Who’s in the band? Part III

Meet James – pianist and Pimms fan

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Our pianist is better than yours. A natural on the piano, James can also toot the trumpet and bang the drums until his (and your) heart’s content. Always ready with a smile and a raunchy riff, James also teaches piano to all ages and abilities by day – keys really are at the core of all he does!

Here’s a little more on James, the man who puts the tinkle into the Trio…

How would your bandmates describe you in 3 words?

Mildly amusing, chilled (I hope!) and sexy.

Favourite thing about performing?

That it’s in the moment, and fresh things happen and you react to each other, and anything you play is new every time.

Best event you’ve ever played at?

I played at the event where the Olympic Torch went through my village. It was quite a few years ago, and was my first decent gig!

Favourite jazz song ever?

Skylark – lovely chords and a great melody.

Favourite jazz musician?

It’s hard to define ‘jazz’ musician, but it would be someone like Tigran Hamasyan maybe. Herbie Hancock if we’re talking more strict jazz.

Favourite thing about being the group?

I really enjoy our takes on rock/not jazz classics.

Favourite memory of being in the group?

We had a rehearsal quite recently where we were writing originals; one of the grooves we came up with was so fun to play!

One interesting fact about yourself:

For some reason, I used to learn lots of useless things, like the longest English and German words, and the longest place name in the world. My mind retains things pretty well!

Best time of year to be in the band and why?

I really don’t know…

What’s your favourite sound? (Musical or not! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!)

There are some really nice sounds on the Star Wars prequels; Obi-Wan gets shot at by Boba Fett (I think) with these weird explosion things that make cool sounds. Also, there was a funny sound on Age of Empires (I think) whenever you clicked on a unit.

Which events are your favourite to play at?

Relaxed pub gigs are great. When I’m relaxed, improvising in new ways comes easier, and Ben and I experiment more and have had some really fun hook-ups at those kinds of places.

4 dream dinner party guests (dead or alive!) and why:

Jesus: the single most influential man ever, and I’m a Christian…

Butch Taylor: he played the piano in the Dave Matthews Band, and I’d love to know what and how he thought about their music and chat about add4 major chords;

Joe Gatto: from a show called the Impractical Jokers (which everyone should watch!), and is a really really funny guy, seems genuine too;

Elon Musk: probably quite intense company and I would feel very inadequate, but I’m kind of obsessed with him, and I think he’s the most valuable human there is at the moment.

Do you enjoy performing any other genres of music?

I love folk music and singer-songwriter stuff, but don’t play it enough sadly!

If jazz music were an animal, which animal would it be?

Probably a hyperactive and slightly annoying dog. Sorry, jazz.

What do you love so much about jazz?

I love that it’s improvised; my favourite moments are when a band has an incredible hookup and you know it’s not been planned, and that moment is new for everyone. I love when people experiment with genre and mix jazz/improvisation into other sound worlds. Some of my favourite jazz isn’t really jazz…

How do you unwind after a gig?

Nothing too routine, but I really enjoy getting into bed and being by myself – performing by nature is pretty extroverted.

Any pre-gig traditions?

Actually, no!

If you’re keen to find the perfect jazz band for hire in Londonlisten to our sound or get in touch with Rosie at info@decaturstreettrio.co.uk to find out more and book.