Martin Speake alto saxophone
Faith Brackenbury violin/vocals
Rob Luft guitar
Will Glaser drums/percussion
‘A newly formed project that is a pared-down version of my previous 7 piece group Fever Pitch. This was formed to reflect my interest in rhythmic music from around the world including Arabic/Indian and Turkish influences. I felt I wanted to play music that is very immediate for audiences and is simple harmonically, groove based and the improvising consists of primarily melodic and rhythmic development rather than based on chord changes.’
MARTIN SPEAKE alto saxophone/composition
Martin Speake is one of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.’ Thomas Conrad – Jazz Times
Martin studied classical saxophone at Trinity College of Music. At that time there were no jazz courses in London, but he met some future jazz musicians at the college, including pianist Simon Purcell, saxophonist Mark Lockheart and the members of saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers who were studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He toured Europe, South America, Africa and the USA with Itchy Fingers appearing at major jazz festivals and playing on their first two CDs Quark (Virgin Records) and Teranga (Venture). In 1986 they won the Schlitz Young Jazz Musicians of the Year Award, which was televised by the BBC.
In 1988, he left the group to develop his own projects, which have been many and diverse, and establish himself as a composer and improviser. Martin is as comfortable playing personal interpretations of the music of Charlie Parker with his quartet, free improvising with drummer Mark Sanders, playing standard ballads in duet with Ethan Iverson and Indian music with Dharambir Singh and Sarvar Sabri.
He has recorded 18 cds under his own name of diverse projects including the internationally acclaimed ECM release Change Of Heart with Paul Motian, Bobo Stenson and Mick Hutton.
He started his own record label Pumpkin in 2007 and has released 7 cds so far. SPARK is a duo with drummer/percussionist Mark Sanders, TWO NOT ONE a duo with guitarist Colin Oxley. Two albums with Barry Green, Dave Green and Jeff Williams entitled GENERATIONS and LIVE AT RIVERHOUSE. ALWAYS A FIRST TIME featuring Mike Outram and Jeff Williams in 2013 and in 2014
SOUND CLOUDS with improvising classical pianist Douglas Finch and THE QUIET MIND with Mark Sanders and Oren Marshall.
Martin has also performed with Paul Motian, Bobo Stenson, Loose Tubes, Stan Tracey, Bhavani Shankar, Billy Jenkins, Django Bates, Bob Wilber, Conrad Herwig, Don Weller, Ronan Guilfoyle, Alison Bentley, The Style Council, Ann Pigalle, Kadam, saxophonist John Williams, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Jim Mullen, Dave Cliff, Julian Arguelles, Ephie Resnick and the Royal Shakespeare Company among others.
He is lead alto saxophonist in the London Jazz Orchestra conducted by Scott Stroman and has recently formed a project to study and learn all the compositions of Thelonious Monk with valve trombonist Hans Koller, bassist Calum Gourlay and drummer David Dyson. His main creative outlet is a trio with guitarist Mike Outramand US drummer Jeff Williams performing original music.
Rob Luft Guitar
Rob Luft is a 21-year-old musician from London, and has often been described as one of the UK’s most prominent and talented young contemporary jazz guitarists. Praised by The Times for a run of recent performances at Ronnie Scott’s, Rob has been tipped ‘to achieve great things in the future’.
Faith found her love for the violin and all things connected with wood, strings and sounds produced from them from the age of 7 via pinching her brother’s school violin as often as possible. She started classically but soon dabbled with folk music and writing her own tunes. After spending her teenage years at music school she decided that music college was best avoided and started listening to jazz violinists such as Stephane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti and after a while stumbled upon a more diverse music course at Brunel University where she had the great fortune of studying jazz violin with Johnny Van Derrick. Whilst living in London she played in a successful Irish band and Hot Club trio and worked as a florist by day. She also studied stringed instrument repair and making and after a course at Merton College she moved to Warwickshire, and studied further with luthier John Langstaffe in Leominster.
After a good number of years teaching peripatetically and privately she became busy with her two young sons and
disappeared from life as was previously known to her:) However, in 2010 she started composing tunes again and decided to brush up her skills by attending the PG dip in Jazz Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2012.
She now plays in an improvising multi influenced duo with the highly skilled letter carver and accordionist/pianist John Neilson.
Will Glaser drums and percussion
Originally from Nottinghamshire he is based in London. Before graduating from the Guildhall school of music and drama in 2014, will attended the royal academy of music’s junior jazz course and was already performing with youth orchestras, rock groups, big bands, and Cuban ensembles. With a very diverse musical background, will now works around London and the u.k, performing in a variety of groups, ensembles and musical settings from traditional jazz to improvised music, contemporary jazz to big band.
Will has worked with a variety of artists such as Dame Cleo Laine, Ian Shaw, Ant Law, Barry Green, Martin Speake, the Dixie Strollers, Henry Lowther’s Still Waters, Misha Mullov Abado and the London Jazz Orchestra. He plays in Sam Rapley’s Fabled, a five piece ensemble with his peers Conor Chaplin, Matt Robinson and AlexMunk and the Rick Simpson trio with bassist Mark Lewandowski. As a leader Will co runs a duo with saxophonist Matthew Herd where their combined love of improvised music, American songbook tunes and influences from folk music from all over the world, results in a highly exploratory unit performing unusual originals with a strongsense of melody and groove.
“Will is undoubtedly one of the greatest drummers to have arrived on the London jazz scene during the last year or two. He’s versatile and accomplished, both a great big band and small band
drummer, sight-reads like a demon and swings like the proverbial clapper and, when required, he can turn the heat on. Above all, he’s musical and a real musician! When Paul Clarvis is not available for gigs with my band Still Waters, Will is my first call!” – Henry Lowther
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