Loz Speyer - trumpet, flugel
Dee Byrne - alto sax
Xhosa Cole - tenor sax
Larry Bartley - double bass
Gary Willcox - drums
Inner Space plays Jazz of a rare warmth and immediacy - compositions for improvisers with roots in both jazz and free improv. Loz Speyer’s writing for the band creates space for the group to explore new areas and discover where the music might GO, while drawing deeply on the Jazz tradition, all the way back to New Orleans. The compositions serve as structures for improvisation, with a lot of spontaneous input from all five musicians - each piece does it differently, and people love it!
"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!” - Karl Dallas, the Morning Star
Inner Space re-emerged from the pandemic with a new lineup featuring star saxophonists Xhosa Cole and Dee Byrne. Already making waves with their own groups both in the UK and beyond, they bring fresh sounds to this long-standing project, building on a band sound developed through extensive touring in the UK - that live interactive sound captured in the 2017 Leo Records album “Life on the Edge” (with Chris Biscoe and Rachel Musson on saxes, and Olie Brice on double bass).
Along with music from the album, Inner Space is now exploring extended forms in a growing set of Jazz Portrait compositions, with titles such as “Innate Ornette”, “Chimes for Grimes” and “Sun the One Ra the Far” - An audacious attempt maybe to characterise such seminal figures, but one that comes naturally from a lifelong relationship with their music, making sense of their legacy in our own TIME. The pieces inspired by actual encounters come with stories that emerge on stage, drawing on deep sources of inspiration.
"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