'Our aim is to create engaging music'

All that jazz

'Our aim is to create engaging music'

Saxophonist and composer Brian Molley, based in Scotland, has his hands full with many of his own projects as well as freelance work as an in-demand session player.

The seasoned musician formed the ‘Brian Molley Quartet’ in 2012, with some of the finest jazz players in the UK.

The quartet, featuring Tom Gibbs on piano, James on bass, Stuart Brown on drums and Brian Molley on saxophone, recently gave a mesmerising performance at BFlat, much to the delight of jazz lovers in the city.

Brian Molley chats with Anushree Agarwal about the band’s journey and what sets them apart.

How has the band’s journey been since its inception?
We’ve had a very rich and varied journey so far. Our debut album ‘CLOCK’ was a great success. We have also travelled to perform and record in the US and in India. We are now touring to promote our second album, ‘Colour and Movement’. Our latest adventure is to be here in India, working with our partners Creative Scotland, The British Council and Exodus.

What do you feel sets you apart as a jazz quartet?
Our music draws on a wide variety of influences, encompassing a broad range of styles, whilst drawing it all together into a unified identifiable sound.

We work in a wide range of time signatures but our aim is always to create engaging music, not complicated for its own sake.

One of your most memorable performances.
Travelling out to play in the US was a special moment for us. We played at the Rochester Jazz Festival before a couple of gigs in New York City.

In many ways, it’s the global capital for jazz so it was great to be there.

A compliment that all of you deeply cherish.
After a performance at Jodhpur RIFF, another musician told me I had played straight to their soul, a compliment I’ll never forget.

Oddly, a similar thing happened to me earlier in the festival, listening to an incredible singer, Suchismita Das.

Do you feel there is some aspect that the band could improve upon?
We just want to play music together all the time, so more opportunities to play would be welcome! A band like ours really grows on the road and it’s great to know each gig will be different and a chance to explore music together as a group.

How did you find the audience for jazz in Bengaluru?
The Bengaluru audience was fantastic, very responsive and also very positive about our music.

The hospitality we’ve received here has been great too.

Have you had the chance to try some Indian food?
We are all very big fans of Indian food, and enjoy being surrounded by an incredible range of delicious choices at meal times.

What do the band members like to do in their leisure time?
Tom, James and I are keen runners, so we try to get out whenever we are on tour. Stuart is a keen rock climber.

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