Peter Lemer Quintet 'Son Of Local Colour'

With George Khan, John Surman, Peter Lemer, Tony Reeves & Jon Hiseman

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Tuesday 20 th February 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

See that amazing personnel list? All five of those musicians are scheduled to reunite for a special one-time concert on February 20, 2018 in Dean Street, to celebrate, ESP-Disk's reissuing of Peter Lemer's seminal 1966 album of British avant-jazz 'Local Colour' on vinyl. British pianist Peter Lemer studied with Jaki Byard, Paul Bley, and Bill Dixon, so his roots in jazz are strong. His lengthy and distinguished career has found him in a wide variety of settings. As an avant-garde jazz pianist, he recorded with Spontaneous Music Ensemble; in the jazz fusion realm, he was a member of Gilgamesh and Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia; as a progressive rock keyboardist, he played with Gong, Baker Gurvitz Army, the Mike Oldfield Group, Seventh Wave, and In Cahoots. Sideman credits include work with Annette Peacock, Harry Beckett, and more.

Photo of Peter Lemer by David Coxshall.
Photo of John Surman  by Ann Iren Odeby.

"...another ESP-Disk gem back from the massive archives of one of the finest labels in avant-garde jazz."

Forced Exposure

Surprisingly, Local Colour – his debut recording –is Lemer's only album as a leader. Recorded in London in1966, before jazz fusion or prog-rock even existed, it belongs in the collection of anyone who cares about the British jazz scene, and not only because of Lemer's talents. Everyone in this quintet wentonto notable achievements. This was one of sax great John Surman's earliest recordings; heis now arguably the premiere British jazz saxophonist, with a prolific and much- praised discography. Chances to hear the also scintillating sax sound of the more obscureGeorge Khan in a jazz context are much rarer, though near the end of 2017 Emanem released an excellent two-disc compilation of concert recordings and prog-rock fans may remember his appearance on Robert Wyatt's Ruth Is Stranger than Richard and his work with Cream lyricist Pete Brown and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Drummer Jon Hiseman had already established himself on the British jazz scene byco-founding the New Jazz Orchestrain1964; two years after the Local Colour session he started Colosseum, one of the most successful British jazz-rockbands, and he and Peter even collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the musical Cats. Bassist Tony Reeves had had a hitsingle in1965 with Sounds Orchestral ("Cast Your Fate to the Wind"); after a brief stint with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers,Reeves joined Hiseman in Colosseum; he was also a member of Greenslade and Curved Air in addition to session workwith Fairport Convention singer Sandy Denny and guitarist John Martyn. That's a whole lot of talent in the Peter LemerQuintet! Together, they make a sort of inside/outside jazz that doesn't abandon themes and harmony butis still quitefreewheeling when it wants to be. 

Band Lineup

George Khan (p.k.a.Nisar Ahmad) (tenor saxophone)

John Surman (baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet)

Peter Lemer (piano)

Tony Reeves (bass)

Jon Hiseman (drums)