Local Colour


ESP-Disk' present a vinyl reissue of Peter Lemer Quintet's Local Colour, originally released in 1968. British pianist Peter Lemer studied with Jaki Byard, Paul Bley, and Bill Dixon. 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 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. Surprisingly, Local Colour -- his debut recording -- is Lemer's only album as a leader. Recorded in London in 1966, 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 went on to notable achievements. This was sax great John Surman's recording debut; he is now arguably the premiere British jazz saxophonist. Chances to hear the also scintillating sax sound of the more obscure Nisar Ahmad Khan (AKA George 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 some may remember his appearance on Robert Wyatt's Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975) and his work with Cream lyricist Pete Brown and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Drummer Jon (then going by John) Hiseman had already established himself on the British jazz scene by co-founding the New Jazz Orchestra in 1964; two years after the Local Colour session he started jazz-rock band Colosseum, and he even collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the musical Cats. Bassist Tony Reeves had had a hit single in 1965 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. Together, they make a sort of inside/outside jazz that doesn't abandon themes and harmony but is still quite freewheeling when it wants to be. A seminal album of British avant-jazz. Personnel: Nisar Ahmad (George) Khan - tenor saxophone; John Surman - baritone and soprano saxophones , bass clarinet; Peter Lemer - piano; Tony Reeves - bass; Jon Hiseman - drums. Opaque red, 180 gram vinyl.