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Coming up, Martin Speake in Swindon (and then everywhere else…)

September 21, 2013

The next date in Ian Storror’s terrific series at the Hen and Chicken in Southville (just round the corner from the Tobacco Factory) is Martin Speake’s trio with Mike Outram on guitar and Jeff Williams on drums, on Sunday 29th.

I can’t make that, but am intrigued to discover that the same trio is appearing in Swindon next Tuesday at Baker Street (Swindon’s leading nightspot, apparently, and slightly confusingly located in Wood Street, Swindon). I’ve been to hear jazz in most places in reach of Bristol but never in Swindon (well, why would you?), so might try and make it this time. Anyhow, here’s why you should try and make one of these dates.

Speake is a wonderful, under-appreciated alto player, who has ploughed his own furrow for thirty odd years now. His synthesis of Parker, Konitz, Coleman (Ornette, not Steve), among others, is unique and endlessly inventive. He’s a long-time associate of Outram, a brilliant guitar player who was heard on Kevin Figes Four-Sided Triangle recording recently. (Speake and Outram’s CD dedicated to Parker is especially fine.)  Jeff Williams, the expatriate American drummer whose experience is second to none, rounds out the line-up nicely, as he did the last time Speake appeared in these parts. It should be very special and to judge from reviews of the trio’s recent double CD, it is.

Speake wrote a nice preview of the tour, which highlights his deep connection with Paul Motion and includes a sample track, for LondonJazzNews. As you’ll see there, this is a 27 date tour, no less, and also calls at Appledore and Ashburton in Devon, as well as Cardiff and Cheltenham. They are even going over to the Isle of Wight! Such effort at taking jazz to the people surely deserves some good audiences, so get those road atlases out…  oh, wait, no one but me uses them any more, do they? What the hell. Just go, people.

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