The 69-year-old musician and jazz club owner was found dead in his flat in Chelsea, west London, two days before Christmas.
His business partner Peter King, in a statement read to the Westminster Coroner's Court in central London, said his long-standing friend had been suffering from depression and had attempted suicide in the past.
Mr King, of Elstree, Hertfordshire, said: "He had had problems with his teeth and this had made it difficult for him to play his instruments."
The coroner's officer, Amber Cooke, said a post-mortem had been performed but further tests were necessary before a cause of death could be declared. The hearing was adjourned.