Tom Seminar Ford Livestream
(Ronnie Scott’s Lockdown sessions. 11 January 2021. All Photos: Monika S.Jakubowska/Ronnie Scott’s. Words by AJ Dehany)
Birmingham-raised, Berklee-trained guitarist Tom Seminar Ford played a delay-rich fusion sound in extended soloing recalling Johns McLaughlin and Etheridge, spiced up in the themes with wonky tremolo-chorus effects out of slacker rock and contemporary synthwave. Influences from Brazilian samba and Bossa Nova complete the sense of a diversely but convincingly integrated player.
Friend and collaborator Poppy Ajudha sang their soulful song Love You. Tom explained its relatable theme: “When you’re not sure if someone likes you, or you like them, you’re both in same position but it’s who blinks first.” Poppy’s view was more direct: “I wrote it to say just you better make your mind up.” Well, Tom reflected “Balance of power is in the right place to be in this song.”
Robbie Moore’s Rhodes piano is integral to the group sound, solos with nicely wrought phrasing, and that characteristic electroacoustic sound that bridges between the guitar and the locked-in rhythm section of Jas Kayser on drums and Daisy George on bass. They bring a classic fusion sound, then add elements of the contemporary from hip hop and RnB, closely fitting the jazz re:freshed paradigm.
Where Will We Go is swiftly answered: “Home, ‘cos it’s a lockdown.” This touching wordless song is “a kind of Disney ballad written with Reuben James. Could be Frozen 3,” he says. “Pixar, if you’re watching…”
“Make sure you buy us all a Ronnie’s Scotch—I didn’t call them that.” Ronnie Scott’s Lockdown sessions are free to view but funded entirely through donations at https://ko-fi.com/ronniescotts “Things are really tough,” reflected Tom Ford. “Weirdly my rent is due tonight by midnight. My life’s in your hands!”
TECHNICAL NOTE: One review detailed severe problems with the stream visuals. I didn’t experience any problems.