“Ken Skinner “Littlebird Lied” 4:33 (Ken Skinner) It must run in the family…Ken Skinner Sr. was a renowned jazz pianist in Montreal, who studied with Oscar Peterson’s sister, Daisy Sweeney. Ken Skinner Jr. proves genius does not have to skip a generation…he has recorded two CD’s with his band, The Jazzmongers and is a frequent guest on JAZZ.FM91’s “Jazz In The City”, as an LP collector called “The Vinyl Hunter”.”
“KEN SKINNER AND THE JAZZMONGERS! stirling silver (village jazz) Montreal-born pianist Skinner wrote or co-wrote the six selections on his debut CD, a live concert at Stirling, Ont.with heavy-hitter sidemen from Toronto - Kevin Turcotte, Kirk MacDonald, Kieran Overs and Norm Villeneuve. Scion of a musical family (and taught by Oscar Peterson's sister, Daisy), Skinner keeps a cool, funky grip on the long loose blowing session in which all are allowed to strut their stuff in a relaxed manner. The leader fits percussively well with hard-charging MacDonald on "Apartment 503" and keeps ideas moving a la Horace Silver through bluesy choruses on "Snakin' Around" and the Randy Weston feel of "Jombo Memsahb." The beat's solid, the front men duel fiercely on tracks like "Viper's Fog" and the band enjoys the outing.”
“Ken Skinner is a Toronto-based pianist, the son of local pianist-organist Kenny Skinner. This, his debut as a leader, finds him at the helm of a group called the jazzmongers!, a strong band in the hard-bop mode. The session was recorded in concert in Stirling, Ontario in 1993, and consists of six excellent originals by the leader played by Kirk MacDonald, Kevin Turcotte, Kieran Overs and Norman Marshall Villeneuve. The latter, a cousin of Oliver Jones, is one of the unsung giants of Canadian jazz, Skinner, who studied with Daisy Sweeney, had his professional debut playing piano for Chaplin's film The Gold Rush in a library in Belleville, Ontario. 9/10 LEN DOBBIN”
“Recorded in concert at the Stirling Theatre in Stirling, Ontario in 1993, the quintet moves through the lengthy original compositions written by pianist/leader Skinner. As the title might suggest, this is indeed a modest tribute to another pianist, Horace Silver. The impressive versatility of Skinner's group, which includes Kirk MacDonald (tenor), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Kieran Overs (bass), and Norman Marshall Villeneuve (drums), is evident on each track, much to the delight of the audience. The tunes are all well written and it is here that the strength of Skinner is brought to the fore. For a debut recording, this is great music by seasoned players.”
"Live Date Captures Canadian Talent At Work" While it has never achieved as high a profile as it has with independent minded rock musicians, the DIY ethos has a noble tradition in jazz. The 1953 Massey Hall concert with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie--which many consider the finest live recording ever--would never have been heard if bassist Charles Mingus hadn't bothered to record and issue it. Pianist Ken Skinner's live date at a theatre in Stirling, Ont., may not be as monumental as the Parker-Gillespie reunion, but it captures some of Canada's best young musicians grooving hard in comfortable surroundings. A former student of Oscar Peterson's sister, Daisy, Skinner brings a bluesy feel to everything he plays, and his all-star Toronto ensemble--trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, saxophonist Kirk MacDonald, bassist Kieran Overs and drummer Norman Marshall Villeneuve--sound content blowing in the hard-bop vein.
“[Ken Skinner] will put the skills you can appreciate on those CDs (the fascinating Maroon with imaginative numbers like "This Ain't Europe" and "Felonious Punk" and Stirling Silver on the Village Jazz label) to the test Monday. He's playing at the Montreal Bistro in an unusual combo with bass Paul Novotny and trumpeter Jake Wilkinson, though there'll likely be more duo than trio pieces. The gig will feature material Skinner has composed for his next CD, Blue, due next winter. (You can hear material from the CDs, plus big band takes of some Blue music over the Internet on MP3.) Skinner recently wound up a two-year residency at Circo Cafe E Bar on Eglinton Ave. E., which earned him, among other things, a grand piano that he can take to gigs, a distinct advantage. The rest of the article is available at the web link available here. This is a fragment of the original article abridged here.”