Sounds Visual Radio
Sounds Visual Radio
Episode 182: Mike Nock

Mike Nock is a widely respected New Zealand-born jazz pianist, currently based in Australia. Nock has played alongside artists like Yusef Lateef, Dionne Warwick, John Handy, and many others.

He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand and began studying piano at 11. He attended Nelson College for one term in 1955. By the age of 18, he was performing in Australia. In Sydney he played in The Three Out trio with Freddy Logan and Chris Karan who toured England in 1961 before Nock left to attend Berklee College of Music. 

He was a member of Yusef Lateef’s group from 1963 to 1965. During 1968–1970, Nock was involved with fusion, leading the Fourth Way band. The Fourth Way were early pioneers of electric jazz fusion, with Nock’s Fender Rhodes piano run through many mind-bending effects pedals including ring modulation. His 1971 MPS record, Between or Beyond, has become a cult classic of seventies jazz-funk.

After a few years, he became a studio musician in New York (1975–1985) and then returned to Australia.

His 1987 album Open Door with drummer Frank Gibson, Jr. was named that year’s Best Jazz Album in the New Zealand Music Awards.

In the 2003 New Year Honours, Nock was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to jazz. He currently lives in New South Wales where he taught at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music until 2018 and performs with his trio, big band, and various one-off ensembles. His compositions include orchestral music, woodwind / percussion ensembles, electronic / choral works etc., and have been recorded and performed by a range of jazz & non-jazz performers.

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