|Loz Speyer and Time Zone|
Time Zone – Crossing the Line
(Spherical Records SPR003. CD Review by Chris Parker)
As the band name and album title suggest, trumpeter/composer Loz Speyer‘s latest project is the result of much travelling, most frequently to Santiago de Cuba (where Speyer studied percussion and collaborated with local musicians).
Indeed this lively, vigorous album begins with an infectiously robust but subtle tune (‘Conjunto’) culminating in a vocal refrain extolling the necessity to travel, and concludes with a wry look at the vicissitudes of intercontinental telecommunications, complete with Cuban dialling tones and detailed descriptions of satellite transmission etc.
In between, a band Speyer himself refers to as ‘bilingual’ (by which he means they are as familiar with jazz of all sorts as they are with eastern European time signatures and Cuban rhythms) breeze enjoyably through five more Speyer compositions that showcase all their improvisational and interactive skills.
Martin Hathaway is featured on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, the ubiquitous Davide Mantovani is characteristically flawless on double bass, Mauricio Ravalico and Simon Pearson play congas and drums respectively. Perhaps the most striking contributions, however (apart from the leader’s own graceful, richly textured trumpet), come from guitarist Stefano Kalonaris, who somehow contrives to be pleasantly spiky one minute, mellifluous the next.
Overall, a warm, celebratory album from a band that clearly relishes the material with which a skilful composer has provided them.
Crossing the Line will be released on 10th October, and launched on 18th October at RICH MIX in Bethnal Green Road E1.