Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Lemer, Peter

Lemer, Peter, keyboards and composition; b. Stepney, London, England, 14 June 1942. His father is Chaskiel Lemer and his mother is Bella Lemer. He has two sisters, Linda and Jackie.

Peter Studied with Jack Goldzweig 1963-65 and at the Royal Academy of Music from 1969-71 (Pianoforte: Sven Weber; Thomas Rajna).

Lemer's name has become an integral part of the extremely tangled British jazz scene since the early 1960's, and in the following decades worked with Gilgamesh and Pierre Moerlen's Gong, not to mention his work with the Baker-Gurvitz Army, Seventh Wave, Mike Oldfield and many jazz and jazz-rock combos.

His first gig was with Jeff Clyne and Tony Crombie. During this engagement he met both Jerry Garval (a student of Max Roach), and Jack Goldzweig (a co-teacher with Mal Waldron and John Mehagan). This input led to him forming his own jazz trio with Clyne and John Stevens as soon as 1963 and the group opened at the debut of Little Theater Club, paving the way for the British jazz movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Peter made his recording debut as a leader (Local Colour) three years later, the band including Jon Hiseman, John Surman, George Khan and Tony Reeves. A year in New York followed, which included extensive jamming, gigging and study. Lessons with both famed jazz pianist Paul Bley and double bass guru David Walters. In 1969, he worked with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. During this period he performed a suite based on Timothy Leary's Taoist prayers. The ensemble, called 'E' included his wife of the time, Pepe Lemer, with Laurie Alan, George Kahn, and Francis Moze.

In 1974, Peter Lemer joined Gilgamesh, the band led by fellow keyboard player Alan Gowen. During his short stint, he took part in several gigs and a couple of BBC sessions. Developing an interest for electronic keyboards, he subsequently became an in-demand session player, while gigging with Harry Beckett, Barbara Thompson, Annette Peacock and others. During this period Peter recorded and performed with "7th Wave", the groundbreaking rock synthesizer orchestra.

In 1979, Lemer was one of two keyboard players in Mike Oldfield's 50-piece touring band which also featured Gong drummer Pierre Moerlen. This led to him guesting on Moerlen's album Time Is The Key. In spite of his brilliant performance, he didn't join Pierre Moerlen's Gong, although he kept working with the French drummer as part of Oldfield's band until late 1980.

Much of Lemer's work since the late 1980s has been with Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia and Phil Miller's band In Cahoots, which he joined in 1983. He toured Europe extensively with the latter band. He toured Japan with In Cahoots later that year. He eventually rejoined the band on a permanent basis in 1995. He has also worked with Phil Miller in duo and trio (with Fred Baker) formats. After that two further In Cahoots tours (mostly in quartet format), and concerts in Japan and Seattle in 2002.

Lemer's contact with Barbara Thompson and Jon Hiseman go back to the 60s and Peter has been a close collaborator and friend with many of their projects. He has made several tours and albums with Paraphernalia in support of their albums. His past bands include Pete Lemer Quintet, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Harry Beckett, Gilgamesh, Baker-Gurvitz Army, Seventh Wave, Harry Beckett's Joy Unlimited, Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Mike Oldfield Group, In Cahoots and Miller/Baker/Lemer.

His current studio comprises of an Applemac 9600/350, ProToolsMix + 888 interface,ProTools Farm, SampleCell, LaCie CDRW, Jaz 2gig, Rourke 8.5gig HD, Emagic Logic,
HUI, and Genelec SR30 speakers. He has four children, Gabrielle, Danielle, Jacob and Reuben. He is married to Margaret Gardiner.

ASCEND: Creatures of Light and Darkness (1978); Ginger Baker: Baker Gurwitz Army--Elysian Encounter (1975); Harry Beckett: Got it Made (1978; Vince Cadillac: Modern Boy (1978); Graeme Edge: Kick Off Your Muddy Boots (1976); Tony Evans: Hey Look Me Over; Broadway Goes Latin; Simply Beautiful; Jerry Garval: Reggae for Jerusalem (1986); GILGAMESH : Arriving Twice (2000); GONG: Time Is The Key (1979); Dick Heckstall-Smith: Celtic Steppes (1996); IN CAHOOTS (Phil Miller): Cutting Both Ways (1987); 2ND SIGHT (1989); In Cahoots Live 86-89; Diggin' In (1991); IN CAHOOTS Live In Japan (1993); Parallel (1996); Out of the Blue (2000); Jesse Green: Nice And Slow (1976); Barbara Thompson: Jubiaba (1978); Peter Lemer: Lookin' for Soup (1999); ANDREW LLOYD-WEBBER: CATS (Original London Cast)(1981); Mike Oldfield: Exposed (1979); Platinum (1979); PARAPHERNALIA (Barbara Thompson): Heavenly Bodies (1986); A Cry From The Heart (1988);Breathless (1991); Everlasting Flame (1993); Lady Saxophone (1996); Shifting Sands (1998); Thompson's Tangos (2000); Annette Peacock: X-Dreams (1978); Peter Lemer: Local Color (1966); Don Rendell: Just Music (1974); SEVENTH WAVE (Ken Elliott); Psi- (1975); SME (John Stevens): OLIV; (1969); "Live"; (1971); Mark Wood: La Mezcla (1988); Victor Sylvester (various dance titles)

Film and television scores:
Hammer House of Horrors
Prisoner's Wives
A Touch of Frost
Eureka (Roeg/Hackman)
The Plank

Also his page on Barbara Thompson and Jon Hiseman's website:

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