Saturday, June 25, 2011

Children at Play by Ben Britton's Unconventional Riot

My kids think it's pretty cool to be on the cover.
After a lot of hard work, I'm excited to announce my newest recording, Children at Play.  The title is inspired by a comment Dave Holland made about his record, Prime Directive. In the liner notes he explains that his prime directive is to have fun, and I see it the same way. Jazz musicians a lot like kids. They often get to do  what they like best, play. This recording and the compositions on it fit that theme of having fun, at least for me! Take a moment and listen to the track previews, read the reviews, and check out the studio footage.

Listen to the Music
(Click on a link below to listen.)
Children at Play Preview
Partly Preview
Good Times Preview
Download the Music

Get the full EP on iTunes by clicking here.
The EP is also available at other online retailers like emusic, napster, and zune.

Ben Britton – Tenor Sax, Composer
Matt Davis – Guitar
Gabe Globus-Hoenich – Drums
Jordan Berger – Bass
John Britton – Trumpet on “Partly”

Reviews by Music Critics
"a tight, swinging trio of straight-ahead tunes with some subtle musical twists and turns, and a mix of gentleness and wildness that amalgamates..."

--Bruce Lindsay,, read the full review here.

"Powerful and raw at times but lyrical and organic when the music asks for it. Ben's masterful display of instrumental technique always serves a musical purpose and allows him to take a lot of chances, melodically and rhythmically, with great success making his improvised excursions always unpredictable and exciting. "

--Victor Pinto, Sax on the Web, read the full review here.

The EP's first review is out! Click here to read a nice review by Carl Abernathy.

Reviews by Fellow Saxophonists

These are some nice things fellow saxophonists have said about the music.  They are all fantastic musicians and part of the rising generation of jazz saxophonists, and their positive response to my music has meant a lot to me.
"Unconventional Riot is the debut project for saxophonist Ben Britton as a leader. This a fine example of saxophone playing at its highest level. The level of command of his instruments as well as harmonic control is something to be praised. Ben plays with a knowledge and skill level well beyond his age. I love the blend of intelligent compositions rooted in strong grooves. This blend pushes the listener and also makes his music easily accessible. The songs explore elements of rhythmic development while dealing with complex meters. Ben soars through the changes and meters so naturally it's easy to forget actually how difficult some of the things he is playing are. This is a true testament to the hard work and effort put into this project. Ben is an important voice with a very new sound and concept that I think will flourish in the future."
-- Brian Girley,
"Britton has obviously delved deep into the history of the saxophone during his own studies, developing his own personal improvisational voice among those of the acknowledged past and present titans of the tenor sax. Always musical and coherent, Ben’s fiery musical thoughts and remarkable technical facility grab the listener’s attention and hold it steady while embarking on a musical journey..." & "Britton has demonstrated that he’s put as much thought and preparation into presenting his music so that the composition tells its own story as he has into his saxophone playing."
-- Matt Marantz, click here to read the full review,
"This fiercely-grooving Philly band, augmented by a couple of NYC defectors, is something you can't afford to miss. When an inspiring and talented group has the ability to go anywhere, and takes full advantage over a whirlwind 24 minute EP, it leaves you thinking 'When is the next record coming out? I'm buying it!'"
-- Cam Collins,
"Many composers of today have made conscious use of odd time signatures in their compositions; Britton is no exception. Unlike many of his peers however, his decision to utilize odd meters in this track especially, directly reflects the approach of the record. Upon listening to this track, I was reminded of how as children we struggle with the task of learning how to walk. Whether by intention or interpretation, the form of this track had me in reminiscence of my challenge of learning this elementary task. What is definitely clear is that Britton, along with his cohorts, have mastered not only the task of walking, but can keep heed with the best of them."
-- Adam Larson , click here to read the full review,

Ben's solo on an alternate take of "Children at Play"

Extended preview of John's solo on "Partly"
This is the actual track and final audio from the EP.

Matt's solo on an alternate take of "Children at Play"

Unconventional Riot Live @ Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philly
Introduction to Ben's composition "Ducks in a Row"

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