PETER KING, in the words of one critic, “is the finest alto saxophonist that Britain has ever produced, and one of the finest in the world today” (Dave Gelly, ‘The Giants Of Jazz’, Aurum Press, 1986). He has been a major influence on the British Jazz scene ever since he played (at the age of eighteen!) the opening of Ronnie Scott’s Club, London’s internationally famous Jazz Mecca. “Had Scott’s Club died overnight and been heard of no more, it could still have justified its existence by pointing to a discovery like Peter King.”(Benny Green, ‘Jazz Decade, Ten Years At Ronnie Scott’s’, King’s Road Publishing Ltd 1969) ” A wonderful musician, Peter King is a master of his instrument. People are aware of that here in America as well as in England” said Elvin Jones in Jazz U.K. magazine Sept 2001. “Peter King is one of the best musicians in the world.” (Lalo Schifrin)
On this tour Peter is accompanied by a crack Irish band of Myles Drennan on piano, Mick Coady bass and Stephen Keogh on drums.
Although he now concentrates on his work as a solo artist and with his regular Quartet, Peter has worked with such legends as Bud Powell, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Milt Jackson, Lalo Schifrin, Frank Foster’s ‘new’ Count Basie Band and the Ray Charles Orchestra. He has also recorded with Hampton Hawes, Al Haig, Philly Joe Jones, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, and many others, including Red Rodney, who said this of Peter. “He’s got that natural growl in his playing – yet he’s soft and beautiful when he wants to be.” Peter has also worked with many great singers such as Ernestine Anderson, Joe Williams, Anita O’Day, and made albums with Dakota Staton, Jon Hendricks, and Jimmy Witherspoon. He has also accompanied artists as diverse as Tony Bennett, Marlene Dietrich, Eatha Kitt, James Brown and Lauren Bacall. King is also known for his recorded work with the pop group, ’Everything but the Girl’ and as featured soloist and Musical Director of the Charlie Watts Quintet. Peter can also be seen in films such as ‘Blue Ice’ starring Michael Caine and ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, starring Mat Damon and directed by the Oscar winning Anthony Minghella. Peter can also be heard playing on Mike Figgis’ film ‘Time Code’ particularly over the opening titles.
As a featured performer, Peter has long been a favourite of European jazz festival audiences, including, in France at Marciac with Phil Woods, Bobby Watson, Cedar Walton, and Victor Lewis; in addition to festivals in Nice, Paris, etc: in Belgium, Comblain le Tour, Liege, Bilzen, and Gouvi, Spain Bilbao, San Sabastian, etc, Finland, Pori, and Norway Molde, as at Pori, with John Hicks and Idris Muhammad. Peter has been a special guest of Lalo Schifrin with various Symphony Orchestras at concerts in Germany, Switzerland and Finland and joined him in Israel for concerts in January 2000 with the Israeli Philharmonic. There have also been several appearances at the Berlin Jazz Festival, including a concert with Phil Woods and Jackie McLean. Phil was a special guest with Peter’s Quintet at the Glasgow Festival, and Johnny Griffin joined him in a special appearance at the Cork Festival (Ireland). The latter featured a string section for which Peter did all the writing. Additionally, Peter was the only non-American artist invited to perform at the Gem Theatre in Kansas City during a week of celebrations in honour of Charlie Parker in March 1999.