Influenced in many directions, from Rock (his brother, Alan) Song (his sister, Bet) and a broad spectrum of Jazz (his brother, Paul) and a little later delving more into the Classical tradition, Mike has become noted for his ability to be creative in a number of musical settings.
Mike has performed and recorded with Steve Swallow, Dave Holland, Steve Rodby, Palle Danielson, Arild Anderson, Gabriella Swallow, Peter Erskine, Adam Nussbaum, John Marshall, Bob Moses, Mark Walker (Oregon) Bill Frisell, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Anthony Braxton, Vince Mendoza, Mike Gibbs, Mark Anthony Turnage, Tal farlow, Palle Mikkelborg, Mica paris and Norma Winstone.
He toured Europe and the States and recorded two albums with the George Russell ‘Living Time’ Orchestra with whom he was a member for 18 years.
In May 2008, Mike released his debut album ‘Madhouse and the Whole Thing There’ to wide critical acclaim. It features strings, French horn, piano, brass section and vocals etc. Also, in 2008, Mike was commissioned to write some music for Manchester Jazz Festival. He wrote a Suite called ‘Ropes’ which featured a 22 piece Orchestra and Jazz quintet, with the great Adam Nussbaum on drums. The Suite was performed at the RNCM in Manchester to a packed theatre and received a standing ovation. Mike has recorded an album of ‘Ropes,’ which will be released in Autumn 2017.
He’s also been writing for a new group he co-leads with a brilliant British Piano Player, Gwilym Simcock, called ‘The Impossible Gentlemen’ which also features the fantastic pairing of Adam Nussbaum (Again!!) and Steve Swallow. They tour extensively in Europe and the UK and have just recorded their 3rd album ‘Let’s Get Deluxe’ (the first, which received wide critical acclaim entitled ‘The Impossible Gentlemen’ came out in 010… The 2nd entitled ‘Internationally Recognised Aliens’ was released in the spring/Summer of 013, produced by Pat Metheny’s Bass Player, Steve Rodby who is now also resident Bass player).
He has just (April, 2017) recorded an album with the Violinist Thom Gould and Gwilym Simcock on Piano for an Austrian Composer, Johannes Berauer.
Mike is currently writing pieces for a contemporary classical/jazz collaboration based on improvisations in rehearsal workshops that have been set up by a contemporary music ensemble called Psappha who are based in Manchester.
Mike runs various Guitar/Improvisation Schools in Andalucia, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Wales and the Lake District for Beg/int and Int/Adv. He also runs The Music Place Summer School in Altrincham with his friends Piano player, Les Chisnall and newest Gents member, Sax and Keyboard player, Iain Dixon.
He won the Glasgow Jazz Festival ‘Best Individual Player Award’ in 1995.
He also won the ‘Best Band’ Parliamentary Jazz Award as part of ‘The Impossible Gentlemen’ in 2013.
He was Nominated for ‘Best Individual Soloist’ for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2014.
He was also nominated in 2016 as part of the contemporary jazz ensemble ‘Printmakers’.
He received a Fellowship award from the Arts Council Of England for composition.