Ray Russell Biography

4 April 1947, England. Russell taught himself to play guitar and later to read music. He became a session musician and gained admiring attention through playing and recording in the early 60s with John Barry, appearing on several soundtrack albums. He was then with Georgie Fame and also was sideman in bands fronted by Harry Beckett, the Bee Gees, Jack Bruce, Mike Gibbs, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Alan Skidmore and Tina Turner. Russell recorded a critically acclaimed series of albums for CBS Realm in the late 60s and early 70s, and in 1973 released the excellent Secret Asylum of Black Lion Records. In the 80s he worked in jazz fusion and contemporary pop with artists including the British Orchestra, Gary Husband, Tony Hymas, Protocol, Heaven 17, and Mike Smith and Michael D’Abo’s band Smith And D’Abo. Russell also played in the trio RMS with bass player Mo Foster and drummer Simon Phillips, including a notable session with Gil Evans at 1983’s Montreux Jazz Festival. Meanwhile, Russell’s composing became widely heard owing to his scores for popular UK television programmes such as A Touch Of Frost, Bergerac and A Bit Of A Do. Russell has continued recording into the new millennium, and is also active in music education, collaborating on projects with Foster and Ralph Salmins.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.