215

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

By

Sign in to view read count
Martin Speake/Nikki Iles/Duncan Hopkins/Anthony Michelli: Secret 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.

Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Basho Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Mirror, Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Mirror, Mirror
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Meditations" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Umbra" CD/LP/Track Review Umbra
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Live with a Boom" CD/LP/Track Review Live with a Boom
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 19, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!