Martin Speake, Bobo Stenson, St George’s Feb 13

Mike Collins has already enthused about this one, too, on his musicianly blog here.

He’s more enthusiastic than me, this time. I found the first half of the gig a bit unengaging – it was all fine, sounded good, but lacking variety of mood or sound. I (and my other pair of ears) both felt at the end of a long week, but don’t think we were looking for cheap thrills…  (though cheap thrills can be good).

This was all much as expected, from hearing the previous Speake/Stenson outfit on tour and listening the their ECM recording, so no complaint. And everyone else seemed to really like what they were hearing so maybe it was just us. But the second half drew us  (well, me) in a lot more – Speake leaning more toward his Ornette influence than his early Konitz thing.  I like both, and have three or four other recordings which get played quite often, but as so often the self-penned compositions mostly seem in similar vein, and need leavening with music by others.

Great to see Stenson again, though, but it was a shame not to have Paul Motian this time. Seem to recall reading he doesn’t travel these days. Pity!

Got interested in the gig down at the Cube tomorrow night which is listed in Venue, but it appears not to be happening from their weekly what’s on email.

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