Whirlwind Recordings is proud to introduce 'Thymos'
by Matt Ridley
'One of 2013's best UK jazz releases'- Marlbank
Thymos is the debut album by one of the UK's most creative and hard working young bassists, Matt Ridley, OUT NOW on one of the world's premier new creative music labels, Whirlwind Recordings. Released in October 2013 to critical acclaim, the group has also enjoyed an extensive UK tour playing to enthusiastic live audiences.
'Ridley has made a stirring debut here and his future on the scene seems very bright after this fine start.' **** - Marlbank
'An impressive debut recording by Ridley' - Jazz Camera
'Ridley's soloing is impressive, utilising the whole of the scale-length to produce imaginative improvisations' - Bebop Spoken Here
'A leader and composer with real character'- The Jazz Breakfast
'Live, the gradual accumulation of players and styles is exhilarating. It creates a strong sense of narrative, as the gig builds to its mesmerising finale' - London Jazz News
'Staggeringly impressive musicianship' - York Press
The genesis of this album project came from working with Oud virtuoso Attab Haddad (featured on the album), and Azeri violinist Sabina Rakcheyeva (joint composer of Hijaz), in a band featuring pianist Mercury Award Nominated artist Kit Downes and percussionist Vasilis Sirikis (also featured).
By fusing the modal and rhythmic elements of Middle-Eastern music with the harmonic complexities of jazz, Ridley's composition 'Siddhartha' was born, and what followed was a stream of ideas which aligned themselves into the other music on the album, with influences as diverse as funk, modern jazz, and 20th century minimalism.
The core of the album is the tight unit that is the 'Matt Ridley Trio.' Comprised of the award-winning pianist John Turville, the highly musical (not to mention fiercely virtuosic) drumming talents of George Hart, and Ridley at the helm, the trio soars through the leaders' genre-bending improvisational territory with wit and aplomb, no matter if the musical terrain is tricksy or serene, creating a unique sound world unlike any working unit in London today. As a bassist, Ridley is solid to the core, yet light on his fingers across the fretboard as he navigates his own compositions using them as a vehicle for expression as a soloist, in which he succeeds greatly.
Special guest saxophonist and globally recognized composer Jason Yarde perfectly assimilated the feeling of Ridley's compositions, singing the melodies from the depths of his soul, and improvising in a way that few saxophonists working in jazz could conceive.
The result is Ridley's shining achievement; a debut album that is an honest and genuine representation of his musical tastes and experience, featuring brilliant improvisations from all members of the band, and retaining a fresh and exciting sound throughout.
"Matt Ridley's trio project is full of spirited energy and clearly etched interplay, sometimes augmented by Jason Yarde on sax. Their music is certainly modern, yet appealing to older ears attuned to acoustic jazz and its long exploratory history. Matt's compositions take in counterpoint, odd metres, ethnic influences, and generally exult in the complexity of today's improvised music. This is clearly the work of someone eager and able to say something original in the jazz tradition. Incidentally, Matt has been a member of my UK quartet for six years." - Darius Brubeck (Jazz Pianist, and son of the legendary Dave Brubeck)
"Matt Ridley is the latest bass player to strongly emerge on the London scene as a prominent composer and bandleader. Both his playing and compositions contain engaging rhythmic elements that draw on Middle Eastern & Indian influences, whilst being deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. He also delivers his music message with sincere clarity; I look forward to hearing what he does next!" - Jim Hart, World-Renowned Vibraphonist