Phil Best – Performing & Recording Artist – pianist, singer & composer based in London, SW6, Hammersmith / Fulham border
I love to tell inspiring stories with music. Using highly-developed fluent musicianship skills, I create original, powerful and accessible music that communicates with unusual directness and clarity, fusing Jazz, Soul, Classical, Post-minimal and Pop influences.
Whether improvising – composing in real time, as I prefer to say – or interpreting composed music, I love to play live, even when recording! This genuinely spontaneous approach makes the music particularly vivid, emotionally connected and passionate. I have no interest in contrived music that attempts to be clever, cool or inscrutable but choose only to offer music that gives people real solace or catharsis. Live music, when created with true spontaneity and fluent skill in an intimate space, has tremendous power to move, inspire and even transform.
I champion amazing new physical modelling technology that accurately recreates the extraordinary power and majesty of a wide range of modern, historic and futuristic pianos using only a small but wonderful stage instrument, a powerful laptop and an excellent speaker system.
Above all, I aim to make music that is fresh and exciting, that communicates a real depth of feeling yet is always inclusive, unpretentious and powerfully honest, whether complex or simple, dazzling or disarming.
I currently have two projects as an artist with more in the pipeline.
Solo piano project in classical, post-minimal and colouristic jazz styles, featuring my own dramatic, atmospheric and richly coloured pieces and improvisations, alongside repertoire by the classical composers – Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, Bach, Rachmaninov Beethoven etc. – played in a fresh & accessible way, on historic, contemporary and futuristic pianos using exciting new technology.
I have released 4 solo piano albums: Inside stories – an album of improvisations; an album of Mozart piano music; an album of piano music by Liszt and Ravel and another improvised piano album called Freshly Squeezed
I’m currently working on a new album called Nocturnes 1, featuring some of Chopin’s Nocturnes together with my own. I will be releasing it in the Autumn. To help pay for the release, I plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign shortly which will have some interesting incentives in exchange for pledges. I will also be doing at least one concert leading up to its release.
Jazz/soul project featuring sweet, soulful vocals, intricate piano, warm, dusky electric pianos and all manner of sounds played on the keyboard or the extraordinary Roli SeaBoard.
The style is nostalgic yet original with a very subtle but still powerful emotional connection: whether smooth, funky, chilled or quirky, it is always full of rich melodies and delicious juicy harmonies.
I will be publishing more YouTube and SoundCloud tracks soon and aim to release a full album, early next year.
Music is like nature: the elements are familiar yet the scene is always different and it fills us with awe & wonder.
Improvising is like walking in nature: I don’t devise beauty, I discover it!
Piano Teacher & Lessons in Music Theory, Composition & Practical Musicianship
I teach piano using my own clear and simple model of how music works rhythmically and tonally on the keyboard. This innovative and endlessly fascinating approach to piano tuition promotes genuine musical fluency and a natural, strong and flexible technique in the fingers and arms supported by the whole body and mind. Find out more about the PlayPianoFluently training system…
I trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and have over 25 years’ experience teaching piano. My highly innovative but gimmick-free approach provides a solid foundation for piano students to explore all genres and styles of music – classical, jazz and rock and pop etc. In piano lessons, we work on real musical skills such as improvisation, playing by ear and fluent sight-reading. Once a solid foundation in fluent musicianship is established, we can then work on repertoire of the student’s own choice and if desired, prepare for ABRSM piano and jazz piano examinations, which are very easy to pass, once you are fluent.
Singing Teacher, Voice Coach, Accompanist & Performance Coach
I have been providing singing lessons and vocal coaching for over 2 decades and have developed a powerful and innovative model for training vocal musicianship. My approach to singing teaching is first to train the student to release their natural voice, by opening the space in the vocal tract in a way that suits your particular voice type and to support the freely resonating tone with energised breath from the body. This provides a healthy voice with a natural expressive quality, strength, stamina, flexibility and an excellent vocal range in terms of pitch and dynamics. In this natural, released state, the voice can easily reach high notes without strain and is capable of a full range of dynamics from a powerful belt to gentle soft tones.
We also work on vocal musicianship to gain excellent rhythm skills and tonal awareness, developing sought-after skills such as sight-singing and improvisation of melodies and harmonies. I am equally happy training voices for classical, jazz and pop/rock styles of music. We can study for ABSRM examinations, if desired.
As well as giving voice lessons, I also work as an accompanist-coach/repetiteur and have many years’ experience working with singers and instrumentalists of all types to develop their performance, presentation and communication skills and stage confidence. I am particularly interested in drawing out a musician’s authenticity, sensitivity and unique, natural musical personality. To do this I focus on rhythm, vocal or physical freedom and accessing a state of flow – a peak performance state of mental focus.
I also coach people to attain an optimal performance state, in many other areas such as business and education, to improve their presentation skills and general creativity/productivity. I am also extremely interested in meditation and personal transformation. To find out more about my coaching in these areas, you can visit my website ResonantFlow.com.
Composer, Arranger, Songwriter, Session Musician & Producer
As a fluent improviser, I compose and arrange music very quickly. My music covers a broad spectrum of genres: classical, jazz, soul, electronic pop, rock/pop and experimental. I can write to any brief and have an extensive back-catalogue which is constantly expanding. I can provide finished pieces or excerpts and loops as well as professionally-engraved scores and parts. I’m an experienced session musician on piano, keyboards and vocals, with extremely fluent sight-reading and improvisation skills. As well as being able to create music across many different styles, I also offer a full range of production skills including vocal harmonies and programming of electronic and sampled instruments – drums, strings and many others. You can visit my music library – JigsawMusic.com.