Peter King (saxophonist)
|Birth name||Peter John King|
11 August 1940|
Kingston upon Thames, England
|Genres||Jazz, trad jazz|
|Associated acts||Charlie Watts|
Peter King was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, on 11 August 1940. He took up the clarinet and saxophone as a teenager, entirely self-taught. His first public appearances were in 1957, playing alto in a trad jazz group at the Swan Public House, Kingston, in a group organised by trumpeter Alan Rosewell, with whom he worked at the Directorate of Overseas Surveys as an apprentice cartographer. After the performance, however, King made the choice of becoming a professional musician.
In 1959, at the age of 19, he was booked by Ronnie Scott to perform at the opening of Scott's club in Gerrard Street, London. In the same year he received the Melody Maker New Star award. He worked with Johnny Dankworth's orchestra from 1960–1961, and went on to work with the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Tubby Hayes, Harry South, and Stan Tracey, the Brussels Big Band, and the Ray Charles band on a European tour.
He has also played in small groups with musicians such as Philly Joe Jones, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Red Rodney, Hampton Hawes, Nat Adderley, Al Haig, John Burch, Bill Watrous, and Dick Morrissey, Tony Kinsey, Bill Le Sage and singers such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Williams, Jon Hendricks, and Anita O'Day. King appeared on the soundtrack of the 1969 film The Italian Job. He is a member of Charlie Watts' Tentet.
In 2005 he recorded the album Janus with the Lyric String Quartet, a work influenced by the music of Bartok and commissioned by Appleby Jazz Festival organiser Neil Ferber with funding from BBC Radio3. In 2005 Peter King won the BBC 'Musician of the Year' award.
In 2012, King appeared in the documentary film, No One But Me, discussing jazz musician Annie Ross. He appeared in the movies Blue Ice and The Talented Mr. Ripley. In April 2011 he published his autobiography Flying High.
He is also a leading figure in the international aero-modelling world. He has competed successfully in major competitions and has written extensively about the subject. Among his other strong interests has been Formula One motor racing and his album Tamburello contains a three-part composition which presents a deeply felt tribute to the late Ayrton Senna.
Peter King plays a monthly residency at the 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea
- 1981: In Hoagland by Hoagy Carmichael/Georgie Fame/Annie Ross
- 1982: Bebop Live (Spotlite)
- 1982: New Beginning (Spotlite)
- 1983: East 34th Street (Spotlite)
- 1984: Hi Fly (Spotlite)
- 1988: Brother Bernard (Miles Music)
- 1989: New Year's Morning '89 (Fresh Sound) with Tete Montoliu
- 1989: Crusade (Blanco Y Negro)
- 1989: Tippin' the Scales (Spotlite)
- 1994: Tamburello (Miles Music)
- 1996: Speed Trap (Ronnie Scott's Jazz)
- 1997: Big Blues by Jimmy Witherspoon
- 1998: Lush Life (Miles Music)
- 2002: Know Where You Are
- 2003: Footprints (Miles Music)
- 2006: Janus (Miles Music) (originally recorded 1997)
For other bands
- Peter King, Flying High: A Jazz Life and Beyond (autobiography). London: Northway Publications, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9550908-9-9
- Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, & Brian Priestley. Jazz: The Rough Guide. ISBN 1-85828-528-3
- Richard Cook & Brian Morton. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 6th edition. ISBN 0-14-051521-6