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Martin Speake - Hullabaloo - Jazzwise

22 July 2002
Peter Quinn

Like 'Waiting For You' "Hullabaloo"'s longest statement emerges slowly from the preceding silence, seeping into the consciousness as if in a dream. The subtleties of Martin Speake's music reveal themselves gradually, poco a poco, quietly insistent yet never showy. The musical journey of Arco Iris is again typical, switching suddenly from repetitions of the same chorale-like melodic fragment transposed to a number of different keys to a snaking 11/4 groove underpinned initially by a descending, syncopated chordal sequence in the guitar and subsequently by a wonderfully sinuous bass ostinato.

Speake's excellent quartet (guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Mick Hutton and drummer Tom Skinner) don't just listen keenly to one another, they also anticipate and precipitate one another, musically speaking. It's curious to note that, whilst Speake clearly favours both the transparency of texture and added edge that the guitar provides, of the three tracks dedicated to musicians all three happen to be pianists (Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and John Taylor).

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