How did I choose jazz? I don’t think I did. I think jazz chooses you. You just have to be ready for it!
For me, it all started in the 70s on a camping holiday in North Wales, reading a book I couldn’t get into and with one ear on the radio. When on comes some music that grabbed me by the gut and I just couldn’t get out of my head, an incredible mix of rock, jazz and world music, like nothing I had heard before. The song was ‘Birdland’ and the group Weather Report. A few years later I got to see the band live in Manchester – still the most exciting concert I have ever experienced – and I have never looked back.
And it has been a wonderful musical journey. From Weather Report, it was just a short hop to Miles, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Roland Kirk and Charles Mingus; and from there to more contemporary sounds from New York to Tokyo via Rio, Cape Town, London, Oslo, Warsaw and Sydney.
I am particularly interested in music around the edges of jazz where the lines blur with popular music, folk, country, Latin, classical, electronica and world music, providing multiple points of entry. On ‘Jazz Notes’ I try to open those doors to help start other journeys where all are invited.