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Peter King

Peter King

Peter King
@ the Queen Elizabeth Hall
18 November 2011

Click an image to enlarge.

Biography

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 others.

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.

Peter King & Geoff Gascoyne

Peter King & Geoff Gascoyne

Geoff Gascoyne

Steve Melling

Peter King Band

Peter King Band


Recommended
Listening

 

Peter King Quartet - Footprints Peter King Quintet - Speed Trap Peter King with the Philippe Briand Trio - Hi Fly Peter King, Martin Drew, Mornington Lockett, Jim Hart - Azule Serape

 

Further
Recommended
Viewing

Click Peter King's images below to see with Saxophone Summit, 2015,
or with the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, 2010,
or with Mornington Lockett, 2008,
or with Saxophone Summit, 2008...

Peter King with Saxophone Summit, 2015 (click to go to this page) Peter King with Lincoln Center Orchestra (click to go to this page) Peter King & Mornington Lockett (click to go to this page) Saxophone Summit (click to go to this page)

Go back to the London Jazz Festival 2011 home page.

 Go back to the jazz gallery.

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