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ALBUM REVIEWS

Martin Speake / Alex Maguire: Feathers

Read "Feathers" reviewed by Matt Parker

A partnership which perhaps could and should have developed years ago, saxophonist Martin Speake and pianist Alex Maguire both attended the legendary Barry Jazz School in 1979 which featured an incredible cast of tutors ,including Stan Sulzmann, Keith Tippett, Gordon Beck, Allan Holdsworth and many other “A" list British jazz musicians. Amazingly Speake and Maguire failed to meet at this junction and would have to wait nearly 40 years for their paths to finally cross, at a chance meeting in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Martin Speake: Intention

Read "Intention" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Celebrating his 60th birthday in April 2018, Martin Speake has been a stalwart of the British jazz scene for some forty years, initially playing with the saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers. He is lead alto saxophonist in the redoubtable London Jazz Orchestra and his teaching duties extend to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and London's Royal Academy of Music. In his review of Speake's album Change Of Heart (ECM, 2006), John Kelman summarised the saxophonist's playing perfectly: “Speake's playing ...

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Martin Speake: The Thinking Fan's Saxophonist

Read "Martin Speake: The Thinking Fan's Saxophonist" reviewed by Duncan Heining

British alto saxophonist, Martin Speake, is one of the most adventurous and articulate musicians in a music peppered with creative artists. That he is not a household name--even within the proscribed and marginalised world of jazz--says more about the times than it does about Speake or his single-minded approach to his art. Speake combines in his music a purposeful curiosity with a love of the jazz tradition. He is equally capable of flights into free improvisation and into ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Martin Speake: The Unquiet Mind

Read "Martin Speake: The Unquiet Mind" reviewed by Duncan Heining

We have here three very fine CDs from British alto saxophonist, Martin Speake. Speake is classically trained and when I first heard him in the late 90s, he brought to jazz a tone that emphasised the clarity of each note and the purity of the melodic line that was quite unusual in a music more used to the personalised sounds of a Hodges, a Bird, a Desmond or an Ornette. Over the years, his alto playing has perhaps become more ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Martin Speake: Generations

Read "Generations" reviewed by John Kelman

British altoist Martin Speake isn't as well-known as he ought to be, but he may well be the clearest successor to the unadorned, warm-toned approach of the legendary Lee Konitz. But while Konitz has undeniably led a career defined by diversity, Speake has stretched considerably farther, with albums ranging from the Indo- centric The Journey (Black Box, 2004) and uniquely modern, guitar-centric take on Charlie Parker (Jazzizit, 2005), to accessible free improvisation with percussionist Mark Sanders on Spark (Pumpkin, 2007) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Martin Speake / Mark Sanders: Spark

Read "Spark" reviewed by John Kelman

British altoist Martin Speake has made a career out of doing things differently. With Exploring Standards (33 Records, 2003) he adopted a decidedly minimalist and miniaturist approach to jazz standards. Charlie Parker (Jazzizit, 2005) presented a modernistic alternative to most of the tributes recorded for the 50th anniversary year of the legendary saxophonist's death. So it should come as no surprise that Spark puts a decidedly personal spin on free improvisation. The idea of an entire album ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Martin Speake: Change Of Heart

Read "Change Of Heart" reviewed by Budd Kopman

One of the more interesting extra-musical things to observe in jazz is how the connections between musicians happen, and then, of course, how those connections affect the music they produce. In 1993, Martin Speake connected with Paul Motian, and they toured as a trio with bassist Mick Hutton, playing both Speake's and Motian's compositions. Fast forward seven years to 2000 and Speake added Bobo Stenson to the group, playing and composing music that was sensitive to both ...


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