In Conversation With… is a new series of informal chats between a musician and another. Our inaugural conversation kicks off with academic, broadcaster and Radio 4 presenter of Thinking Aloud Laurie Taylor, in conversation with guitarist, composer John Etheridge.
Video will premiere on Tuesday 17th November, 8PM GMT as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2020. Stream will be free to watch but please consider supporting the club and the musicians during this time by clicking here to donate £3-5
John Etheridge cites his early influences as Hank Marvin, Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, John MacLaughlin. Unsuprisingly, his reputation reaches beyond the shores of the UK. Guitarist Pat Metheny described him as, “One of the best guitarists”. He is a prodigiously gifted and creative player whose approach to music can only be described as ‘eclectic’ as he refuses to accommodate or even acknowledge artificial musical boundaries. His range is well illustrated by his years of touring and recording with the iconic Stephane Grappelli while simultaneously doing likewise with the legendary jazz-fusion group, The Soft Machine. Etheridge is equally at home on acoustic and electric guitar and his willingness to engage with so many styles is matched by his ability to excel in any of them. He has played with John Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzie Gillespie, Herb Ellis, Mundell Lowe, Nigel Kennedy, Pat Metheny, Birelli Lagrene, Barney Kessel, Vic Juris and countless others.
Taylor’s profile as a ‘new’ style of sociologist at one point encouraged readers of Malcolm Bradbury’s novel The History Man to see him as the prototype of the main character Howard Kirk. Taylor said “…I was a sociology lecturer, and I was associated with leftwing politics, and I suppose that I had acquired some sort of reputation at York University for being a little bit wild and a little bit libidinous”. Besides being an eminent sociologist Taylor has had a long successful broadcasting career. Since 1998 he has presented Thinking Aloud on BBC Radio 4. Taylor is one of the last remaining embodiments of the old-school Radio 4 values of craft and intelligent enquiry. He retains a curiosity about the world, and a sense of mischief that keeps him fresh. Thinking Aloud is on Radio 4 Wednesdays at 4pm.