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1. Siamese Twins
2. Theme and Variations
3. Homage to Kenny Wheeler
4. Siddhartha
5. The River
6. Sari Gelin
7. Thymos
8. Hijaz
9. Outro

Thymos: Promo Video

About: Thymos

Release Date: October 14, 2013: Worldwide Physical & Digital

Whirlwind Recordings is proud to introduce Thymos, the ambitious debut solo-album from double bassist and composer Matt Ridley, a London-based musician who is known as one of the prominent talents of his generation. An album that blurs the line between genres, the origins of Thymos came from Ridley's collaborations 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).

"I envisaged a sound encompassing the exotic flavors and emotions of Middle Eastern music with the jazz sensibility of improvisation on complex structures," says Ridley on the inspiration behind the original music on the album. 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, contemporary jazz inspired by both the London and NYC scenes, composers Kenny Wheeler and Vijay Iyer, as well as 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 both a bassist and accomplished soloist. 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 today could conceive.

The result is Ridley's shining achievement; a debut album that is an honest and genuine representation of his musical tastes and experiences, featuring brilliant improvisations from all members of the band, and retaining an inspired and exciting cohesive group-sound throughout.

Press Highlights

"Ridley has made a stirring debut here and his future on the scene seems very bright after this fine start."
4 Stars, Marlbank

"An impressive début and represents a substantial artistic statement from the talented Mr. Ridley... Ridley has emerged as an outstanding composer and band-leader with the release of “Thymos”, his magnificent new album."
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

"Full of strong riffs, sturdy structures and a tight-knit rhythm section working closely as a unit. Matt Ridley has a solid, woody sound."
Jazzwise Magazine

"A high quality performance, matched by peerless production and presentation and a worthy addition to the collection of any listener wishing to keep abreast of the wealth of new talent that is keeping the music infused with creative drive."
Jazz Views

"Ridley's own writing draws on modal jazz, minimalist composers, Middle Eastern melodies and free improvisation. He's an imaginative soloist who also roots the band with strength and simplicity."
London Jazz

"A remarkably expansive new album."
Bury Press

"Thymos is an ambitious undertaking by bassist Ridley, an album blurring the line between genres, fusing the modal and rhythmic elements of Middle-Eastern music with the harmonic complexities of jazz.
The Jazz Breakfast

"This album displays staggeringly impressive musicianship."
The York Press

"This debut has a great deal to offer as a performance by a tightly-integrated group. It's an album of strong contrasts, and imaginative explorations by Ridley."
Jazz Camera

"Ridley has made a stirring debut here and his future on the scene seems very bright after this fine start."
4 Stars, Marlbank

"An attractive debut release from a leader and composer with real character, and featuring a very skilled bunch of players."
The Jazz Breakfast

"An ambitious undertaking by bassist Ridley."
Bebop Spoken Here