Brian Molley Quartet Launch New Album

Internationally acclaimed Scottish group the Brian Molley Quartet release their third album, Modern Traditions on Friday 3rd December on BGMM Records. They will play a launch gig at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh as part of the Soundhouse season there on Sunday 7th November.

Featuring the quartet’s trademark blend of jazz and world music, Modern Traditions again showcases the group’s broad range of musical influences while demonstrating a deep respect for the jazz tradition. From straight-ahead, high-octane jazz to tender ballads, from driving Indian raga to Scottish traditional folk song, Modern Traditions is a collection of creative, contemporary jazz played by an established group at the height of their powers. 

Formed in 2012 by Glasgow-based saxophonist and former Jazzwise ‘One to Watch’ Molley, the quartet brings together some of the finest musicians from the UK’s jazz and world music scenes, with pianist Tom Gibbs, double bassist Brodie Jarvie and drummer Stuart Brown joining Molley. Their enthusiastically received debut album, Clock was released in 2013 and was described by BBC Radio 3 as ‘a well-crafted and classy debut’ and by London Jazz News as ‘skilfully crafted music, a minor masterpiece…strikingly good.’ 

Colour and Movement, their follow-up from 2017, was greeted with similar praise. All About Jazz said, ‘Molley’s tone is gorgeous, he never wastes a note’ and The Scotsman described Molley’s tenor saxophone as singing ‘beautifully, sultry and lyrical.’ 

The quartet have been selected three times for the Made in Scotland programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and represented the cutting edge in UK jazz at Rochester International Jazz Festival, New York as part of Made in the UK 2015. On the same trip the group played well received club dates in New York City, drawing enthusiastic responses at Silvana in Harlem and WhyNotJazzRoom in Greenwich Village. 

Their numerous national and international tours include appearances at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester jazz festivals, a live session for BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up in 2017 and several trips to tour, collaborate and record in India. The quartet’s first collaboration with Rajasthan’s Asin Langa Ensemble included a nationwide tour of India as well as a reciprocal arrangement, bringing the renowned Indian folk musicians to the UK to tour for the first time in 2018. A resulting track, Journeys in Hand, composed by Molley, was selected for Songlines Magazine’s June 2018 covermount CD. More recently the quartet have collaborated with Chennai-based percussionist Krishna Kishor on a nationwide tour of India, including headline appearances at Madras Jazz Festival. Their remotely-recorded album, Intercontinental is planned for release in 2022.

Adam Roberts

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