304

Ben Britton's Unconventional Riot: Children At Play

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Ben Britton's Unconventional Riot: Children At Play 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

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Tether" CD/LP/Track Review Tether
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Oaktree" CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "In All My Holy Mountain" CD/LP/Track Review In All My Holy Mountain
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.