01 free piece one john horler 1.57

02 piece for poppy john horler 5.08
03 free piece two john horler 1.39
04 my ship kurt weill 4.49

05 free piece three john horler 1.02
06 beija flor nelson cavaquinho 5.24

07 some other time leonard bernstein 4.25
08 after supper neal hefti 4.27
09 free piece four john horler 1.06
10 what’s new? bob haggart 3.46
11 improvisations on bach’s prelude in eb minor john horler 3.13
12 free piece five john horler 1.51
13 what kind of fool am i? leslie bricusse & anthony newley 4.33



John had a classical training, studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Many of his compositions are influenced quite strongly by twentieth century classical composers. He has been known for many years as one of the UK’s finest jazz pianists working closely with Pete King, Tony Coe and, of course, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. He has accompanied many of the big names in American jazz including Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Art Farmer, Pepper Adams, Bud Shank and Shorty Rodgers.

I think Dave Gelly described John’s playing best writing “Horler has a delightful habit of lulling you into a sense of false security with sweet, simple phrases and warm chords, before suddenly heading off into the harmonic undergrowth. Little scraps of melody, which at first seem quite random, gradually come together into a fascinating pattern.”

Stuart Broomer said “Horler has a personal lyricism, formed from a subtle economy and a fine sense of sonority.” Doug Campell talked about his free playing, saying “Horler has a beautiful touch and is an imaginative melodic swinging improviser with technique to spare.”


Having lived with John for several decades it is his free playing that I have come to love listening to most. Of course I’ve also enjoyed listening to the groups he’s played with over the years. I still remember hearing him play with Chet Baker at The Canteen in 1983 and the great man telling me what a fine pianist my husband was. Still, what I most enjoy is his solo piano playing. That’s why I decided to move to the role of patron and commissioned this recording. It will mean that others can enjoy the “fascinating patterns” and the “personal lyricism” referred to by the critics.

I requested some of the tunes I’ve come to love over the years; Bernstein’s “Some Other Time”, “ After Supper”, the famous Count Basie tune, and of course John’s own composition “Piece for Poppy” written for me. I generously allowed him to choose the others, as long as most of them were free pieces!

I am delighted with the outcome of this project and I must say that Andrew Cleyndert’s recording of the piano is superb and has contributed in no small measure to what I consider to be a really excellent CD. I hope that others will listen to it with equal pleasure.

Poppy Horler, November 2017.