Meet Matt Ridley: I graduated from Trinity College of Music in Greenwich, London in 2005 and have been a full time bassist since then. Music has taken me all around the world and I've been very privileged to perform regularly with some of the finest jazz musicians in UK like Jason Yarde
I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I played along to recordings of the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 15.
Your sound and approach to music: I like to make a big, fat, punchy bass sound. My compositional approach is informed by classical music and aims to reconcile the differences between these different philosophies.
Your teaching approach: I think that technique is an often overlooked aspect of double bass playing; even some busy professional bass players have lousy technique. After the fundamentals have been addressed, I encourage students to become flexible and develop a sound that is unique to them so that they can sound good and confident in any musical situation.
Your dream band: I would love to play with Keith Jarrett
Realistically speaking, all I could ask for is to have a group of really talented and amazing individuals who would be up for making an effort to get inside my tunes, push me while pushing themselves, and to be committed to making the band the best it can be. Oh wait, I have that already.
Road story: Your best or worst experience: One of the most bizarre and random things that happened was to be booked as a trio to play at a ceremony of a cult who worshipped the bananayeah, for real. Waiting to play whilst the leader of the cult recited some liturgy about the banana ("The skin is mighty but the flesh is mightier!") and he and all the folks at the ceremony were standing around with banana skins on their heads. Truth really is stranger than fiction...
Favorite venue: The Capstone Theatre in Liverpool has an amazing piano and sound crew. The venue staff are also super nice and very generous with their hospitality.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? I'm really proud of my album, Thymos. I'm really chuffed with how it sounds, how I played, how everyone else played! I also love the MJQ Celebration record, which is a totally different vibe, but it's just so fun, I love it. Be hard pressed to choose between them both!
Desert Island picks: Kenny Wheeler, Gnu High (ECM, 1976); Keith Jarrett, Bye Bye Blackbird (ECM, 1993); Miles Davis, My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert (Columbia, 1965); And pretty much anything from Trane.