Michael is a musician and composer best known for his jazz score in Richard Linklater’s 2008 Me and Orson Welles starring Zac Efron and Claire Danes. A self-taught guitarist and bass player, Michael studied piano and viola at the Centre for Young Musicians and Leeds College of Music.
His interest in improvisation led him to work aged 17 in Dick Heckstall-Smith’s band, Big Chief, and at the same time, he was mentored by the legendary African conga drummer, Reebop Kwaku Bah (Jimmy Cliff, Traffic, Rolling Stones). His first break came aged 20 when Ian Dury hired Michael to co-write and arrange his album Four Thousand Weeks’ Holiday, followed by projects including Scritti Politti’s Songs to Remember, Orange Juice’s Rip it up and Nina Hagen’s In Ekstase. Throughout the 1980s Michael wrote and performed with leading pop acts including teenybop idols, Curiosity Killed the Cat and UK hip hop progenitors Soul II Soul. He performed live and recorded in the studio with Sting, The Bee Gees, Mark Morrison and many others. He has also had a long association with Steve Winwood, touring with him in his seminal rock band, Traffic, in 1994 and afterwards becoming his Musical Director until 1999. In the 1990s Michael wrote songs with Teena Marie (Since Day One), The James Taylor Quartet (Sunshine of Your Smile), Patrice Rushen (Caravan) and DJ Wookie (Back Up, Back Up). His credits as a producer include the ‘rare groove’ club classic Try My Love by Lalomie Washburn, and co-producer of the JTQ album Supernatural Feeling and London funk band Push.
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The Long Way Home is a classic mainstream post-acid jazz recording with soul, R&B-funk and latin influences as well as that post-Mile Davis bluesy atmospheric cool, beloved of jazz-loving film scribes...it's certainly one to put you in the right mood before a big night out on the town. (Selwyn Harris - Jazzwise)
This has got instant appeal. And it’s over far too soon. With a melodic 1970s vibe to start with on the title track opener and Gerard Presencer’s bluesy horn commentary over a strong rhythm section of pianist McEvoy joined by Empirical bassist Tom Farmer and the Golden trio’s James Maddren this is the former musical director of Steve Winwood’s time to shine. (Marlbank - Jazz for the 21st century)