CD REVIEW: Matt Ridley Quartet – Mettā

Matt Ridley Quartet – Mettā
(Whirlwind Recordings. WR4683. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)

Opening with a gentle stream of notes flowing from John Turville‘s piano, much of bassist Matt Ridley‘s new disc on Whirlwind Recordings has an open, pastoral feel to it. It is free of histrionics but full of emotion and restrained energy.

Much of that comes from saxophonist Jason Yarde, here playing only soprano. His notes seemed to glide, soar and dive. His lyricism is present throughout the record.

The quartet is well balanced, though, necessary for this sometimes understated music to work. And work it does, very well. Mettā is a Buddhist concept of kindness, benevolence, close mental union and an active interest in others. The musicians demonstrate that here.

The music has a sensitive, exploratory feel. It sounds like an evolving conversation between the the members of the quartet, particularly between Yarde and Turville. George Hart plays his drums with an subtlety, and Ridley, who composed the tunes, is a fluent and delicate player.

Spacious and open, Mettā is at times moody and intense, at others jaunty and upbeat. And evocative and entertaining throughout.

Patrick Hadfield lives in Edinburgh, occasionally takes photographs, and sometimes blogs at On the Beat. Twitter: @patrickhadfield


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