Do you actually enjoy playing jazz the most?
What brought you into jazz?
My Grandmum bought me an Oscar Peterson compilation CD when I was a teenager. I had been playing the piano for a while already, but soon realised what music I was most into.
Did you study music at University then?
I went to Edinburgh and did Economics. I wasn’t planning on being a musician back then. I had a great time there and over time started to get involved in the jazz scene. It was a fairly easy transition after I graduated. Then I came back to London (where I’m from) and started at the Guildhall.
What’s the best lesson you’ve ever been taught that’s stuck with you?
Probably a lesson with Aaron Goldberg, and mainly because I recorded it and have listened to it so many times. He talked in a lot of detail about some really important things I hadn’t been thinking about so much at the time. Each time I listened back I understood another small detail in what he was trying to explain.
Who inspires you musically?
So what’s the best gig you’ve ever seen?
There have been many, but I really enjoyed an afternoon trio session with Benny Green, Steve Brown and Sam Burgess at Ronnie’s. Steve let me know that they were hooking up for a play before the club opened. All acoustic and I was the only one there. It was really special.
Any Blue Flamingo gigs that stand out?
The afternoon one with Daoud Merchant and Tim Thornton was a lot of fun – for that street party!
What does an “average” day look like for you?
Practice, admin, maybe some teaching from home. I have lots of plays at mine, a few times a week. Gig somewhere in the evening I guess, or Orange Wednesdays with my girlfriend.
Do you have any ‘musical pet hates’ ?
I’m not a huge fan of fakers – guys who can’t play but try to wear the right hat and say the right thing.
If you’re not playing music, what do you like to do?
Movies, hanging with friends, Italian food…
First Published 2011