Moving to Torquay in 2015 was a big change and saw the end of a couple of Somerset-based bands I was involved with, including the much-loved Viv and the Xmen, whose music and friendship is irreplaceable.
I've flirted with rock and pop over the years and played at many parties and functions, but in 2016 I decided to focus seriously on my jazz playing for the next few years. I do want to use what I've learned from pop though, and I'd like to think the influence is heard sometimes in the melodies that emerge in my improvisations.
More than that, I believe jazz has to modernise its repertoire to gain new audiences. Among the essential elements of jazz are group improvisation and groove, neither of which puts a limit on what can be played, while maintaining a great respect for what has gone before, for the "canon". So I am doing my bit and punctuating the jazz standards with pop classics by the Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Coldplay, Bill Withers, the Beatles, etc; and I'm not averse to playing the odd show tune ("Let it go", from Frozen, being the current favourite!).
Many of my gigs are private functions, or are advertised by others. Some of those I've done since 2013 are listed on Reverbnation here. This is because it is easier to update than a website!
Examples of previous gigs:
Friday 24th October 2016: Duo with Keith Feinson at the Gallery Cafe in Chard, our third gig there this year.
Friday 30th September 2016: Piano trio at Torre Abbey for hospital consultants' party.
Throughout 2015: Monthly gig with Sarah Cunningham and friends at the Farmer's Arms near Taunton.
Saturday August 18th 2012: Piano trio at wedding party, Wiltshire.
Saturday 23rd July 2012: Musgrove Park Radiology department barbeque with Viv and the Xmen. My new bespoke Xmen T-shirt was, I am told, much admired. And the new repertoire (Stones) and, I hope,
the arpeggios. At least one person that I know of noticed the arpeggios, a la Dire Straits "Tunnel of Love" ending.
Saturday and Sunday 7-8 July 2012: with Skintight International at Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues festival, Yorkshire, for the second year running. Plus impromptu live jam with solo guitarist Matt Smith!
Sunday May 20th: Unplugged with Sarah Cunningham, Mat Atasoy and James Eady at the Winchester Arms, Taunton. 12-3pm, with lunch served.
Saturday May 19th: Viv and the Xmen at a private wedding.
Saturday May 12th: Viv and the Xmen at the Railway Arms, Taunton, from 8.30pm. Free entry.
Sunday 22nd April 2012, 12-3pm, at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton. Billy Cunningham whipped up a storm on drums and Fred Ball resonated on acoustic bass, both here all the way from Kent!
Saturday 21st April 2012. Function band Play played at a private wedding at Maunsell House, Somerset. New additions to the set such as Summer of 69, Sex on Fire, Marvin Gaye's Let's get it on and September go down a storm. One punter commented "it sounded so good that for a minute I thought it was the original on CD" and another "you should charge a lot more"!
Sunday 11th March 2012, 12-3pm, at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton. Gareth Fowler graces us on his guitar, all the way from Birmingham where he has graduated as a star pupil from the Birmingham Conservatoire's four year jazz course. Plus Quinny Lawrence is back on drums, and myself on organ for a groovy, vintage organ trio sound.
Ben Carruthers (from Wells) on sax, Quinny Lawrence on drums, plus James Eady joining on guitar. Sunday 12th February 2012, 12-3pm. Served with Sunday lunch at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton. I played organ for a different, groovier sound and the place was full. Great gig!
Viv and the Xmen played at Viv's birthday party on February 11th 2012 at the Wyvern Rugby Club. Modesty prevents me saying which birthday, but it was very well attended and emotional. Love Viv's version of Joni Mitchell's The RIver, played with a certain local pianist accompanying...
Trio with Sarah Cunningham (vocals) and James Eady (guitar). Wednesday evening 8th February at the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant, Taunton, for their two year anniversary. A fun, and very original, evening was had by all!
Quiketo was reunited on 1st February 2012 at the Ilminster Arts Centre, an absolutely stunning venue. The event was a party for the volunteers and benefactors of the Arts Centre, which goes from sterength to strength, and about 70 people attended. They seemed to particularly enjoy our Beatles covers and especially my vocals! I had to be torn away from the Kawai piano by my fellow band members - more gigs here please!
Sunday lunchtime 8th January at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton. Trio with Sarah Cunningham (vocals) and James Eady (guitar). A loosener for the New Year, full of hope and promise for the Jazz at the Winchester series.
End of year party at St Ives Jazz Club, 27th December 2011. I did a trio set with Pip Harbon and Tim Greenhaulgh. Great venue and a generous audience.
Duo with Viv Lynham (vocals). Jazz and Christmas songs, Sunday lunchtime 18th December 2011 at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton.
Trio with Matt Atasoy (vocals) and James Eady (guitars). Sunday lunchtime 27th November at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton.
Duo with Ben Carruthers (tenor sax). Sunday lunchtime 30th October at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton.
Trio with Billy Cunningham (drums) and Fred Ball (bass). Sunday lunchtime 9th October at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton.
Play with guests Skintight International - funk bonanza! Saturday 8th October at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton.
QuiKeTo at the Fremington Quay Cafe, Barnstaple, Devon.
2-4pm on Sunday 11th September 2011. See you there!
QuiKeTo (piano trio). Sunday lunchtime 28th August 2011 at the Winchester Arms, Castle Green, Taunton.
Viv and the Xmen at The Blackdown Beer and Music festival, Saturday 13th August 2011.
Skintight International at the Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues festival, 6th & 7th August 2011.