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Lemer, Peter Quintet: Local Colour [VINYL] (ESP)

Originally released in 1968, British pianist Peter Lemer's sole album as a leader is a quintet record of seminal free jazz players--George Khan on tenor sax, John Surman on reeds, Tony Reeves on bass, and John Hiseman on drums--all influenced and involved in both free jazz and jazz fusion like Gilgamesh, Colosseum, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, &c.

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product information:

UPC: 825481105712

Label: ESP
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 1057LP
Squidco Product Code: 25452

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded in London, England, in 1966.


Peter Lemer-piano

George Khan-(aka Nisar Ahmad Khan) tenor sax

John Surman-baritone sax, bass clarinet, soprano sax

Tony Reeves-bass

John Hiseman-drums

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track listing:


1. Ictus 6:52

2. City 7:38

3. Flowville 7:30


1. In The Out 9:20

2. Carmen 10:35

3. Enahenado 2:50
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Quintet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"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."-ESP-Disk

Artist Biographies:

"Peter Naphtali Lemer (born 14 June 1942) is an English jazz musician. He worked with the Pete Lemer Quintet, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Annette Peacock, Harry Beckett, Gilgamesh, Baker Gurvitz Army, Seventh Wave, Harry Beckett's Joy Unlimited, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Mike Oldfield Group, In Cahoots, Miller/Baker/Lemer. He currently works with In Cahoots, Peter Lemer Trio/Quartet, Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia, and the Peter Lemer-Billy Thompson Quartet and Duo.

Peter Lemer was born in London, England. He studied piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music with Sven Weber and John Gardner, privately with Thomas Rajna, and then at workshops in London run by Jack Goldzweig (who had himself co-coached in New York with Mal Waldron and John Mehegan). Lemer then went to New York to study double bass with David Walter, attended workshops run by Bill Dixon, and studied piano with Jaki Byard and Paul Bley.

In 1965, he formed a trio with John Stevens and Jeff Clyne, which opened the Little Theatre Club. In 1966, he formed the Peter Lemer Quintet, with Jon Hiseman on drums, George Khan on tenor sax, John Surman on baritone sax and Tony Reeves on bass. This band successfully played a season at Ronnie Scott's and helped to pave the way for the British free jazz movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, along with the Mike Taylor trio. It cut one LP, Local Colour which was engineered by Eddie Kramer.

In 1969, Lemer worked with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, an experimental jazz group.

In that year, he also joined Barbara Thompson. The relationship developed into Barbara forming Paraphernalia with husband Jon Hiseman. Paraphernalia became the most frequently performing jazz-oriented group in Europe, and Peter was keyboardist for most of the years right up to the present, including 10 albums recorded live or at Barbara and Jon's Temple Music Studios.

In 1974, Lemer joined Gilgamesh and played several gigs and some BBC sessions. He subsequently became an in-demand session player.

In 1974, he joined Ken Elliot's Seventh Wave, a pioneer synthesiser-based rock band, appearing on their second album, Psi-Fi.

In 1975, he joined Ginger Baker, Mr Snips, and The Gurvitz brothers in the 'Baker Gurvitz Army' - recording 'Elysian Encounter' .

In 1976, he joined Jan Dukes de Grey briefly to record their final album, Strange Terrain. Although the album was recorded in 1976, it was only released in 2010.

In 1979, Lemer joined Mike Oldfield's fifty piece touring band as one of two keyboard players. This led to him guesting on Moerlen's album Time is the Key.

Lemer has done much recent work with the band In Cahoots. With them, he played on the album Cutting Both Ways (1987) and toured Europe. He joined the band Paraphernalia in 1987 and played on the albums A Cry from the Heart (1987), Everlasting Flame (1993) and Shifting Sands.

Lemer again worked with In Cahoots. He played on the album Digging In (1991) and rejoined the band permanently in 1995. After two In Cahoots tours, Lemer devoted 1999 to touring with Paraphernalia in support of the album they had recently released. Paraphernalia is not currently touring while Barbara Thompson is fighting Parkinson's Disease.

Lemer's most recent albums include Players of Games recorded with Billy Thompson, Looking for Soup, All That with In Cahoots, and Never Say Goodbye recorded with Paraphernalia.

He is now coaching piano, improvisation, music technology. He also plays with the Spanish Harlow Orchestra.

He is also actively involved in lobbying to end global hunger and participates as Group Leader with Results UK, the premier UK citizen advocacy group to eradicate poverty globally."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"George Khan -- also sometimes credited as Nisam Ahmed Khan -- is a multi-instrumentalist who has been part of the British music scene since the late '60s. He'd actually been active in music a lot longer, but didn't get his first credit on a recording until he was asked by his longtime friend, poet Pete Brown, into the lineup of what became the Battered Ornaments. Brown also credits Khan with steering him to a relatively unknown guitarist named Chris Spedding, who eventually also became the new leader and lead singer of the group in 1968. Khan was best known as a reed man, and he played saxophone on that first album, A Meal You Can Shake Hands with in the Dark, but for the reconstituted group's second album, he also sang and played the flute, and by the time he joined Solid Gold Cadillac, he was playing keyboards also, and he subsequently played with Brown and his new group, Piblokto, on My Last Band. He also recorded with the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Robert Wyatt. Khan was most busy on recordings during the 1970s."

-All Music (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"John Douglas Surman (born 30 August 1944) is an English jazz saxophone, bass clarinet, and synthesizer player, and composer of free jazz and modal jazz, often using themes from folk music. He has composed and performed music for dance performances and film soundtracks.

Surman was born in Tavistock, Devon. He initially gained recognition playing baritone saxophone in the Mike Westbrook Band in the mid-1960s, and was soon heard regularly playing soprano saxophone and bass clarinet as well. His first playing issued on a record was with the Peter Lemer Quintet in 1966. After further recordings and performances with jazz bandleaders Mike Westbrook and Graham Collier and blues-rock musician Alexis Korner, he made the first record under his own name in 1968.

In 1969 he founded the well-regarded and influential group The Trio along with two expatriate American musicians, bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin. In the mid-1970s he founded one of the earliest all-saxophone jazz groups, S.O.S., along with alto saxophonist Mike Osborne and tenor saxophonist Alan Skidmore. During this early period he also recorded with (among others) saxophonist Ronnie Scott, guitarist John McLaughlin, bandleader Michael Gibbs, trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, and pianist Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath.

By 1972 he had begun experimenting with synthesizers. That year he recorded Westering Home, the first of several solo projects on which he played all parts himself via overdubbing. He recorded his final album with Mike Westbrook, Citadel/Room 315 in 1975.

Many of the musical relationships he established during the 1970s have continued to the present. These include a quartet with pianist John Taylor, bassist Chris Laurence, and drummer John Marshall; duets and other projects with Norwegian singer Karin Krog; and duets and other projects with American drummer/pianist Jack DeJohnette.

His relationship with ECM Records has also been continuous from the late 1970s to the present, as Surman has recorded prolifically for the label playing bass clarinet, recorders, soprano and baritone saxophones and using synthesisers, both solo with a wide range of other musicians.

In recent years he has composed several suites of music that feature his playing in unusual contexts, including with church organ and chorus (Proverbs and Songs, 1996); with a classical string quintet (Coruscating); and with the London Brass and Jack DeJohnette (Free and Equal, 2001). He has also played in a unique trio with Tunisian oud-player Anouar Brahem and bassist Dave Holland (Thimar, 1997); has performed the songs of John Dowland with singer John Potter formerly of the Hilliard Ensemble; and made contributions to the drum and bass album Disappeared by Spring Heel Jack.

Other musicians he has worked with include bassist Miroslav Vitous, bandleader Gil Evans, pianist Paul Bley and Vigleik Storaas, saxophonist (and composer) John Warren, guitarists Terje Rypdal and John Abercrombie and trumpeter Tomasz Stańko."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Anthony "Tony" Reeves (born 18 April 1943, New Eltham, South East London) is an English bass guitarist/contrabassist, noted for his "extremely prominent and complex bass sound" and use of electronic effects.

As a teenager Reeves learned orchestral double bass and played in local jazz-oriented groups (also sometimes the Wes Minster Five) with Colfes Grammar School, Lewisham schoolmates, Dave Greenslade and Jon Hiseman; Reeves and Hiseman would later record with John Mayall on the album Bare Wires and then go on to form Colosseum.

Keen on jazz, Reeves played in the New Jazz Orchestra and had learned many standard songs. He worked in the music industry for several years, first in the quality control department of Decca Records listening to output that ranged from medieval classical music to Chubby Checker, after four years becoming assistant producer to Tony D'Amato, then briefly a record plugger for Pye Records. In late 1964 he suggested for Pye release, and played on, the instrumental UK hit Sounds Orchestral's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind". He became assistant to Tony Hatch at Pye before leaving to become a freelance producer for CBS and Polydor and creative director of the Greenwich Gramophone Company. He also recorded with the Mike Taylor Quartet on the album Pendulum in 1965 and with Davy Graham on Folk, Blues and Beyond and Midnight Man in 1966.

Shortly afterwards Reeves took up electric bass, just before Hiseman recommended him to Mayall. After two albums with Colosseum he left to concentrate on session work and production, working with the Woods Band, Sandy Denny (The North Star Grassman and the Ravens), Paul Kent, John Martyn (Bless the Weather), Day of Phoenix and Burning Red Ivanhoe from Denmark, and Chris DeBurgh. In 1972 he rejoined Dave Greenslade and formed the band Greenslade. Reeves remained with the band until 1974, recording three albums with them. In 1973 he played on Mike Taylor Remembered, a tribute to the musician, with Neil Ardley, Jon Hiseman, Ian Carr, Barbara Thompson and other major modern British jazz players. Subsequently he played with Curved Air and in jazz band called Big Chief, with former Colosseum saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith. He still plays with Big Chief, Blue Amba and The Warthogs, and plays double bass at The Constitution pub in Camden Town (Davy Graham's local) every other Tuesday in the Cellar Bar where he met Members Multi-Instrumentalist and song-writer JC Carroll with whom he performs and records sporadically, they recorded a live album on their first show together in ascot. here is a snippet of them They are understood to be working on an extended raga called looking for gold and an acoustic album.

Reeves is also head of the British sound technology firm MTR Professional Audio, in business for almost 30 years."

-Tony Reeves Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Philip John "Jon" Hiseman (born 21 June 1944 in Woolwich, London) is an English drummer, recording engineer, record producer and music publisher.

In the mid-1960s Hiseman played in sessions such as the early Arthur Brown single, "Devil's Grip". In 1966 he replaced Ginger Baker in the Graham Bond Organisation and also played for a brief spell with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. He then joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in 1968 playing on the iconic album Bare Wires. In April 1968 he left to form what has been critically claimed as the "seminal" jazz rock/progressive rock band, Colosseum. Colosseum disbanded in November 1971, although Hiseman later formed Colosseum II with Don Airey and Gary Moore in 1975.

Between these two versions of Colosseum, Hiseman formed the band Tempest with Allan Holdsworth, Paul Williams and Colosseum bandmate Mark Clarke. Ollie Halsall joined the band temporarily making the band a quintet but Holdsworth left the group along with Williams, leaving Halsall to handle all guitar and vocal duties.

Hiseman has subsequently played in jazz groups, notably with his wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, with whom he has recorded and produced fifteen currently available albums. Andrew Lloyd Webber, searching for a "sound" for an album to feature his brother Julian on cello, stumbled upon Colosseum II by accident and imported the whole band into his "Variations" project. This was the start of a ten-year relationship with Hiseman, whose drumming features on recordings, TV specials and musicals.

In 1982 Hiseman built what was at the time a state-of-the-art recording studio next to his home, and together with the compositional skills of Barbara Thompson produced many recordings for film and television soundtracks. Hiseman is a founding member of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, a German-based "Band of Band Leaders", along with Barbara Thompson.

Colosseum reunited in June 1994 with the same line-up of musicians as when they broke up 23 years earlier. They played the Freiburg Zelt Musik Festival and followed it up with a German TV Special (WDR Cologne) in October, which was recorded and released as a CD and a VHS video; a DVD version followed in 2003. Several new studio releases also followed, as well as expanded editions of Valentyne Suite and Colosseum Live, plus several compilation boxed sets.

Barbara Thompson joined the band on various occasions before the death of Dick Heckstall-Smith in 2004 and is now a permanent member of the band, which continues to record and, from time to time, tour the German-speaking territories.

In October 2010, a biography of Jon Hiseman, entitled Playing the Band, was published. It was written by Martyn Hanson and edited by original Colosseum manager, Colin Richardson."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

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