Loz Speyer - trumpet, flugel
Dee Byrne - alto sax
Xhosa Cole - tenor sax
Olie Brice - double bass
Gary Willcox - drums
Inner Space returns to *live* performance with an exciting new lineup featuring saxophonists Xhosa Cole and Dee Byrne. Already making waves on the scene with their own groups, their joining Inner Space opens up the music in new directions on its long trajectory of jazz improv combustion (fuelled as it has been for some years now by the unique saxophone voices of Rachel Musson and Chris Biscoe).
Inner Space plays jazz with a rare warmth and immediacy. Speyer’s compositions for the band combine references from New Orleans, through Bebop to Free Jazz. Each piece evolves its own form, its own balance of structure and freedom and its own atmosphere. There are audible echoes of Mingus, Monk, Ornette and more - but the key is the immediacy of the playing, with these five highly distinctive musicians working it all out in the Here and Now.
The new lineup builds on a band sound developed during touring in 2015 and 2018 (thanks to Arts Council funding) - and the album “Life on the Edge”, released on Leo Records in 2017, really captures that live, interactive quality of the music. Since then Inner Space has been playing Speyer’s “jazz portrait" compositions, dedicated to particular Free Jazz innovators, with titles such as: Innate Ornette, Sun the One Ra the Far, Chimes for Grimes, Even Stevens - provoking some great improvisation
see below for album reviews
Band photo by Gary Franklin
"Life on the Edge" (2017 Leo Records) - Album reviews
**** 'Superb outing that effectively highlights the leader's jarring and perceptively constructed compositions.'
Glen Astarita, All About Jazz, USA
**** 'The integrity they bring to the emerging free jazz push-pull structure of ’Space Music’ pilots the musicians further towards destinations unknown.' - Philip Clark, Jazzwise, UK
'Upon listening, I was hooked…. the contrapuntal moments when the horns venture just over the edge make me think that if ODJB had arrived 100 years later they may have sounded like this.' - Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here, UK
'It starts with Blue Note- and Ogun-spirit, with Spirits Rejoice-mood and Mingus-power... Rocket Science is
unfailingly retro-futuristic, tardis-blue, open for everything that was considered amazing in the 60s...'
Bad Alchemy magazine, Germany
'A joyous atmosphere reigns throughout the album, bop rhythms coupled with the pure interaction of the quintet… there are solar moments during which the quintet communicates to the audience its own enjoyment in playing these compositions.'
Vittorio, Musiczoom, Italy
'...A constant flow of ideas, the horns sometimes jostling busily for attention, sometimes conversing, sometimes singing sweetly together... While you listen, thoughts of influences fall away and you can just enjoy this newly created music for itself. That is the sound of success.' - Jon Turney, London Jazz News, UK (click for full review)
'Loz has really got his musical concept and the group together - terrific.' - Mike Westbrook, UK
EARLIER LIVE REVIEWS
'There was something utterly warm and personal about this gig, and very moving. Even though the leader’s trumpet was often to the fore, his role seemed as much to create situations that forced the band to think on their feet or to stitch together different fragments of a tune with frantic signalling as the moment dictated...'
- Mike Collins, jazzyblogman, UK (Bristol 2011)
'One of the happiest evenings I've heard in jazz for many a long night... Music as rare as this defies description. Go along and see them! Or get their forthcoming CD...'
- Karl Dallas, the Morning Star, UK (Halifax 2005)
REVIEWS OF FIRST ALBUM - 'FIVE ANIMAL DANCES'
'Music of marvellous clarity, buoyed by loping, shifting rhythms. More lyrical than free, and human than abstract, this is serious fun of the first order.'
- Mike Butler, Metro, UK
'Wonderfully vigorous, sprightly music, infused with bustling, fiercely interactive energy. Recommended.'
- Chris Parker, Vortex Jazz, UK