Ricky Ford was born March 4, 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He started to play drums, then changed to tenor saxophone at the age of 15, inspired by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. 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. 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.