Monday, 21 February 2011

Speak Low

When you think of the best of Hammond Organ fuelled jazz , Spain is not necessarily the place that springs to mind. Sure, it evokes warm summers, heady red wine, bull fights and moving cheese... but Hammond jazz?

Back in 2004, a young trio from Spain’s new wave of jazz players got together to explore the works of Lonnie Liston Smith, Brian Auger and James Taylor Quartet. They quickly found their own sound and a receptive audience. Spain has always been big into jazz and the band used its potency to unite a whole host of disparate fans, from mods to soul boys into Hammond fans.

The band comprised Julian Maeso on Hammond organ, Jose Garcia on guitar and Antonio Pax on drums and they went under the name of SPEAK LOW.

After two years burning clubs all around Spain, the band felt ready to lay down their distinctive sounds on record. With a new member in the band - a young talented saxophonist and horns arranger called Martin Garcia, a 5-piece horn section and new crazy percussionist David Garcia on board, they completed their first album, I´M GONNA GROOVE YA’, released by ACID JAZZ RECORDS back in May 2007.

Ranging in style from, Lenny Kravitz influenced riffery, Meters-esk wig-outs and big band swing, the album was quite frankly brilliant, funky, soulful and of course jazzy. However, in May 2007 Acid Jazz, had to ship all copies of the album to Japan, to keep up with the demand that the buzz surrounding them had created. As a result the album never received a proper UK release.
A few copies are availble from Acid Jazz on ebay but Speak Low mostly remain a funky spanish secret, unless your Japanese that is.

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