You've sat behind the keyboards for a very diverse lot of musicians... From Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Paul McCartney and Bryan Ferry to Acoustic Alchemy. Can you give us a little perspective of how the experience has led you to where you are today?
I think it's made me a much more diverse musician and character than I would have been if I'd only specialized in one genre of music. I learned from both Dave Stewart and from Madness that entertainment and production, both live and in the studio, are very important to an audience. In the pop/ rock studio it's not so much about a great take of a performance from beginning to end. As a keyboard player it's more about creating the perfect musical parts or elements for the track - they are two very different approaches, both equally valid in their own right. My favourite quote from Dave Stewart - "why would they come and see your band?"
You call your jazz projects THE TERRY DISLEY EXPERIENCE, why is that?
It was actually a flippant remark by a bass player on my gig once when someone enquired as to the name of the band. We all thought it was hysterical at the time, but it stuck and these days I feel it does describe the group in that I am constantly changing tunes, always mixing it up and pulling rabbits out of the hat so to speak. I like to use different players and combinations, and to play new compositions with the group that they have never played at the shows. The audience feels involved when that happens. I'd like it to be an experience for them rather than just a jazz gig - where you never really know what's coming next.
Now that you've made tremendous inroads into Smooth Jazz as a solo artist, what's your plan to help move this genre of music forward?
That's a tough question as I don't have much optimism for the format to continue much longer as it is now. The audiences are dwindling, I think maybe because the same few acts play all the festivals and cruises and people are getting bored with the same thing all the time, especially in Smooth Jazz. Here comes 'so and so' jamming with 'so and so' once again. The programming of both live concerts and radio play seems to encompass maybe a dozen acts.
You're officially a Californian (transplanted from England), living in San Francisco, is this a long term commitment?
You bet! Just look at the weather back there.......
We notice that you play a lot of gigs... what's more fulfilling for you as an artist playing live or writing new music?
I think my Music works in many formats though I detest labeling music, in regards of Smooth Jazz I'm glad the format recognizes the musical integrity I love incorporating good musicianship into the music but I also like a good beat as well.
What thoughts or feelings does the term "Smooth Jazz" conjure up for you these days?
Both equally. I learn a lot each time I play live but I love creating new music in the studio. That's the most exciting point - the purest point - when you create it. After that it's all show business.
List three of your inspirations and three of your favorite new artists.
Inspiratios: George Duke, Duane Allman, Vladimir Horowitz.