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Ethan Iverson and Martin Speake.

Ethan Iverson and Martin Speake.

Quartet of the best graces the Jazz Hastings stage

A great international quartet fronted by two of the most original improvisers on either side of the Atlantic will be featured at Jazz Hastings’ February session on Monday 17th, writes Julian Norridge.

The quartet is led by Martin Speake, one of Britain’s most fluent and creative sax players, and Ethan Iverson, one of New York’s finest and most innovative pianists. They will be joined by renowned Scottish bass player Calum Gourlay and internationally recognized Spanish drummer Jorge Rossy.

Martin S 5

Martin Speake.

And yes – the gig for once is on Monday – for this occasion Jazz Hastings has moved from its regular Tuesday slot to fit in with the quartet’s nationwide tour.

Martin Speake and Ethan Iverson first met in Canada at the Banff Centre for the Arts nearly 30 years ago and have maintained an ongoing, though sporadic, collaboration ever since. Individually both have also enjoyed dazzling international success.

Martin studied classical saxophone at the Trinity College of Music in London but his real interest was always jazz. In the 1980s he toured the world with the saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers and played on their first two CDs. In 1988 he left to develop his own projects, since when he has recorded 23 CDs under his own name, started his own record label and become lead alto saxophonist with the London Jazz Orchestra.

Ethan Iverson.

Ethan Iverson.

Pianist and composer Ethan Iverson is probably best known as a founding member of the iconic New York-based band The Bad Plus, described by the New York Times as “…better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60s jazz and indie rock”. He has appeared with a wide range of international jazz artists and composed music for major dance troupes and orchestras.

Scottish-born Calum Gourlay became a mainstay of the London jazz scene after graduating from the Royal Academy of Music, performing with John Scofield, Kurt Elling, the Tommy Smith group and many others. He also writes for his own big band, which has a monthly residency at the Vortex in London.

Jorge Rossy from Spain is internationally recognized as one of the most influential drummers of his generation. He has made more than 80 recordings and toured with such great artists as Charlie Haden, Wayne Shorter, Lee Konitz, Carla Bley and Brad Mehldau. He also plays and composes for vibraphone, marimba and piano.


Speake, Iverson, Gourlay and Rossy Quartet Jazz Hastings, Monday 17 January, East Hastings Sea Angling Association (on the Stade behind the lifeboat station). Doors open 7.45pm for 8.30 start, tickets £10 on the door, £3 for under 18s.


Posted 20:00 Monday, Feb 10, 2020 In: Music & Sound

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