Gary Bamford is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from the South West of the UK. He creates music in various styles, including jazz, funk, contemporary classical and alternative rock. Having studied at the City of Leeds College of Music, Gary returned to the South West, where he writes, performs, records, arranges and teaches.
As a pianist, bassist, trumpeter and guitarist, Gary has worked in various musical settings, including punk/rock bands, orchestras, funk/soul bands, big bands, jazz trios/quartets, theatre and as a solo performer. With his trio, he has backed the likes of Bobby Wellins, Paul Dunmall and Derek Nash, and supported Jamie Cullum. He has also worked with such musicians as Gilad Atzmon (Ian Dury And The Blockheads, Pink Floyd), Clive Deamer (Portishead, Radiohead), Jim Barr (Portishead, Get The Blessing), Robin Mullarkey (Jamie Cullum, Katie Melua), Jake McMurchie (Get The Blessing, Michelson Morley) and Innes Sibun (Robert Plant).
In 2005, Gary’s debut album, Jadj, was released on his own Kintu Records label. The album contains 26 original compositions penned during the previous decade and features Gary with, among others, Ruth Hammond (Morcheeba, Brass Junkies), Dave Goodier (Jethro Tull, Lesley Garrett), Jerry Crozier-Cole (Elliott Randall, Pee Wee Ellis), Scott Hammond (Jethro Tull, Herb Geller), Rob Brian (Siouxsie Sioux, Peter Gabriel) and Gary Alesbrook (Kasabian, Tom Jones). Jadj was co-produced with Jim Barr and was described by Musician magazine thusly – “ …Sheer musicality at every turn. Stunning.” The album is a mainly instrumental, eclectic mix of dark funk, modern jazz, ambient sounds, dirty rock and classical crossover, all decorated with evocative samples.
Between 2009 and 2012, Gary retreated from the music scene due to ill health, but towards the end of this period compiled a book of original compositions entitled Twenty Five Pieces For Solo Piano, The pieces range in difficulty from grades one to eight and stylistically include preludes, nocturnes, impressionism and minimalism. The book is published by Acer Press.
In the autumn of 2013, Gary returned to the studio to record his second album, Soundtrack To Breathing. Co-produced, mixed and mastered by Lighterthief’s Stuart Rowe (Andy Partridge, Future Sound Of London), this release dwells in an area where classical minimalism, electronica and new age converge. The Musician magazine says – “…the feel is relaxed yet an underlying tension captivates.” Soundtrack To Breathing was released on Kintu Records in December 2013.
In August 2015, Gary released his third album, Restrop Wood. A duo project with long time collaborator Ruth Hammond, Restrop Wood is a double album, consisting of eighteen original compositions, engineered by Jim Barr's stablemate Jeff Spencer (Crocodile, Bristol Composers Collective). It sees Gary returning to the contemporary jazz style of much of Jadj, mainly features piano and tenor saxophone, and is largely reflective in mood.
Gary is currently preparing to record his fourth release, with a new trio which features Rob Brian on drums and Al Swainger on bass. He also has far too many other projects on the go…
The musicians that contributed to the music on this profile are; Gary Bamford, Scott Hammond, Rob Brian, Ian Taylor, Valere Speranza, Jeff Spencer, Amy Cullum and Richard Couldridge.
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