Aliases: Michael Anthony Nock
Born: September 27, 1940 in Christchurch, New Zealand
Genres: Jazz, New Age
Styles: Fusion, Neo-Bop, Post-Bop, Jazz Instrument, Piano Jazz, Early Jazz
Mike Nock has long been one of the top modern jazz keyboardists to emerge from his part of the world. Nock began taking piano lessons from his father when he was 11. He began gigging four years later and at 18 moved to Australia. After heading a trio that toured England in 1961, Nock went to the U.S. to attend the Berklee College of Music. After a year he dropped out of school to be the house pianist at a Boston club and had opportunities to work with Coleman Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, Phil Woods, and Sam Rivers, among many others. Nock gained some recognition during his period as a member of Yusef Lateef's band (1963-1965). He led his own combos, gigged for a short period with the Jazz Messengers, and eventually moved to San Francisco, where he worked with John Handy. During 1968-1970 Nock was involved with fusion, leading the Fourth Way, a pioneer in the idiom. After a few years he became a studio musician in New York (1975-1985) and then returned to Australia, where he has been busy as both an educator (teaching at the N.S.W. Conservatorium of Music) and as a musician, occasionally revisiting the U.S. As a leader, Nock recorded as early as 1960 (Move, which was recorded in Australia) and has made records for Capitol (with the Fourth Way), MPS, Improvising Artists (in a band called Almanac), Laurie, Enja, Timeless, Tomato, ECM, DIW, Naxos Jazz, Birdland, and Jazzhead.
- Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)