Record Reviews


‘The Meltdown’ reminds us that King is an excellent pianist and perhaps the best of the young composers.
Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe

The tunes are consistently provocative…and filled with startling twists and turns in virtually every piece…”
Don Heckman, LA Times

Pianist and composer King defies neat classification since his eclectic stylings open the spectral varieties of versatile expression.
Ron Welburn, JazzTimes

The Meltdown’s nine originals and two standards are filled with lyricism, swing and passion.
Ken Franckling, UPI Arts & Entertainment

Pianist and composer Jonny King has come up with a winning sequel to last year’s Notes From the Underground…King, heard in a larger, more percussive setting this time out, makes the sort of logical-yet-edgy postbop you’d expect from a brainy guy who’s in touch with his feelings.
Gene Kalbacher, CMJ Music Report

King who just released a strong album , is a prime exponent of the experimental mainstream in jazz. His compostions, unusual in their structure, force improvisers to think.
Peter Watrous, The New York Times

Like King’s two earlier CDs – “The Meltdown” features mostly well-crafted originals by the leader, who successfully melds a modern dissonant edge with compelling lyricism. Here though, the tunes are even a shade warmer…This is easily his best record…
Zan Stewart, Stereophile


* * * * 1/2 “One of the best rushes in jazz is when you hear a band like Jonny King’s for the first time and instantly know you have found something truly exceptional. The fires of inner necessity illuminate both tone poems (“Soliloquy”) and hard stuff (“Caffeine”) alike…King’s playing is fiercely percussive, with left-hand accents that clang like Monk’s, and a right hand that rains startling clusters, all connected… Notes From the Underground marks him as one of the strongest piano voices of the new generation, and a bandleader who kicks ass.
Thomas Conrad, Downbeat

King and company manage to arrive at new and fascinating destinations. What makes this disc even more impressive is King’s piano work, which has a mature and individualistic touch… a logical sense of melodic development and beauty.
Jazz and Blues

…his second album, Notes From the Underground, is the work of a complex, but lucid pianist…King writes some of the best and most intriguing post-bop tunes of musicians in his peer group, music with mood and content that invite repeated listening.
Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

Following a sterling debut for Criss Cross, King has jumped ship to Enja for this heady neobop quintet session. Having performed in Joshua Redman’s quintet , King taps the tenor/soprano saxist to front a crack rhythm section…but make no mistake this is King’s show, and his six original compositions carry the day, unfolding in inventive yet unpredictable ways…
Gene Kolbacher,CMJ