|Country Of origin:||England|
b. John Howard Riley, 16 February 1943, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. Riley began playing piano at the age of six, although it was another 10 years before he began to play jazz. At university he studied under Bernard Rands at Bangor, North Wales (1961-66) gaining BA and MA degrees, then with David Baker at Indiana, adding M.Mus to his name in 1967. From 1967-70 he studied for his PhD at York University under Wilfred Mellers, who wrote a piece (Yeibichai) for symphony orchestra, scat singer and jazz trio that was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Frank Holder and Riley’s trio at the 1969 Proms. Riley had led a trio at Bangor, and later joined Evan Parker’s quartet. On his return from Indiana he formed a trio with Barry Guy (and sometimes Ron Rubin) and Jon Hiseman (also Tony Oxley and, later, Alan Jackson) and began writing for bands including the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the Don Rendell - Ian Carr Quintet.
At this time he also began to have his chamber and orchestral pieces performed in concert, and was a founder member of the Musicians’ Co-Operative. He has composed for Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra and the New Jazz Orchestra and played with Keith Tippett, John McLaughlin (who had also occasionally sat in with the late 60s trio), Jaki Byard, Elton Dean, the LJCO (being the featured soloist on their Double Trouble), Barbara Thompson, Oxley and many others. He has also taught at the Guildhall and Goldsmith’s schools of music in London and at the Center Of The Creative And Performing Arts in Buffalo. In the late 80s he began to release both old and new recordings on his own cassette label, Falcon Tapes. In 1990, he and Dean co-led a quartet of improvisers on a set of jazz standards, All The Tradition.~ Rovi