Born: March 25, 1959 Primary Instrument: Piano
The dynamism and exhilaration that defines solo jazz piano began with the great stride piano masters of the 20s and 30s. These innovators, such as Thomas 'Fats' Waller, James P. Johnson and Willie The Lion Smith, pioneered a style and shaped an era that was, and continues to be, the most comprehensive and joyful jazz piano style in history . . . the style known as Stride Piano.
As a teenager, I heard a recording of Fats Waller and was immediately captivated and inspired. I enrolled in traditional music lessons and amidst a conventional study of the classics, began picking out sections of the Fats Waller and James P Johnson recordings by ear....