Alex J Watson
UK based musician, promoter & DJ.
I got into jazz by accident. As a kid I never had any real exposure to it, and as far as I remember I thought jazz was one of those extinct genres that had died somewhere around the 1940s. Old men listened to it on Sundays and it smelt dusty. When I was about seventeen years old a few things happened: A friend with a funk band invited me to his gig, I got a new guitar teacher and I bought a copy of Kind of Blue.
Bitches Brew was the second jazz album I bought (I liked the front cover)--woah that recording was a real ear opener! I didn't especially love it at the time, I really didn't understand it that was for sure, but I suddenly realized that the term jazz meant a whole lot more. Those two records were so different and I realized there must be a whole load of stuff in the middle for me to discover, in between those two sounds and beyond. That's when I really started listening. Of course sneaking into bars underage to watch and dance to funk bands and catch some jazz solos helped get me hooked too.
A few years on and I've just finished studying a degree in Jazz Performance at Leeds College of Music. I guess I got into it! Aside from trying to improve my jazz chops, I also spend time producing, DJing and promoting events... and the odd bit of writing too.
I was an article editior for AAJ back in 2010.