ABOUT

matt ridley Since graduating from Trinity College of Music in 2005, Matt has established himself as one of the most versatile, creative and hard-working bass players in the UK. Based in London, he has performed internationally and at many of the UK's most prestigious venues such as the Purcell Room, Cadogan Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, King’s Place, the Barbican, and the O2 Arena.

As a band leader, Matt released his debut album ‘Thymos’ on Whirlwind Recordings in 2013. Featuring the talents of award-winning pianist John Turville, drummer George Hart, and guest appearances from saxophone superstar Jason Yarde, oud maestro Attab Haddad and percussionist Vasilis Sirikis, the album represents a substantial artistic statement of both compositional and improvisational chutzpah. The release was followed by an extensive UK tour, both of which were lauded by critics.

Matt's follow-up album, entitled 'Mettā', was released in February 2016. With Jason Yarde now a core member of the group, the entire quartet recording was completed in one day - a testament to the empathy and communication between the musicians. Building on the highly melodic, rhythmically inventive style of 'Thymos', particularly in terms of virtuosic improvisations and a more mature and soulful compositional outlook, the album has garnered 4-star reviews across the board. The group have been hailed as 'One of Britain's very finest contemporary quartets' (Jazzviews) and continue to perform regularly around the UK.

From 2011-2016, Matt also led the 'MJQ Celebration'. A straight-ahead yet modern outfit, the band featured award winning vibraphonist Jim Hart, pianist Barry Green, and Steve Brown on drums. The group performed around the UK and released an eponymous CD in April 2014 (produced by Ridley), which received glowing reviews and was described by the London Jazz Blog as ‘an enormously entertaining project, already leaping on top of an early 'best of 2014' pile'

Matt is also an in-demand sideman, performing a wide variety of genres encompassing jazz, folk, and 'world' music. 2016 has seen him working with young heavyweight jazz guitarist and composer Ant Law on his 'Art of Rhythm' trio tour, the highly popular Darius Brubeck quartet (son of jazz legend Dave Brubeck), and folk guitarist and songsmith Sam Carter on his 'How The City Sings' UK tour. Matt is actively involved in education and has led workshops and masterclasses at conservatoire level, taught on residential jazz courses, (including Glamorgan and Michael Garrick's Jazz Academy) and more recently on Sound and Music's 'Young Composers' Summer school. He welcomes tuition inquiries from dedicated students of music.

Performance Credits (selected) Alan Barnes, Dave O'Higgins, Ant Law, Darius Brubeck, Issie Barratt, Michael Garrick, Ivo Neame, Mulato Astatke, Benet Mclean, Jim Mullen, Christian Brewer, Gareth Lockrane, Jim Hart, Tim Whitehead, Gareth Williams, Martin Speake, Kit Downes, Gilad Atzmon, Liam Noble, Asaf Sirkis, Paul Riley, Sam Carter, The Puppini Sisters, Johnny Phillips, Ben Davis....

'one of the most exciting young jazz bass players around'
- Marlbank

'Ridley’s gently melodic but rhythmically sophisticated themes provide ideal vehicles for some superb group interplay and some inspired individual soloing.'
★★★★ The Jazz Mann

'Ridley and Brown like masters of the metronome, spot on at every juncture’
- Peter Vacher, Jazzwise

‘an imaginative soloist who also roots the band with strength and simplicity’
- Alison Bentley, London Jazz Blog

‘Ridley has a solid, woody sound and his solos are nimble and to the point’
– Mike Hobart, Jazzwise

‘his soloing is impressive, utilising the whole of the scale-length to produce imaginative improvisations’
- Bebop Spoken Here

‘the double bass versatility and compositional talent of Matt Ridley drive the quartet along’
- Adrian Pallant, London Jazz News

 

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Albums by Matt Ridley

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Mettā

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The seven extended originals of Mettā arise from an almost strategic, compositional plan which inspires engaging extemporisation from all players.

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Thymos

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"I envisaged a sound encompassing the exotic flavors and emotions of Middle Eastern music with the jazz sensibility of improvisation on complex structures,"

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The MJQ Celebration

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The ‘MJQ Celebration’ is a coming together of some of today’s most celebrated UK jazz musicians, to pay homage to one of the most celebrated jazz ensembles of all time, the ‘Modern Jazz Quartet’