Although British jazz and jazz on the continent are continuing to thrive on their respective local levels, not many truly Anglo-European groups have managed to connect with such ease and shared understanding as Universal Connection, the quartet of Martin Speake, Hans Koller, Anders Christensen, and Anders Mogensen.
Koller (born in Bavaria, Germany but resident in England since 1991) and Speake (London born and bred) have both been at the forefront of the London jazz scene for a number of years. Internationally, Speake has recorded for ECM records with musicians such as Paul Motian and Bobo Stenson. Koller has recorded and toured with Europe’s leading big bands such as the NDR in Hamburg, and the WDR in Cologne. Koller is also the last musician to have recorded with the legendary soprano player Steve Lacy.
Koller and Speake both worked with bassist Anders Christensen during his 10 year stay in London. Copenhagen-based Christensen has toured and recorded with countless jazz legends, most worth mentioning would be his 12 years touring and recording with Paul Motian.
Christensen and Mogensen have worked together as a celebrated Danish rhythm team throughout the years, and have been part of some of the most groundbreaking bands on the vibrant jazz scene in Scandinavia.
Mogensen is a busy sideman touring and recording with Jerry Bergonzi, Tim Hagans and Walt Weiskopf among many others.
This international quartet is testament to the vibrancy, beauty, and imagination of jazz old and new.