NEWS: Peter King 75th birthday gig held at the 606

Peter King at the 606.
Photo credit: Roger Thomas

Peter King's seventy-fifth birthday gig was held at the 606 on Saturday night. Roger Thomas was taking photographs, and the 606's Steve Rubie describes the occasion: 

After all Peter's recent trials and tribulations, it was a pleasure to welcome him to the Club with his quintet for a special gig to celebrate his 75th birthday. In conjunction with the celebration, we thought it would be appropriate to  treat the night as a small benefit gig for him as well.

He appeared with his regular 606 sparring partner, the brilliant Mornington Lockett on tenor sax, and, not surprisingly, an A-list rhythm section: Jim Watson-piano, Mick Coady-bass and US ex-pat Doug Sides on drums. Performing to a packed room of appreciative and focused listeners it's fair to say he played - as he always does - quite magnificently.

Peter King and Mornington Lockett at the 606.
Photo credit: Roger Thomas
From Peter King's flowing urgency in Victor Feldman's Joshua, to a unique solo interpretation of Billy Strayhorn's Lush Life it's quite clear that even in his sixth decade as a jazz musician, his remarkable technique and searing melodic vision remain undimmed. Mornington's own fluent and precise improvisations spurred him on, and a rhythm section which was clearly up to the task of keeping up with them both ensured that the evening was a delight.

It was also heartwarming and encouraging, not only to see so many people turning out to wish him well, but we actually had several people send us donations who couldn't even make it down.

This was a great night, honouring one of the UK's most eminent living jazz musicians.

The Peter King 75th birthday gig at the 606
L-R: Jim Watson, Peter King, Mick Coady,
Mornington Lockett, Doug Sides
Photo credit: Roger Thomas

LINK: Report of Peter King Benefit gig in June
Appeal for Peter King
Review: Peter King Quartet at Ronnie Scott's

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