An artist in his own right, Charlie is also available for sessions – touring and studio. In our opinion (and we’re not alone) one of the finest pianists and Hammond players out there, anywhere if you're after Blues, Jazz, or Great American Songbook. But he's not limited to those genres.
As a Memphis TN native, Charlie grew up immersed in jazz, blues, and old-school R&B soul. With a quick ear for melody as a child, his dad’s eclectic record collection soon became his favourite playground; later it would be his classroom – with faculty including Professors Mose Allison, Ray Charles, and Percy Mayfield.
Time spent studying English Literature at Tulane allowed Charlie to soak up the culture and music of New Orleans, especially the rich piano styles. Upon his return to Memphis, he was soon touring Europe and the US with blues legend Albert King, an experience that offered some valuable lessons on survival in the sometimes all-too-tough music business.
Lured off the road by a Memphis house gig on Beale Street, Charlie’s organ trio chops really began to take shape. At King’s Palace, he found he was free to do the songs and styles that resonated with him, including standards and torch songs. Better, he had a stage for showcasing his own great tunes,many of which wound up on his “Southbound” and “Who I Am” albums on Ben Sidran’s GoJazz label and more recently on “Flutter and Wow” on Memphis-based Archer Records.
Now living in the UK with wife Jacqui Dankworth, Charlie continues writing, touring and recording constantly. Recent shows have included the London Jazz Festival’s “Jazz Voice” at the Barbican, a live performance on BBC Radio 2′s “Friday Night Is Music Night” at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, a live broadcast on Jools Holland’s Radio 2 programme, and numerous other concerts throughout the UK and Europe.
Lush Life (Archer, 2012) is Charlie Wood’s first effort at documenting his long experience performing the Great American Songbook. Strayhorn’s classic title track is one of the finest examples of the often overlooked craft of songwriting in jazz. This album celebrates many of the great tunesmiths of jazz and 20th century popular music.