A Question of Trust from Jazzman Speake; Martin Longley Anticipates a Music Performance with Highly Visual Aims

By Longley, Martin | The Birmingham Post (England), March 26, 1998 | Go to article overview

A Question of Trust from Jazzman Speake; Martin Longley Anticipates a Music Performance with Highly Visual Aims


Longley, Martin, The Birmingham Post (England)


Alto saxophonist Martin Speake did an exceptional job of involving Ornette Coleman's harmolodic hustle during last year's 60s festival. His quartet's second album, Trust, has just been released, featuring John Parricelli (guitar), Steve Watts (bass) and Steve Arguelles (drums).

The material spans the medium-range lyricism of We Three (Parricelli clearly influenced by Bill Frisell) to the tight bebob lines of the opening Golden Rooster. Each piece is like a dappled sketch, mostly keeping down under the five-minute mark.

"I aim for a different picture for each tune. During gigs, it's not so reflective," says Speake. "I like to encompass a whole range of emotions. It's really good to do gigs one after the other, that's the best thing for a band. It seems very hard to organise that in Britain, in terms of getting promoters to book you at the same time."

Speake's quartet has been running for about a decade, with a largely stable line-up. The newest edition is comparatively unknown drummer Russell Morgan replacing Arguelles: "Maybe he's more traditional in a jazz way, not quite as quirky, but he's very similar in the sense of dynamics, the balance within the band."

The quartet made its debut disc in 1992, released on bassist Danny Thompson's much-trumpeted but short-lived Jazz Label. …

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