What they say about Skid

Guardian Leeds review

About Alan generally

East to West shows Skidmore’s group confronting the hardest test of all – to take a trio of Coltrane tunes and find something new to say. They do. Richard Williams, The Times

This remarkable and exciting tenor player never fails to move and lift an audience.  Manchester Evening News

Of all the tenor players who have chosen to work within the Coltrane legacy, he is perhaps the most convincing. Brian Case, Melody Maker

 After three decades of liaisons with legends such as Herbie Hancock and Georgie Fame, Skidmore only really needs his smouldering saxophone to get us drooling. As usual he massages and then assaults our ears with the kind of heady, devotional jazz that gets even the non-smokers in the audience gagging for a cigarette. His set comprises music written by John Coltrane and the band is obviously at home evoking his slow-burning dreamscapes and his fiery crescendos.  As they strike up with Resolution you would swear that Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison and McCoy Tyner are in the room, so authentic are those swelling sheets of sound.  James Griffiths, The Guardian

With subtle British humour, Alan Skidmore concluded the Brit-Sax-Evenings at the Schmeide Club with a superb tribute to Coltrane. This is no light undertaking but anybody who came to the club heavy hearted would surely have gone home with their spirits lifted. Rheinische Post, Düsseldorf April 2003

About After the Rain

Of all John Coltrane’s tenor saxophone disciples, Alan Skidmore is the one who best understands the great man’s lyricism. For this eloquent set of ballads, he is accompanied by full orchestra and the lush setting complements his warm tone to perfection. Dave Gelly, The Observer

Skidmore’s aim was ‘to do something similar to Coltrane’s Ballads album with an orchestra’: he has succeeded triumphantly. Chris Parker, The Times

I must confess to having been totally bowled over by this really beautiful, somewhat unexpected disc. Alan Skidmore’s gentle readings in this collection of top flight ballads are nothing short of wondrous. Ken Rattenbury, Crescendo and Jazz Music

Alan Skidmore’s playing in After the Rain is a miracle of sustained poise, inspiration and feeling. Skidmore’s huge and mellow tenor sax sound in the lower register and his control of the quiet singing tone in the often extreme upper register are juxtaposed to great effect on his superb rendering of melody on ‘Too Young to Go Steady’ and in his ensuing solo. His love of each piece shines through and while his main improvised phrases seem passionately sculpted, his quiet asides or afterthoughts have an extraordinary potency. Ian Carr, BBC Music Magazine

Superb account of 13 of the ballad staples of the jazz repertoire played with exquisite concern for tone and texture by a saxophone powerhouse of the sixties and seventies UK jazz scene. Skidmore’s utter devotion to the work of John Coltrane has given his music a weight and emotional impact achieved by all too few of the American hero’s disciples. The arrangements are mostly unsentimentally exquisite and while this is a genre not all jazz admirers can handle it’s the classiest late night listening imaginable. John Fordham, The Guardian

 About Ubizo and The Call

Last night trimmed to five, these African drum masters began their London debut week with Alan Skidmore’s quintet. Alan delivered lyrical rapid-fire solos like a latter-day Coltrane while the five percussionists drove things along like two-and-a-half Elvin Joneses. Savouring these elastic beats were Alan’s regular rhythm section, while up front Alan and German trumpeter Ingolf Burkhardt harmonised tuneful Skidmore originals with a township feel, their best moments came on ‘Sobabini’ (Together) when Ubizo’s voices rose beneath their solos like Ladysmith Black Mambazo with muscles. A treat! Jack Massarik, Evening Standard

Skidmore’s own tenor sax playing is always full of energy and his forceful group was augmented by a skilful and inventive young German trumpet player Ingolf Burkhardt. The chanting, townships-influenced ‘Sweet SA’ brought a typical Skidmore solo of storming runs, hollow warbles and stark cries and pianist Steve Melling took a shrewd course in playing the first of several excellent solos mainly chordally, thus all but turning himself into another highly contrasting percussionist.  John Fordham, The Guardian

This recording should be cherished for ever this superb stuff is really in a class by itself. Amazon.co.uk

The result is irresistible. As the drummers create a great swirling sea of rhythm, Skidmore soars above it.  Jazz UK

In Amampondo he has found a near perfect foil for both his sinewy, turbulent tenor work and his more reflective side. BBC Music Magazine

Skidmore’s tenor saxophone blends wonderfully with the shifting rhythms of South Africa’s leading percussion group. The care which went into creating this intricate and absorbing music shows that it cannot be the result of a mere passing encounter.  The Observer

 Coventry review 2006