Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

215

Martin Speake/Nikki Iles/Duncan Hopkins/Anthony Michelli: Secret

By

Sign in to view read count
Secret is a cooperative quartet comprised of British altoist Martin Speake and pianist Nikki Iles, together with Canadian bassist Duncan Hopkins and drummer Anthony Michelli. Their eponymous debut as a unit, recorded in the fall of 2000 in London, is a 79-minute opportunity to hear a new combo. All but two of the compositions are written by Iles (5), Speake (5) and Hopkins (2).

The most immediate reason for celebration is the work of Martin Speake. He has more than a passing resemblance to Jackie McLean and carries the torch of post bop into the new millennium without a glance backwards. His styling is that of a bopper with the fluency of a Charles McPherson in the mid-1960s updated to today's scene. Speake was responsible for the formation of the group and they seem to mesh very well together. In fact, the others record and tour as a working unit as the Nikki Iles Trio.

The album begins in a ballad or mid-tempo fashion, almost leisurely, on the first four tracks. On "J.T.'s Symmetrical Scale" Speake picks it up and interplay with Iles leads into an acerbic solo. Michelli uses brushes throughout on the tune. Speake also plays aggressively on "Fly's Dilemma," followed by a surging piano solo by Iles. B.B. King may have advised all that "The Thrill is Gone," but on Secret's updating of the Brown & Henderson standard, an attractive ballad delivery becomes a funky showcase.

In all, most of the original tunes are fine vehicles for ensemble and solo performance, and the album concludes with Jobim's "Luiza." Since this album, the different group members have recorded on several other Basho albums. Speake has a pending ECM release with Bobo Stenson and Paul Motian and expects to be signed to the label. His duo album My Ideal with Ethan Iverson, pianist for the Bad Plus, was released by Basho in spring of 2004.


Track Listing: Secret Place, Veils, The Heron, Oncology, J.T.'s Symmetrical Scale, The Thrill is Gone, Westerly, Coventry, So to Speake, Fly's Dilemma, Nikki, Secret Wood, Willow(for Mick Hutton), Luiza

Personnel: Martin Speake, alto sax; Nikkii Iles,piano; Duncan Hopkins,bass; Anthony Michelli,drums.

Title: Secret | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Basho Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Triplicate" CD/LP/Track Review Triplicate
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Just Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "mono no aware" CD/LP/Track Review mono no aware
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "A Piece of the Apple" CD/LP/Track Review A Piece of the Apple
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017