Tuesday 12 November 2013

Peter King - Carefree disintegration

Peter King - alto saxophone
Firstly, apologies for being off the pace for the past 3 weeks or so. I have been busy preparing the 'Art Jazzed Up' exhibition at the Shaw Gallery, Croydon. We launched the exhibition with a concert, amongst the musicians was Mike DiRubbo from NYC, a sparky lyrical alto player. Before I regale you with the story of an American in London here's one about another altoist, one much closer to home. Peter King, is the local lad with an international reputation and a discography of the highest artistic integrity.

Mike Gorman -
Twickenham Jazz Club (17/10/2013) was the stage for the Kingston born elder statesman and by George he was in fine form. However much you believe he is superhuman, it is apparent that he didn't fall into a cauldron of magic potion when he was young and stamina is now his only enemy. Here he was buoyant and colourful as he took to the stage for both the beginning of set 1 and 2. Yes the pallor of delicate translucent skin rides taught over his prominent cheek bones but the playing is engaging and succinct.

Kelvin Christiane -
Tenor Saxophone
Peter King spoke freely, announcing the tunes a little like an underground Tannoy or a mumbling teenager deep within a duvet. He did not need his rest though until the 4th tune of each set, when the strength of Kelvin Christiane's tenor came to support him. It was no surprise that Christiane added the exploding shoots to 'Joy Spring' along with recent collaborator Larry Bartley (The Arrival, KC023, Released Oct 2013) who was superb. Christiane's recent ailment, Mallet Finger did not crush his prowess, the mini splint kept his phalange in pert readiness.

Larry Bartley - Bass
Christiane and Bartley play different roles of course, the former, a nurturer, brings out the best in his fellow musicians while the latter simmers, smouldering in an introspective hot pool of intensity. With eyes often shut you feel he is about to blow like sulphurous geyser, and yet never quite does, containing his power in the that lithe frame of his.

Matt Home - Drums
Mike Gorman was a new face for me, in fact his upper reaches were so laid back his visage resembled Droopy in its lethargic stupor. In contrast Gorman's hands took on the life of an overdosing speed freak.

Matt Home on drums, often had his head bent down, occasionally his angular features rose to the audience with a stare that rattled even those in the darkest recesses of The Bloomsbury pub. The black dots of his eyes were penetrating and intense.

Along with a fresh 'Joy Spring' other tunes which brought the Twickenham Jazz Club to life were the second set's 'Lush Life' with a superb solo effort by Peter King and then as an ensemble the Wayne Shorter composition 'Footprints'. The last took the edges of a hard fought weekday, like a couple of whiskies in the dwindling hours. It was a tumbling feeling, a wonderful cascade as life disintegrated and deep within yourself you couldn't care less.

We cared though. We keep our local players close to our hearts.


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