I was not enthusiastic about the piano as a jazz instrument until I heard Bill Evans. He absorbed the music of the European composers Debussy, Ravel and even Brahms which he welded into his own very special jazz language. I embraced that almost immediately and even today he is still the most influential figure in my playing, not in a copying sense I hope, but in an inspirational way.
The other big influence must be Chick Corea, with his incredible variety of music over the years and of course his amazing playing. Also Miles Davies whose work has such a powerful emotional impact. Both these musicians had the ability to bring together other fine players and create exceptional groups, producing music of the highest quality.
I think of myself as modern, in the sense that modern means "now”. My compositions (though not in a classical form of course) are influenced quite strongly by twentieth century classical composers, also called Modern - Berg, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and more recently Richard Strauss.
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