Loz Speyer

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Reviews of Loz Speyer


01/07/2007 John Fordham, Jazz UK

TIME ZONE 2007 tour review.
'Latin Jazz is probably one of the most cliché-strewn areas of the music, but not when Loz Speyer plays it. Speyer’s Time Zone toured for Jazz Services in May, with new arrival Satin Singh on congas enhancing the mutated-Cuban feel that is the band’s signature. Some of Speyer’s music suggests laconically boppish old Blue Note sessions or Thelonious Monk bands, with the leader’s muted trumpet and Martin Hathaway’s Cool School alto-sax lines reinforcing the classic feel. But percussionist Singh’s full-on dialogues with drummer Simon Pearson, an Ornette Colemanlike looseness and guitarist Jez Franks’ chord-rooted soloing had a contemporary energy, and Hathaway’s bass clarinet added strength in depth.'


01/02/2005 Kevin Le Gendre, Echoes

TIME ZONE CD review.
'The slow moving nature of the Cuban clock is one of several salient sources of inspiration for the articulate, probing sound of Speyer�s quintet. Another is the biting swing of Thelonious Monk... Monk altered our perception of time through his command of rhythm, his clever emphasis on the placement and displacement of the beat. It seems entirely logical for his spirit to coalesce with that of Santiago de Cuba in all its lithe yet muscular slowness. Speyer, Hathaway, Bolton, Donkin and Pearson do much more than network these two worlds. Clave rhythms crop up here and there but they're not weighed down by standard Latin-jazz licks. Slow can be fast and fast can be slow. And there is an intriguingly saturnine quality in both the leader�s compositions and the band�s execution, a sense of hard-edged modernity that has a side-winding thrust reminiscent of Dave Holland's ensemble at times. Speyer�s playing also catches the ear due to its buoyant drive, astute use of space and incisive way with a phrase that intermittently evokes Hispanic players and avant-garde heroes such as Lester Bowie. Time Zone is an impressive, mature debut by an ensemble led by a trumpeter/composer who has absorbed the essence of Cuban music and distilled it quite cunningly into an improvisatory context with no compromise to either culture. The result is gritty, graceful sounds with a dark-light intensity.'


10/12/1999 John Fordham, the Guardian

BEYOND THE MAINSTREAM - Clifford Jarvis Memorial, Spitz, London ***
This show brought together local musicians from the London jazz and reggae scenes in a show that included poetry and reminiscence. The centrepiece was a world premiere for a mini-concerto written by Jarvis's father in his prison years, called The Bastille Concerto. Loz Speyer, the excellent young London trumpeter, transcribed the piece from a piano chart at the drop of a hat this week, and arranged it via a single rehearsal for a fine band that included cello and violin.
The coherence of the group was astonishing in the circumstances. It was galvanised by Jarvis student Caroline Taylor's alert, intelligent drumming and given a sharp postboppish edge by alto saxophonist Jason Yarde. A slippery high-register delicacy was provided by tenorist Brian Iddenden.
Some of the scoring was reminiscent of the mix of European folk and cabaret forms with 60s experimentalism that characterised Carla Bley's and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. Some of it opened as flouncy waltz-time disappearing into explosive bebop flurries. Some of it was like an amiable Ellingtonesque march, and some of it quivered with the fierce harmonies of Coltrane's music for Ascension.


01/12/1999 David Lewis, Cadence USA

LOZ SPEYER QUARTET review of CD Two Kinds Of Blue.
'Speyer leads a quartet through a set of immaculate hard bop compositions, designed largely to feature his bright trumpet (with a tone combining generous doses of Brownie and hints of Woody Shaw or mid-period Miles). His writing and playing shows promise, and the young band is both fluid and tight, able to navigate the quick-shifting rhythms and accents of Speyer's songs quite nimbly.'


01/12/1999 Brain Blain, Jazz UK

LOZ SPEYER QUARTET review of CD Two Kinds Of Blue.
'... an extremely engaging CD. The opening track really grabs the attention with that fat juicy Lee Morgan sound... drummer Tony Bianco really drives this band along with bassist Richard Jeffries, and guitarist Andy Jones completes the quartet with good and compelling lines of his own. There’s a lot of variety here which includes some jolly Irishisms on Up-Pepping Song and a strong New York feel on track nine Knee Bend where Tony and Richard really kick in. A fine band to see live I would think... Watch out for it.'


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