2000 - 2019
2000 - 2009
The 00's highlighted a change in Ray Russell's career. Though still contributing to the odd albums, Ray's work shifted more towards music production for television. He had already contributed various sound production tracks throughout the 80's with Burton Music, JWL and Music House; Ray continued through the 00's arranging tracks and albums for more sound production companies such as FirstCom and The Music Library. learn more.
Between work on ITV's 'A Touch of Frost' star David Jason created his own part feature-length televised series 'The Quest' which first aired on ITV in 2002 . The obvious choice to compose the series was the composer on 'A Touch of Frost' Ray Russell. In 2003 Ray released his album 'A Touch of Frost' which featured his 'A Touch of Frost' television composures under the Universal Music Label. The cover of this album exhibits David Jason as his character DI Jack Frost. Then in 2005 David Jason became the executive producer of action/crime drama 'Diamond Geezer' of which he also starred in. Again, Ray Russell was brought in to be the series composer for all 4 episodes. During 2005 Ray released a compilation album of his work as a composer across many of his TV contributions. In 2006 Ray received The Royal Television Society, Yorkshire Television Award for Best Music or Use of Music for his work on 'A Touch of Frost' and 'Diamond Geezer' and was nominated again in 2008.
Also in 2006, Ray approached a talented group of his friends to create 'Goodbye Svengali', an album influenced by and dedicated to visionary jazz arranger Gil Evans, and includes one of Gil's final recordings. A year later Russell released Secret Asylum, a previously unissued tape from 1973; it was later picked up for international distribution, while some of his pop material from his early days with Joe Meek surfaced as well.
In 2008, Ray along with drummer Ralph Salmins, and engineer Rik Walton co-founded Made Up Music, an archive, label, and clearing house for sound library recordings; these were sold digitally and mailed to film music editors. They later merged with the library sound company 5 Alarm Music.
During the summer of 2009 Ray made an appearance at UK festival Vibes from the Vines where he headlined along side Gary Moore, Mo Foster, Jim Watson and Ralph Salmins.
In 2010 Ray Russell joined with Mo Foster when creating Mo's 6th album 'Bass Themes'. Like Ray, Mo had contributed a vast amount of production music which was presented on this album.
It was in 2010 that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers ( known as ASCAP), announced Ray Russell as the winner for the award in The Most Used Music in American Television. Much of his music featured on numerous programs broadcasted in the UK, USA and Australia. Programs such as The Oprah Winfery Show, Gordon Ramsey's Cook-along, Will Smith's - Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Good Morning America, and American Idol. Click to view list.
In the same year Ray was invited by his friend and former engineer - Dr Steve Parker - Principal Lecturer in Music Technology and Production at Leeds Beckett University, to share his experience with students as a visiting Professor in Music. Ray taught students to believe in their creativity by explaining that although technology is useful, it doesn't have to be your master, music is expression and that is largely a human trait. It is the musicians themselves who creatively use everything at their fingertips to enhance the expressivity and professionalism of an album and have the ability to utilise every part of their skill to create their own signature sound. Learn More.
“I loved my time teaching at Leeds Beckett. I found some amazing students - they were so advanced and really great songsmiths.” - Ray Russell
In 2013 he released the album 'Now More Than Ever' - Featuring an all-star cast, including drummer Gary Husband, bassists Jimmy Johnson, Mo Foster and Anthony Jackson, this bold outing straddles that no man's land between rock power and unfettered jazz improvisation while conjuring up ethereal guitar synth soundscapes along the way.
During 2015 Ray teamed up with America guitarist, Henry Kaiser, for a collaborative album called 'The Celestial Squid'. They recorded live at Fantasy Studios, armed with only basic head charts; the rest unfolded as the music dictated.
In the same year Ray was asked to play an evening at Sussex University in tribute to the universities Chancellor Lord Richard Attenborough.
Welsh singer Gaynor Sullivan MBE known to the world as Bonnie Tyler released her 17th album 'Between the earth and the stars' in March 2019. Ray played guitar with Bob Huff and Status Quo's Francis Rossi on the very first track 'Hold on'.