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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Peter King Quartet Live


Miles Music MMCD087



    1. Intro
    2. Sue’s Good News
    3. Footprints
    4. Soul Eyes
    5. Search for Peace
    6. In A Monochrome
    7. Inner Space
    8. Joshua

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.

Don Mather


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