Esteemed Session Bassist Mo Foster Dead at 78
The news was confirmed by guitarist Ray Russell, a collaborator of Foster’s who was with him when he died. "There will never be another Mo – his values and integrity were emblazoned on anything he wrote and played and composed," Russell said (via Guitar World). "An empty chair, a lead waiting to be attached to the bass and an amp that will remain silent, but he will remain long after the song has ended."
Foster was born in Wolverhampton, England, and grew up playing music with his local school friends, building a bass out of an acoustic guitar. Because there were no college courses for electric instruments at the time, Foster instead studied physics and mathematics at the University of Sussex, while continuing to perform with the university's pop band, the Baskervilles, who provided local support for acts like Cream, the Zombies, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and others.
Listen to Mo Foster Perform With Jeff Beck in 1980
The bassist got his professional break as a member of Affinity, a prog-jazz group managed by Ronnie Scott. After the band split up, Foster's reputation as a session and touring musician began to grow. His work can also be heard on the soundtracks of several films, including two James Bond movies, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy.
"Three decades of studio playing has taught me to be aware of the needs of the song, the requirements of the bass line and the actual sound that I'm making – the duration, timbre and attack of each note," Foster once told BassInside. "When routining a song it's good to shove out lots of ideas, too many even, some of which may even become hooks. But I also realized that if you can play one note beautifully - and in the right place – then you are on the way."