Performing music that swings, sounds cool, with great harmony and melody is my life's work. I prefer the structure of straight-ahead jazz as it gives me a chance to play the lines, phrases and licks that create an emotional response from my bandmembers and the audience.
I live in Charleston, South Carolina, and originally am from Boston. I learned my music the old fashioned way - in bands and on the gig as well as countless hours at home on my axe. I never had a post-secondary musical education so it wasn't easy.
Piano, Hammond B3.
Teachers and/or influences?
I studied with Earl Greene for many years. I've been listening to jazz live and recorded for my whole life (56 years) and everything I hear influences me. But the primary influences have to be the music I heard in New Orleans when I lived there in the 70's as well as Bud Powell
When I saw Roosevelt Sykes play an old upright to a rapt audience at the Maple Leaf.
Your sound and approach to music:
My approach is to anchor the group and set up a feeling on every tune. It's an emotional state of mind that gets transmitted to the other bandmembers through the music. It's easy because we all know what every tune is about and if everyone does their part the creative output is first class.
Your teaching approach:
Learn the fundamentals first - scales and harmony. Listen to others and learn to swing. Memorize as much as you can.
Your dream band:
My present band IS my dream band. I couldn't ask to play with five more easy going and dedicated cats. So I'll answer this with a fictional band:
My worst gig ever was playing solo piano in a stable for a pre-horse auction reception. The love bugs were mating that day and settling on everything that was bright white. Needless to say 56 keys were covered with them.
Our home base at Mistal in Charleston.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?