Named after Whitney Balliett‘s famous description of jazz and also the series of Channel Four music documentaries commissioned by my father Michael back in the 1980s, this website will feature writing on everything jazz-related, from acoustic jazz to fusion, free jazz, blues, soul/funk/R’n’B and Steely Dan. You won’t find the jazz police hanging around here.
But you will find gig reviews (all from London venues unless otherwise indicated), book reviews, album reviews, DVD reviews, obituaries, general musings and the Rescued From The Vaults feature which looks at underrated gems from down the years.
I’m a writer, musician and web editor. My writing has featured in Jazzwise, Classic Pop, Uncut, MOJO, The Guardian, musicvita.com, planetivy.com, sub.tv and London Jazz News. I was also Jazz FM’s web editor between 2010 and 2013.
I won the inaugural Jazzwise Write Stuff award for new jazz writing in 2003. I was Music Adviser on Mike Dibb’s Channel Four documentary Keith Jarrett: The Art of Improvisation and on the 2014 feature film Titus.
I wrote the CD liner notes for the 2006 album Vague Nouvelle by The James Hayes Quintet and have just written the notes for Tony Williams, Working Week, LA Express and Steve Khan reissues. My other website, movingtheriver.com, concentrates on the music and culture of the 1980s.
As a drummer, I’ve performed and recorded with many artists and bands including the Shez Raja Collective, Anthony Joseph and the Spasm Band, Planetman and the Internationalz, Billy Cobham, Jem Godfrey, Moke, Scott Stroman and Jean Toussaint. I also play bass and guitar and I co-wrote two tracks on Silver Sun’s 2006 album Dad’s Weird Dream. Check out my Soundcloud artist page and drumming profile.
Favourite writers: Ian MacDonald, Tom Hibbert, Pauline Kael, Martin Amis, Harold Pinter, Bruce Robinson, Gary Giddins, Nick Kent, Kevin LeGendre, Anthony Neilson, Chris Morris
Favourite books: ‘Indecent Exposure’ by David McLintick, ‘Smoking In Bed‘ by Alistair Owen/Bruce Robinson, ‘Songwriters On Songwriting’ by Paul Zollo, ‘Who The Hell‘ by Tom Hibbert, ‘The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol And The American Writer’ by Thomas A Dardis, ‘Aja (33 1/3)’ by Don Breithaupt, ‘Easy Riders Raging Bulls’ by Peter Biskind, ‘The Complete David Bowie‘ by Nicholas Pegg, ‘The People’s Music’ by Ian MacDonald, ‘Visions Of Jazz‘ by Gary Giddins, ‘Thelonious Monk‘ by Robin DG Kelley
Favourite movies: ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Diner’, ‘Accident’, ‘This Is Spinal Tap’, ‘Sideways’, ‘The Player’, ‘Career Girls’, ‘Kes’, ‘The Long Goodbye’, ‘The Go-Between’ ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Performance’, ‘Walkabout’, ‘Don’t Look Now’, ‘Halloween’, ‘The Caretaker’, ‘The Sure Thing’, ‘The Apartment’, ‘Five Easy Pieces’, ‘Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia’, ‘Duel’, ‘Airplane’, ‘The King Of Comedy’, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, ‘Barton Fink’, ‘Withnail And I’, ‘Last Tango In Paris’ etc etc
Give me a shout, it’s always good to hear from you: