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Chris Speed: A Narrative Analysis

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As a result of the sparkling combination of emotional playing and brilliant technique, the saxophonist/composer Chris Speed has been widely solicited by multiple renowned artists who have no doubts when it comes to incorporate his talents in their personal works.
Speed has built his reputation not only with exciting projects from others - John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, Jim Black’s Alas No Axis, Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, Dave Douglas group, but also with the robust bands he co-leads, Endangered Blood and Human Feel. Recently, his prominent voice also served to boost Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus, Craig Taborn Quartet, and Dave King’s Trucking Co.
On his newest release, Platinum on Tap, the charming, wispy tone of his saxophone spearheads an enthusiastic trio that includes bassist Chris Tordini, and drummer Dave King. Offering up eight originals and two covers, this impressive work clearly surpasses the trio’s previous release, Really OK (Skirl Records, 2014).
“Red Hook Nights” revolves around a catchy melody that rubs over a soft surface created by relaxed bass plucks and rhythmic brushing suppleness. The mixture ensues a melodious universe where both jazz standards and Americana are well accepted.
A symbol of superior triangular articulation
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Also, the frenzied “Crooked Teeth”, extremely playful in its carefree posture, encompasses high-pitched intonations and flutter-tonguing technique as part of its rebellious manners. This deflection into avant-garde territory finds a sequence with the closing tune, “Spirits”, a strenuous classic authored by the iconic saxophonist Albert
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