Mike (Michael Anthony) Carr
Born - South Shields, Co. Durham, England
7th December 1937
ORGAN . PIANO
. ELECTRIC PIANO . BASS PEDALS . VIBES
The Emcee group was a quartet
called the Emcee Four at the start with Gary Cox on Tenor Sax and Malcolm Cecil
on Bass and Ronnie Stephenson on drums and Mike Carr on Piano and Vibes.They
played in the Basement of the Marimba Coffee House in Grey Street from Midnight
to about 3 in the Morning. Mike's Brother Ian returned four months later from
living in Italy and France and he joined the group. They played at the Downbeat
Club in Cariol Square from midnight till about 3 in the morning.every Saturday.
It was a great Club run by Mike Jeffreys who was later the Manager of the
Animals and Jimmy Hendrix. It was always packed with a great atmosphere, many
American Greats came there to sit in.
From 1963 to 1965 he worked in
Africa, after which he played organ in the Nighttimers, a group led by the
singer Herbie Goins. He performed frequently at Ronnie Scott's, principally as
an organist (1966-7), and later toured extensively with Scott's trio (1971-5),
making an appearance at Carnegie Hall, New York (1974) and a week-long
engagement at Buddy Rich's club. He also visited several European countries
with his own quartet (1975-7).
In the late 1970s and 1980s Carr
continued to work with his own ensembles, and also accompanied many
distinguished soloists. After forming a jazz-rock group, Cargo, in 1980, he
began to concentrate on producing and recording as well as performing and
has also been involved in commercial music recording in partnership with Robert
Ahwai - Ahwai Carr Productions. Their most notable commercials include Lean on
Me for the Bank of Ireland with a 'Bill Withers' vocal and a 'Nat King Cole'
version of Stay Sweet As You Are for Oil of Ulay.
Mike has led trios with such
artists as John McLaughlin, Dick Morrissey, Jim Mullen, Tony Coe, Pete King and
Bobby Gien. Among the many American artists he has worked with are Coleman
Hawkins, Don Byas, Buddy Tate, Dizzy Gillespie, Illinois Jacquet, Eddie Lockjaw
Davis, Art Taylor, Kenny Clarke, Johnny Griffin, Jimmy Witherspoon, Art Farmer,
Buddy De Franco and Sonny Payne.
He has toured
extensively, playing on the international stage in countries such as the USA,
Australia, South Africa, Mozambique, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy,
Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Holland and Belgium where he has
recently been conducting keyboard and vibraphone
On 20th July
1998 The Mike Carr Quartet appeared with vocalist Irene Reid at a unique
concert in France in Le Jardin du Jazz at the 9th Bayonne Jazz Festival. Apart
from Mike on organ, the rest of the Quartet consisted of Andy Panayi - flutes
and saxophones, Dave Cliff - guitar and Steve Brown - drums.
the festival Mike's Quartet were joined on stage by a longterm fan, the
American trumpet great, Brian Lynch who joined the band onstage for a
blistering rendition of the Gary Cox hardbop instrumental Lefty's
here to read about Mike's new Quartet
'Mike Carr's Blue Note Band' or here for
information about their debut album release.
cover photography on the website by Adrian Korsner. Visit Adrian's website at