@ the Queen Elizabeth Hall
18 November 2011
Click an image to enlarge.
Born 11 of August in Kingston upon Thames, during
an air raid, Peter King had a few lessons on piano and violin during
his school years. However it was not until he took up the clarinet
at 15 that he decided to make music his life. Only three months
after getting his first clarinet, King was offered a job with the
local semi-pro Dixieland band and got an early grounding in the
history of jazz, from King Oliver to Charlie Parker, who inspired
him to change to alto-sax.
When he was only eighteen King played the opening
of London's famous Ronnie Scott's Club and, for a while was the
resident Quartet at the club. He was also voted “New Star”
1959 in the Melody Maker Jazz Poll and has been a major influence
on the British Jazz Scene ever since.
At only 21 years of age Peter King was invited
by the great and legendary genius Bud Powell to play with him at
the Blue Note in Paris. Even today this is one of his most memorable
experiences both musically and socially. As well as working with
many Big Bands including Maynard Ferguson, Tubby Hayes, StanTracey,
Jonny Dankworth, plus the great Ray Charles and the Brazilian legend
Hermeto Pascoal, King has accompanied many great show business stars.
During his long career he has worked with such people as James Brown,
Tony Bennet, Marlene Dietrich, Liberace, Lauren Bacall and countless
During the mid-sixties, King had his quartet at
Annie Ross’ club – Annie’s Room. He played regularly
with great singers such as Anita O’Day, Ernestine Anderson
and Joe Williams. During this time King gained an intimate knowledge
of the Blues and the real meaning of Soul which has never left him.After
leaving Annie's Room, King went on the road with Dakota Staton and
Jon Hendricks, both of whom had settled in the UK for a while. On
one memorable day he played on the steps of Saint Paul's Cathedral
in front of thousands of people at the memorial concert for Martin
Luther King. Sharing the honor were Jon Hendricks, Dakota Staton
and Philly Joe Jones.
With the arrival of the eighties King started to
build his career anew with the first of several albums under his
own name. He also started to tour extensively on the Continent,
especially in France where he acquired a lot of new fans. Over the
years King has played on many “Pop” sessions but the
most long lived collaborations have been with Ben Watt of “Everything
But The Girl” and with Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones.
King is a member of Charlie’s Quintet and apart from playing
in Japan, Brazil and the USA - including a sell-out week at the
Blue Note in New York - he has acted as musical director, composer,
and arranger on all of the quintet’s albums including Charlie’s
“Tribute To Charlie Parker” and the Billboard Chart
topping “Warm And Tender”. This coupled with his work
with Charlie and composer Michael Kamen on the film “Blue
Ice” starring Michael Caine, has added to his growing reputation
as a writer.
King continues to keep abreast of new developments
among the younger generation of British musicians and really thrives
on the challenge of working with such phenomenal talents as Julian
Josef and Mark Mondesir.