One of the more intriguing and versatile British musicians, Andy Sheppard has on occasion made a big impression in the United States. He did not start playing music until he was 19 and planning to go to art college; a listen to John Coltrane's recordings changed the direction of his life. Within three weeks Sheppard was playing in public, but quite a few years of scuffling followed as he learned his craft and developed his own sound. In 1986, Andy Sheppard won a jazz competition and was signed to the Antilles label which served as his breakthrough. Among his activities since then has been work with Gil Evans in France (1987), George Russell, and Carla Bley. Although he has led his own group, Sheppard's highest profile thus far has been his involvement in a trio recording (Songs With Legs) with Carla Bley and Steve Swallow.