All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

304

Ben Britton's Unconventional Riot: Children At Play

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The name of saxophonist Ben Britton's new outfit, Unconventional Riot, might suggest some hard-edged, in-your-face, Mostly Other People Do The Killing type of jazz. The title of the band's debut "mini album," Children At Play, is more indicative of a looser, lighter and less serious approach. The reality is somewhere in the middle—a tight, swinging trio of straight-ahead tunes with some subtle musical twists and turns, and a mix of gentleness and wildness that amalgamates and also belies the titles of both band and album.

Britton's 2010 debut album with his trumpet playing brother John, as The The Britton Brothers on their self-produced Uncertain Living, was a fine album that established the brothers' musical and compositional chops with an array of tunes whose influences stretched from be-bop through to hip-hop. Children At Play doesn't display quite as wide a range of influences, but there is plenty of variation across its 25 minutes.

The title track is the most relaxed of the saxophonist's three tunes. Britton's tenor dominates the performance, but while he's melodically inventive he's also pretty mellow, as is guitarist Matt Davis, who contributes a flowing and lyrical solo of his own. "Partly" moves the pace up a notch, while the addition of John Britton's brother on trumpet gives the tune a little more urgency. The brothers' frontline playing is stylish and John's funky solo, underpinned by some effective comping from Davis, complements Britton's own more refined playing which makes full use of the tenor's range.

"Good Times" is structured around Jordan Berger's edgy, hip-hop-influenced bass line. Davis' guitar solo softens this edge somewhat, with some lovely single note runs, and then makes way for Britton's most creative tenor work—a solo that builds its tension gradually before release, demonstrating the saxophonist's command of dynamics, as well as showing a slightly wilder, more emotive side to his playing.

So, three tunes that showcase a band having fun, but also a band with creativity and flair, Children At Play is a welcome introduction to Ben Britton's Unconventional Riot: a brief taste of things to come, and a clear sign that such things will be worth anticipating.

Track Listing: Children At Play; Partly; Good Times.

Personnel: Ben Britton: tenor saxophone; Matt Davis: guitar; Jordan Berger: bass; Gabe Globus-Hoenich: drums; John Britton: trumpet (2).

Title: Children At Play | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Good Times

Good Times

Ben Britton
Children At Play

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Children At Play

Children At Play

Self Produced
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Perception CD/LP/Track Review
Perception
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 15, 2018
Read DeiCont | Philips Collective CD/LP/Track Review
DeiCont | Philips Collective
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Cooking Groove CD/LP/Track Review
Cooking Groove
by Jim Olin
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Heaven & Earth CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven & Earth
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Heart Of Brazil CD/LP/Track Review
Heart Of Brazil
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 14, 2018
Read "Fran Vielma & Venezuelan Jazz Collective: Tendencias" CD/LP/Track Review Fran Vielma & Venezuelan Jazz Collective: Tendencias
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 2, 2018
Read "Secret Language" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Happy Song" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Song
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 5, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Trane" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "If Not Now, When?" CD/LP/Track Review If Not Now, When?
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 24, 2017