götz Tangerding, Mark Slifstein, Ricky Martinez, Cameron Brwon, Waren Smith, Babalumi Akunyon, Lee Genesis)
- 1978: Charles Mingus - Me myself and eye - Atlantic SD 8803
(Big band with varying personnel)
- 1977: Charles Mingus - Lionel Hampton presents the music of Charles Mingus - Who's who in Jazz WWLP 21005
(Woody Shaw, Jack Walrath, Peter Matt, Ricky Ford, Paul Jeffreys, Gerry Mulligan, Lionel Hampton, Bob Neloms, Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond)
- 1977: Charles Mingus - Stormy & funky blues - Moon MCD 064
(Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond)
- 1977: Charles Mingus - The Charles Mingus Memorial Album -Burning Desire MBDRM 010
(Jack Walrath, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond)
- 1977: Charles Mingus - Three or four shades of blues - Atlantic SD 1700
(Jack Walrath, Sonny Fortune, George Coleman, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Jimmy Rowles, Philip Catherine, Larry Coryell, John Scofield, George Mraz, Ron Carter, Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond)
- 1977: Charles Mingus - Cumbia & jazz fusion - AtlanticSD 8801
(Jack Walrath, Jimmy Knepper, Maurice Smith, Ricky Ford, Paul Jeffrey, Gary Anderson, Gene Scholtes, Bob Neloms, Charles Mingus, Dannie Richmond, Candido, Ray Mantilla, Daniel Gonzales, Alfredo Ramirez
- 1977: Ricky Ford - Loxodonta africana - New World NW 204
(Oliver Beener, Charles Sullivan, Ricky Ford, Bob Neloms, Richard Davis, Dannie Richmond)
- 1975: Mercer Ellington - Continuum - Fantasy 5991 / FT 525
(18-piece band)
- 1974: New England Conservatory Jazz Repertory Orchestra - Golden Crest CRS31041
(18-piece band)
- 1973: Ran Blake - Golden Crest - NEC 116
(Ricky Ford, Ran Blake)

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