One of the most magical rooms I have ever entered was a dusty cubbyhole at the end of a corridor off Belfast’s High Street: Atlantic Records, windowless, smelling of cigar smoke and freshly opened record sleeves, the den of Ulster’s Doctor Jazz, the legendary Solly Lipsitz. My twin brother, Peter, and I went there in the mid-1950s when we were 16 or so. Schoolmasterly, unimpressed by our musical tastes, Solly recommended Louis Armstrong and His All Stars Play WC Handy. We bought it, and I was partially hooked. The pennies didn’t fully drop until some years later when, newly married, I bought from Solly a double album, Fats on the Air, a scintillating compilation of Fats Waller’s radio broadcasts. Thus began my adoration of Waller and jazz piano, especially stride and boogie-woogie.