ReviewsBBC Music Magazine, Best Books about Jazz, 25 October 2022
Big-time love and props to my long-time brother, John Altman, on the release of Hidden Man. From meeting him through our dear friend, Benny Carter, to having him write on the Michael Caine Albert Hall show, to transcribing my score for the Italian Job live performance, I can confirm that he is a rare find! Keep on keepin' on my brother, and thank you for all you've done for me and the music community as a whole!
This is what I have to say about John Altman: Think about it: Without exaggeration, it can be assumed that half the music of the 20th century wouldn’t exist without John’s contribution. The other half is rubbish.
I've known John for over 25 years - a terrific musician and good guy. Always a pleasure to see him and play music with him. Love his stories.
John Altman is such a wonderful musician and human being!! We’ve shared the stage many times and he always brings such a high level of mastery. It’s always an honor to work together.
Jon Batiste (Golden Globe, BAFTA winning composer/bandleader)
Why does John Altman choose to be the Hidden Man? What is he ashamed of? I always thought he was tremendously talented. A great musician and an all-round nice guy. Perhaps I was wrong.
Terry Gilliam (director, animator and Python)
I admit it, I like John Altman. Apart from being very good company, he is one of the few musicians, composers and arrangers prepared to work with people on crosses. I’ve rung all the police stations in London, but no-one has a bad word for him.
Sir Michael Palin (Python, author and world traveller)
John has always shined ever so brightly whenever our paths have crossed, it’s hard not to notice his kind soul.
I feel that I’ve known John Altman forever. Our paths have crossed in sweaty marquees at cricket matches , at fancy film events and, of course, in jazz clubs. But I couldn’t pin down where we had first met . It was at a gig at the Pizza Express in Dean Street , John was playing, I was talking, that I found out that we have in fact known each other forever. Almost. In the happy, hippy days of 1968 the Brighton Combination set up an alternative arts venue/ cafe/ theatre/ gig space in an old schoolhouse just off the Brighton seafront. I dropped out of Uni to join the Combination and as part of of our artistic offering to the local community we ran all night raves ( although I’m not sure we called them that at the time). John reminded me that he would blow his sax all night and on into the dawn at these bacchanalian events. It’s a wonder either of us survived. John also wrote the soundtrack to a film that I was in with Jean Claude Van Damme called Legionnaire. But I prefer not to talk about that.
Jim Carter (star of Downton Abbey)
The jolliest book of rock'n'roll tales in a long time....A terrific read from start to finish.