Since graduating from Trinity College of Music in 2005, Matt Ridley has established himself as one of the most versatile, creative and hard-working bassists on the UK jazz scene, known for his imaginative soloing, solid time keeping and great sound. He regularly performs at notable venues such as The Purcell Room, Cadogan Hall, Ronnie Scott’s & Pizza Express Jazz Club, King’s Place, the Barbican and O2 Arena. He is a regular at the Swanage, Marlborough and Scarborough Jazz Festivals, and tours internationally.
Long time collaborators include Darius Brubeck, with whom he has recorded three albums, the most recent features saxophonist Dave O’Higgins. For three years he played in Michael Garrick’s Quartet, Big Band and Lyric Ensemble. Since 2008 Ridley has recorded and performed extensively with Oud maestro Attab Haddad in his project combining middle eastern, flamenco and jazz music. More recently, he’s been working with Issie Barratt in her large ensemble and touring with up-and-coming guitarist Ant Law.
As a band leader Ridley released his debut album Thymos on Whirlwind in 2013. Featuring the talents of pianist John Turville, drummer George Hart, and guest appearances from saxophone Jason Yarde, oudist 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. The group continue to perform as a quartet with plans of a new release.
In addition to his original music projects, Matt leads the ‘MJQ Celebration’. A straight-ahead yet modern outfit, the band comprises of vibraphonist Jim Hart, (notably one of the very few UK artists to be nominated yearly in the ‘Downbeat Magazine’s’ critic’s poll), pianist Barry Green and Steve Brown on drums. Propelled by Ridley’s ebullient swing, the group lend an exciting modern sensibility to the well known and loved repertoire of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The group released their eponymous album in April, 2014 (produced by Ridley), which received glowing reviews and was described by London Jazz as “an enormously entertaining project, already leaping on top of an ‘early best of 2014’ pile.”
“One of the most exciting young jazz bass players around.”
“Ridley and Brown like masters of the metronome, spot on at every juncture.”
– Jazzwise Magazine
“An imaginative soloist who also roots the band with strength and simplicity.”
– London Jazz
“Ridley has a solid, woody sound and his solos are nimble and to the point.”
– Jazzwise Magazine
“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.”
– London Jazz News