Mike Ratledge


Mike was raised in a home where his parents would only allow classical music to be heard, so that genre became his first big influence
He learned to play classical piano, and then honed his skills by playing piano and clarinet duets with his friend and schoolmate Brian Hopper
Ratledge began playing jazz piano around 1963 – he was heavily influenced by “Free Jazz” pianist Cecil Taylor, but became a fan of, and was influenced by, jazz greats Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis
In 1966, he was asked to join British band SOFT MACHINE, which was an avant-garde jazz-rock combo. While it has had considerable personnel changes, the band still exists to this day
Ratledge was the only original member left by 1973 due to frequent band member changes (In fact, Andy Summers, guitarist for THE POLICE, was in the band briefly in 1968)
Mike built himself a recording studio intent on releasing solo material, but this never transpired
In November of ’73, Mike played on a major live performance for the BBC which featured the music of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells
In later years he would compose film scores, and do multiple projects with Karl Jenkins, another alumni of Soft Machine