COACH YORK, Drums
"...a fine musician and a potent presence on stage.", Kate Westbrook.
"...distinctive and assured...", Duncan Heining, Jazzwise.
"Coach is the beating heart of the band, and a master of the Art. Totally alive to what's going on around him, he knows when to lay back, when to pile on the pressure and when to take charge.", Mike Westbrook.
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I started playing at school in various prog rock bands, moving on to Art College and discovering funk and jazz. The Northampton scene where I grew up was heavy with R'n'b and trad jazz bands which was a useful training ground, and I then served a long apprenticeship grinding up and down the country with some reasonably well-known soul bands. The late seventies and early eighties saw the explosion of the 2-Tone scene in Coventry where I joined the Ska/Reggae band The Army, later The Resistance, sharing studios and promotion with the Specials, Selecter and Bad Manners, with modest success, and recorded a critically-acclaimed album with former members of the Goth band Bauhaus.
Modern jazz has always been a passion, and over the years I have worked extensively with most of the top names on the British Jazz scene, accompanying people like Peter King, Jim Mullen, Bill Le Sage, Don Rendell, Alan Barnes, Iain Ballamy, Mike Outram, Simon Spillett, Roger Beaujolais, Jean Toussaint and many others, along with visiting US musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Slim Gaillard and more recently Greg Abate and Benn Clatworthy.
I work regularly with the Craig Milverton Trio, the hard-grooving Organology, and can often be found backing the well-known vocalists Louise Parker, Maggie Reeday and Annika Skoogh, or accompanying the fine sax player Martin Dale. I'm often found with Steve Buckley, sax player and penny whistler from Loose Tubes, playing his compositions, and with whom I've had some great moments of free improvisation with Sam Richards and Pat Butterly. I am also the regular drummer in the Mike Westbrook Big Band, which has spawned the Very Small Brass Band featuring Dave Holdsworth on sousaphone.
I've also recently started playing with Jelly Roll - a dynamic blues trio featuring the legendary Julian Piper on guitar and vocals and Craig Milverton on the Viscount organ.
Here's a nice review from the International Guitar Festival recently.
A good review of Mike Westbrook's Uncommon Orchestra.
And here's an upbeat clip from a gig with Gilad Atzmon at the Blue Vanguard.
Photograph copyright Robert Elford
Pleased to endorse Murat Diril Cymbals
Have a listen to some Podcasts from the Blue Vanguard Jazz Club