Pete Hurt has quietly been part of the London jazz scene for almost four decades and has developed one of the most uniquely distinguishable sounds and styles. Apart from his great saxophone playing he has also been recognised for his compositional and arranging skills. Pete’s unique musical contribution is featured on Chris Biscoe’s new album Profiles Of Mingus.
Pete Hurt was born in Nottingham in 1950. In the early seventies Pete moved to London and joined the Graham Collier band, and later joined “Redbrass” whose members included Dick Pearce, Chris Biscoe, and Annie Lennox. He formed a quartet with pianist Pete Saberton called “Lighthouse” which went on to win the Greater London Arts Association’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year award for 1976 and which became very active on the London scene. He started recording programmes for the BBC (Jazz Club, Jazz in Britain etc) with various size bands ranging from a quartet to a small big band, which featured Pete’s composing. In 1984 saw the release of “Lost For Words” on the Spotlite label with a twelve-piece line-up including Henry Lowther, Chris Biscoe and Chris Pyne. He also wrote many arrangements for the BBC big band In the mid 80’s Pete was invited to join the Anglo-American Living Time Orchestra, under the direction of George Russell on a Contemporary Music Network tour of Britain. Other members of the band included Palle Mikkelbourg, Kenny Wheeler and Courtney Pine. Since then the band has made many subsequent tours of Britain, Europe and in 1999 a short tour of the USA. In 1989 he toured and recorded with the first Andy Sheppard big band and went on to become a member of Andy’s Big Commotion. In 1990 he joined the Carla Bley Very Big Band, which toured extensively throughout Britain and Europe and recorded two albums. Around the same time Pete played with the British big band Loose Tubes, deputising for regular members of the saxophone section on many occasions. In 1994 Pete recorded his first quartet album “Umbrellas” on the ASC label. The band featured long time musical partner pianist Pete Saberton along with bassist Tim Wells and drummer Tristan Maillot. Pete is a regular member of the London Jazz Orchestra and has contributed many compositions and arrangements to the band’s pad. The band recorded its only album “Dance For Human Folk” in 1994. In 1999 the band recorded an album with the legendary drummer Billy Cobham and the next year embarked upon a European tour. (The album has not been released yet). Amongst other musicians that Pete has performed with are Kenny Wheeler, Mike Westbrook, Don Rendell, John Taylor, Mick Pyne, Bryan Spring, The Prague Television Orchestra, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stan Sulzmann and is a member of Henry Lowther’s quintet, “Still Waters”. Pete also played in the hit West End musical “Blues In The Night” and wrote most of the arrangements for another hit show, “Five Guys Named Moe”.