Brighton is buzzing. ‘The Verdict’ had a great atmosphere and it was full of people. I liked the lighting and remember the pictures of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker on the walls. There are pictures of jazz albums on the tables. The beer is good. I shook hands with Dennis, then went downstairs.
I really enjoyed the whole band: they played smooth jazz. Karen was a good saxophone player. Karen talked to me in the interval; she was nice. She asked me if I had played any percussion, and invited me to play with them sometime. Her advice to young sax players was: “Have fun! The main thing is the music”
I enjoyed the up tempo tracks, and the drum and double bass solos. The piano playing went well with the saxophone.’
During the interval I interviewed Karen
1.Who has been your main influence?
Stan Getz.. I like all sorts of players but I often like to come back to him. I also listen to other musicians. I love Bill Evans and Miles..
- Who has inspired you?
The musicians I work with.. Anyone who works hard and is focused.
- Who is your favourite saxophone player?
I like lots of players of different instruments but Stan Getz and Sonny Rollins (tenor)
Pepper Adams and of course Mulligan (Bari).
And trumpet player?
- When did you start to play saxophone?
In my late 20’s… When I was young I played clarinet and piano.
- Where did you meet your band?
In Manchester, I listened to Nikki and Dave there.. I studied in Manchester Royal Northern. I studied music composition..
- What is your favourite track?
This is a really hard question.. but if I need to choose..all the tracks off Sonny Rollins Album, The Bridge.
- Where did you record your new album?
I recorded it last summer, in a new studio in London. We chose it because it had a beautiful piano.
- What would be your advice to a new sax player/musician?
My main advice would be to keep it fun and not take yourself too seriously. Have fun and play with other people.
(Photo credit: Mike Strutt)