When did you start Djing?
1986 at the Wag Club in London. This was in the heyday of the jazz dance revival and it was a thriving scene based around DJs and live bands such as Team 10 and the Tommy Chase Quartet. I worked the main room with Andy McConnell and Baz Fe Jazz. Upstairs was Sylvester playing Latin and a young Gilles Peterson was just starting to get noticed.
What is it about thing the makes it interesting for you?
Collecting has always been a passion and the opportunity to share exciting music which has given me a lot of pleasure over the years is something I feel quite evangelical about! I like the fact that there is so much great music out there and that old tunes from decades ago can be rediscovered and enjoyed again (or for the first time!) I think jazz radio is alive and well and as relevant as it ever was.
What makes you decide to play a certain record during one of your sets?
I trust my judgment and apart from standard classic tracks, I tend to feature recent purchases and discoveries. However, sometimes a track will start me on a journey and although I don’t know exactly where it will end, I always know the next step! Music has a power that can connect people in a way that few other things can match.
What’s your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting traditions and sources?
Jazz is always evolving but I think the pioneers that developed the music deserve the utmost respect. For me it’s about playing the music as it was recorded and as it was intended to be heard. If you want to dance, tap your feet or just ponder the meaning of it all then fine. But listen to it, it’s so rewarding.