Bar code: 8427328422123
This 27 year-old pianist lives in New York City where he works as a freelance jazz musician. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Roberts moved to Montreal in 1994 where he studied at McGill University. After graduating with high distinction in 1998, Roberts madea name for himself playing with various Montreal musicians such as Joel Miller, Joe Sullivan, Andre White, Michel Donato and Charlie Biddle, while at the same time continuing his piano studies with noted New York pianist Fred Hersch. In the summer of 2000, Bryn toured extensively in the US and the UK with Maynard Ferguson's big band, including a week-long stint at the famous Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London.
2001 saw the release of Roberts' debut as a leader and featured saxophonist Seamus Blake, vibraphonist Stefan Bauer, bassist Fraser Hollins and Parisian drummer Karl Jannuska. The group performed several times in Montreal and Toronto, including a show as part of the official competition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In autumn that year, he also recorded with saxophonist Remi Bolduc on his CD entitled Renaissance (Effendi).
Since moving to New York in 2001, Roberts has worked extensively both as a sideman and a leader. He toured Mexico as part of the 2002 Cervantino Festival with the Donny Kennedy quintet, and recorded with him for his CD Horizons. He has played at many of New York's prestigious jazz clubs, including the Blue Note, Birdland, the Fat Cat and the 55 Bar, appearing with many of New York's top jazz musicians, including Seamus Blake, Ari Hoenig, Victor Lewis, Jochen Rueckert John Ellis and Melba Joyce. He most recently toured Canadian jazz festivals in 2004 with his group featuring Will Vinson, saxophones, Matt Penman, bass and Mark Ferber, drums.
1. Ludlow 8:30
2. Indie 5:47
3. Fleure 4:33
4. Corrigan 8:55
5. Reruns 7:55
6. Eau de Vie 7:12
7. Dancing in the Dark 4:34
8. Hagamos un Trato 5:55
All compositions by Bryn Roberts, except #7 by H.Dietz and A.Schwartz.
Recorded June 30, 2003 and February 22, 2004 in Montreal, Canada.
"Ludlow is a showcase for the considerable gifts of the young Canadian pianist and composer Bryn Roberts. It's a sparkling, varied CD that gets better with each listen. The music is characterized by strong compositional frameworks and flowing improvisation.
Pianist Roberts composed all the material on Ludlow except the standard Dancing In The Dark. His compositions have lengthier expositions than the standards played by earlier generations of jazz musicians. The title tune, for example, is an attractive line, long and flowing, with lyrical chord changes and stop-and-start rhythms that support sinuous improvisations, particularly by the fine young saxophonist Seamus Blake. In fact, it is Blake whose consistent excellence is responsible for the success of this album. His every solo is meticulously constructed, juggling complex ideas effortlessly, played with a warm, clear tone and a rolling swing. The fact that Blake eschews the electronic effects he has used elsewhere only serves to highlight his sound.
Roberts, too, is a gifted improviser who isn't afraid to take chances, while his technical command and relaxed swing contribute to the long, lyrical lines that are characteristic of both his improvising and his compositions. Besides the variations in form, Roberts' compositions use other devices characteristic of today's new mainstream. He is fond of odd time signatures, for example. Indie sports a 7/4 funk beat, and Corrigan is a 7/4 bossa nova. And everybody's at home in good old 4/4, as the uptempo cooker Hagamos Un Trato proves.
Kudos also to the excellent rhythm section. Bassist Drew Gress plays with empathy, using imaginative note choices and placements. His lively walking on Hagamos Un Trato is also welcome. Mark Ferber is a marvelous young drummer who is most notable for his brilliant use of cymbal shadings and his righteous swing."
- Marc Meyers, All About Jazz