Born in Scotland, saxophonist Ben Bryden made his transatlantic crossing in 2009 to attend the Manhattan School of Music, opting to remain in New York following his studies to further his career amidst the hustle and bustle that can only be found in the Mecca of jazz. Over the past decade, Bryden has had the honor of performing with such luminaries as Will Vinson, Ben Wendel, Chris Lightcap and the legendary Les Paul, and has released three albums as a leader, with his fourth studio recording, Figure of Eight, coming November 8th to Circavision Productions.
Joining the reedist on the record are fellow long term New York transplants, Australians Desmond White on bass and Rajiv Jayaweera on drums, as well as fellow British expat Phil Robson on guitar, with a cameo from long-time collaborator Steven Delannoye on tenor saxophone.
Although predominantly rooted in jazz, Figure of Eight draws from other varied influences including Scottish folk music, post-rock, and indie, making for an inspired and compelling outing full of brashness, vitality and modernity. From beginning to end, the record takes listeners on a journey full of surprises and bifurcations ranging from minimalist and contemplative ballads to high-intensity headbangers.
Stream “A Respectful Salute to the Socially Relevant” below, the first single from the album which pays homage to Bryden’s friend and collaborator Reinier Baas whose indomitable style of “Mostly Improvised Instrumental Indie Music” was immortalised on his 2011 release The More Socially Relevant Jazz Music Ensemble.
Photo by Erika Kapin.