Martin Speake

With the ECM release of his new album, Change of Heart, altoist Martin Speake jumps categories from “man most likely” to “ascending star”. It’s one of those records that has the capacity to define a career. With a dream band of Paul Motian on drums, Bobo Stenson on piano and Mick Hutton on bass, it’s also the fruition of a long-term dream that began 14 years ago. Interview: Duncan Heining Martin Speake“You could go right back to the thing of wanting to play with Paul Motian, which happened in about 1992. I had been listening a lot to him with his own bands and with Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. I really identify with him conceptionally, with his playing and his tunes.” In 1992, Martin was established on the UK scene but wasn’t an international name. How he came to play with Motian and Stenson is the kind of story to have nay-sayers grumbling into their beer. Before his first album, In Our Time, had been released, Martin had contacted Motian hoping they might work together. “I sent him a tape of In Our Time to New York with a letter saying, ‘I really like your playing. If I get some gigs over here, would you be interested in a project?’ When I rang him up, he said: ‘Great. This is my fee. I’d be up for doing it.’ So, I fixed up a week of gigs with John Parricelli and Mick Hutton. We played the old Jazz Café and some other gigs. I was doing some teaching at the Royal Academy and he came in and played there as well.” It took seven years to do it again. Early in 2000, Martin approached Bobo Stenson at a Pizza Express gig. “I said: ‘You don’t know me but I want to get this project together with Mick and Paul.’ Of course, he didn’t know me or Mick but he knew Paul, although he’d never played with him. So, that was his way in – he wanted to play with Paul.”

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Jazzwise magazine

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Featured Artists

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next
Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “Hey, instead of rhythm and blues, how about ghetto and Bach?”

Classic interview with Hugh Masekela: “H…

In 2010, Hugh Masekela, the great South African musician and an inspiration in the cultural and political struggle against apartheid, spoke candidly to Jazzwise's Marcus O'Dair about his continued to fight...

Read More.....
Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

Frank Zappa's jazz legacy

Frank Zappa left a huge legacy of pioneering music and outspoken opinions that has proved obliquely influential in shaping the style and attitudes of generations of rock and jazz musicians...

Read More.....
Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's recording of Duke Ellington's ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’

Across the tracks: Ella Fitzgerald's rec…

Brian Priestley takes the opportunity to put Ella Fitzgerald’s soulful 1957 version of Ellington’s ‘I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues’ under the microscope It’s well known that Ella Fitzgerald had...

Read More.....
Life-changing jazz albums: 'My Song' by Keith Jarrett

Life-changing jazz albums: 'My Song' by …

Pianist Gwilym Simcock talks about the album that changed his life, 'My Song' by Keith Jarrett. Interview by Brian Glasser The biggest turning point I’ve ever had, it was a life-changing...

Read More.....
The shape of jazz to come: who to look out for in 2018

The shape of jazz to come: who to look o…

Photo: Rohey It’s time to divine the divine, as we ask our crack unit of writers and assorted other taste-formers to gaze into their crystal balls and reveal the intel on...

Read More.....
Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2017

Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2017

In another turbulent year of head-spinning change, much of it unwelcome, jazz has once again proved itself as resilient and inspirational as ever. Jazzwise’s prestigious Albums of the Year New...

Read More.....
John Etheridge interview: “We never got paid for Soft Machine. God knows what happened to the money”

John Etheridge interview: “We never got …

AJ Dehany caught up with Soft Machine’s John Etheridge and spoke to him about his formative fretboard influences and approaches to guitar playing, as well as penetrating the complex chronology...

Read More.....
Introducing: Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV

Introducing: Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV

Quincy Jones is many things – a 27-time Grammy award winner, TV and movie producer, actor, record company head honcho, magazine founder, and arranger and music producer of the biggest...

Read More.....
Life-changing jazz albums: 'Charlie Parker with Strings'

Life-changing jazz albums: 'Charlie Park…

Keyboard-player Lonnie Liston Smith talks about the album that changed his life, Charlie Parker With Strings, by Charlie Parker. Interview by Brian Glasser I know the one straight away – it...

Read More.....


Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

@burn_amb not sure, but it would be tongue-tied around a million martial drums and ethereal chorales
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Zeuhl-rules supreme. Happy birthday Christian Vander, Lord of Magma @mysterylesson @KirkdaleBooks @cuneiformrecord https://t.co/gV1BQwHV0L
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter

 

© 2016 MA Business & Leisure Ltd registered in England and Wales number 02923699 Registered office: Jesses Farm, Snow Hill, Dinton, Salisbury, SP3 5HN . Designed By SE24 MEDIA