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The Mahavishnu Orchestra bass guitarist Rick Laird has died at the age of 80

John McLaughlin has led online tributes to The Mahavishnu Orchestra bass guitarist Rick Laird who has died at the age of 80 writing on Twitter: ''RIP brother Rick Laird. What great memories we have . Miss you!!!'' No cause of death is known. …

Published: 5 Jul 2021. Updated: 18 days.

John McLaughlin has led online tributes to The Mahavishnu Orchestra bass guitarist Rick Laird who has died at the age of 80 writing on Twitter: ''RIP brother Rick Laird. What great memories we have . Miss you!!!''

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No cause of death is known. Laird, who was born in Dublin, moved to New Zealand in his teens following his parents' divorce and later lived in Australia before moving to England and eventually switching to bass guitar when he began playing with Brian Auger's Trinity although he was initially inspired as a teen to play upright bass by listening to records by Ray Brown.

Laird, ever the intrepid traveller, moved to the States to study at Berklee in Boston and gigged with Buddy Rich and then made musical history with McLaughlin on The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire and Between Nothingness & Eternity. Later he took up photography and moved away from music for a period but returned to play with Chick Corea, Buddy De Franco and Jan Hammer as well as writing books on the bass and teaching.

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Pick of the lives: a 2021 halfway point snapshot

Beginning to go to gigs again this year has proved a patient business. Prone with difficulties as we all warily emerge from Lockdown it is unusual what's out there and the playing environment is very different. There are a lot of new names jostling …

Published: 4 Jul 2021. Updated: 19 days.

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Beginning to go to gigs again this year has proved a patient business. Prone with difficulties as we all warily emerge from Lockdown it is unusual what's out there and the playing environment is very different. There are a lot of new names jostling with the established stagers, but above all a slightly eerie experience given how numbers are restricted pervades. So far since the resumption in May here are the top 10, all on the London scene, that we have enjoyed most:

1 Camilla George band, Jazz Cafe, Camden

2 Ian Shaw, Crazy Coqs, Soho

3 James Lawrence's Electro Nomads (feat. David Mrakpor), Post Bar, Tottenham

4 Mario Bakuna and Uccio Gaeta, The Lion and Lamb, Hoxton

5 Andy Davies and Nigel Price, Ronnie Scott's upstairs, Soho

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Tom Challenger and Olie Brice, above

6 Hannes Riepler quartet, Vortex, Dalston

7 Arthur Lea, Ronnie Scott's upstairs, Soho

8 Tom Challenger/Olie Brice/Will Glaser, Vortex downstairs, Dalston

9 Tom Ollendorff trio, Vortex, Dalston

10 Harry Diplock and Jeremie Coullon, Ronnie Scott's upstairs, Soho

Camilla George, top. Photo via Ubuntu