It was a long journey, but here is a very short summary, as far as the story goes...
Many years ago, I was still not much taller than the kitchen table, I asked my parents for a drum kit, but they decided that I should be given a trumpet instead. Undeterred, I persuaded my younger brother to go halves on a drum kit, which we smuggled into our house over a couple of years on account of only being able to afford to buy one drum or cymbol at a time. Unfortunately, as a trumpet player, I was later coerced into the school orchestra, but managed to find enough time to form a rock group at school. I continued to play during my university years - Happy days until I left home and acquired neighbours.
So, out went the kit - the trumpet had been jacked in years before - and I just got on with my life for 15 years or so, until I set eyes on a friend's saxophone, when it was love at first sight. I bought myself an Alto and, after an embarrassing week on a residential jazz sax course ("Who needs lessons when you have natural talent?"), I took lessons with a truly fantastic sax player/ teacher (Chris Pyne - awesome dude, total respect), who told me when I asked him how he made such a fantastic sound, "[Glasshopper], you must use air in whole room". Six months of blowing my horn into the corner of the room, listening to the different noises coming from it, only some of which possessed any trace of musicality, and I understood finally: "Master, I can now hear what could not be heard before...". Truly a Zen Master at work.
I later moved to Tenor, and played most types of music from jazz/swing to concert bands with anyone who will have me, but always wanting to get back to playing music I like to listen to. Home life was the sound of Sinatra and West Side Story, but my formative years were spent discovering girls to the sound of Motown, Soul and Disco. After playing for about 10 years, I auditioned for a soul band and have been gigging ever since for the last 15 years.
I have gigged and jammed with bands playing jazz, funk, soul, rock, blues, reggae and now Ska, with Scooted n Booted. I have also had the pleasure of supporting Madness, Neville Staple, the Specials, the Two Tones.
I am in awe of (and saw live in concert) the late, great Michael Brecker, and love the riffs that Courtney Pine plays.
Long live music x