The London jazz scene is currently home to a wealth of extremely talented young instrumentalists and composers all vying for attention in this very small musical arena. Amidst this cacophony emerges Paul Riley, a young, unobtrusive, modest saxophone player and composer who Russell van den Berg has described as a “sleeping giant” of the UK scene.
Into View is the debut album from this incredibly gifted young musician that showcases Paul not only as a fine instrumentalist with a mature musical language but also as a composer with a real depth of understanding for melody and harmony and the musicians he is writing for.
These musicians are the cream of the current crop. Guitarist Ant Law is becoming a stalwart on the UK jazz scene as a sideman for Tim Garland and Jason Rebello and has just released his second album as a leader to much critical acclaim.
Drummer Dave Hamblett is one of the busiest players on this circuit and Into View is the second album that he appears on Jellymould Jazz (the first being Tommy Andrews’ 2014 criticaly acclaimed release The Crux).
Bass player Matt Ridley is one of the most formidable musicians of his generation who has played with a variety of world-class ensembles and pianist Mitch Jones is known for his work with Dennis Rollins’ Bad Bone & Co.
Throughout the album it is Paul Riley’s developed flowing melodic lines, often played in unison with Law’s gritty guitar sound and infectious rhythmic grooves laid down by this fine rhythm section that are the star of this album.
Tunes like The Way Home, Outlaw and Spindrift demonstrate the tightness in ensemble playing between the two frontline players while there is some outstanding soloing from all members. There are two ballads, Song For Laura and Looking Back and two short “bookend” tracks aptly titled Opening and Closing on this 11-track album.