Skidmore is a man for all seasons, a player with immense physical and imaginative stamina, at home in any context, from tight structures to total abstraction, and with any tempo, from breakneck to slow.
Alan started playing professionally in 1958 with dance orchestras and pop bands and by 1961 was touring with the likes of Tony Hancock and Matt Monroe. He joined Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in 1964, and recorded with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers together with Eric Clapton.
In 1965 he worked with the Ronnie Scott Quintet and by 1969 had formed his own quintet with Kenny Wheeler, Tony Oxley, Harry Miller and John Taylor. The quintet represented the UK at the Montreux International Jazz festival and were awarded the International Press Award. Alan also won the soloist award.
Skidmore's success story soared from strength to strength with tours, radio and TV recordings, festivals and concerts. By 1970 he had joined Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames and proceeded to tour throughout the world. The list of musicians and bands Alan has played with is vast. It includes Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Mike Gibbs and Mike Westbrook, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath and Nucleus. Also, the widely influential SOS group with Mike Osborne and John Surman, the George Gruntz Concert Band, the European Jazz Quintet, SOH and Tenor Tonic, and from 1981-4 he was guest soloist with the WDR Orchestra in Cologne. Alan's recordings include Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra, Westbrook, Gibbs, Volker Kriegel, George Gruntz etc.
Alan was the first jazz musician to play South Africa at the end of Apartheid. During 1994, whilst recording his own one hour TV special shown in Africa, he met Amampondo. He returned to Africa and fulfilled a dream to record an album with them - the result was the 1999 release on Provocateur Records, 'The Call'.
In 2002, Alan was reunited with 5 members of Amampondo and they formed Ubizo. The band recorded a set of original compositions and South African traditional tunes and released their self titled album in Autumn 2003.
"One of the most accomplished and highly regarded saxophonists in Europe." THE TIMES
In 2008, Ubizo returned with a sensational new album to celebrate Alanís 50th year in music, aptly titles 50 Journeys.