A graduate not too long ago from the Trinity College of Music, Matt Ridley is a double bass player whose CV includes work with Darius Brubeck, Jim Hart, Tony Woods, Kit Downes and Nikki Iles.
In the manner of hard-working young jazz musicians in this country, he works in many and various fields of music. One is world music, hence the presence on a couple of tracks here by oud player Attab Haddad. Other guests are saxophonist Jason Yarde on three tracks and percussionist Vasilis Sirikis on two. The trio itself is completed by pianist John Turville and drummer George Hart.
Track two, Theme And Variations, is a real highlight, and a lot more original than its title. It reminds me a little of the recent work of another bassist, the Israeli Avishi Cohen – it has that stirring combination of wiry, twisting rhythm and folk-strength melody.
Homage To Kenny Wheeler says it all concerning a strong influence on Ridley’s composing, and it features a fine bass solo; Siddhartha returns to more exotic flavourings, with an Eastern feel to the rhythm, and strong work from Turville and Hart. The traditional Turkish or Armenian tune Sari Gelin is given a desert caravanserai air, heightened by Yarde’s saxophone, Haddad’s oud, and the steady, camel walking pace of Hart and Sirkis,.
An attractive debut release from a leader and composer with real character, and featuring a very skilled bunch of players.
With assistance from Jazz Services, the Matt Ridley Trio is currently touring with Jason Yarde as special guest, and is in Birmingham tomorrow evening, Much Wenlock on Saturday, and Shrewsbury on 9 November. Here are the full remaining tour details:
Tomorrow: Birmingham Jazz, The Red Lion, Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham. More here.
Saturday: The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock. More here.
Friday 8 Nov: The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.
Saturday 9 Nov: The Hive, Shrewsbury. More here.
Sunday 10 Nov: The Hen And Chicken, Bristol.
Friday 15 Nov: Fleece Jazz, Stoke By Nayland, Colchester.
Wednesday 20 Nov: The Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Thursday 28 Nov: Cambridge Modern Jazz, Cambridge.
Sunday 1 Dec: Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester.
And Matt Ridley’s website is here.
Categories: CD review