He learned to improvise on the piano early in childhood. He attended North Texas State University, played with Woody Herman and got to know Pat Metheny with whom he built the Pat Metheny Group. Although he has his roots in jazz, he has studied classical music extensively. His work is based on piano improvisations, composing and orchestrating synth sounds that he blends together with jazz and classical phrasing to a broad spectrum of contemporary music.
Besides his interests in maths, chess playing and architecture (he designed his sister's house), he reads a lot.