Peter King – alto sax
Steve Melling – piano
Jeremy Brown – bass
Stephen Keogh – drums
Arnie Somogyi – bass (2,4 &7)
Peter King is one of the finest jazzmen that
the UK has ever produced; he can hold his own anywhere in the
world. If he had not decided to remain in the UK, he would by
now be right up in the big league, to my mind he is on a par
with Phil Woods as one of the greatest of all alto sax players.
Like Woods he started out as a Parker clone, but soon developed
into his own man carrying on the development of the music where
‘Bird’ left off. He has all the attributes in plenty, a great
tone, unbelievable technique, jazz feel like no one else and
a simply amazing skill for improvisation on any theme. On this
CD, a very good trio, in which pianist Steve Melling is exceptional,
backs him. The programme includes two of Steve’s original compositions
Sue’s Good News and In a Monochrome.
The CD was recorded in the Pizza express Jazz
Club in London in July and September of last year. The sound
is good and the balance between the instruments just right.
The longest track (15.34) is Footprints by Wayne Shorter, which
most people would not give high marks for melodic content, but
it does have a certain wispy appeal. It certainly inspires Peter
because this is a very fine track in deed. Soul Eyes is taken
at ballad tempo and again makes a good vehicle for the quartet.
Search for Peace is a McCoy Tyner composition; it features Steve
Melling on piano and the bass of Jeremy Brown, who produces
a superb tone on the instrument.
I enjoyed In a Monochrome greatly; Steve Melling
has not forgotten the value of melody in his compositions unlike
so many contemporary writers. The composition brings about the
best in everyone in the group. The last track Joshua a Victor
Feldman composition is made for Peter King and he is soon away
bustling his way through the material as only he can.
This is a very fine album and proves, if proof
were needed, that in the UK we have world class jazzmen, let’s
hope they get the recognition they deserve.