Tom Barford – saxophone
Ant Law – guitar
Tom Hewson – piano
Marc Michel – drums
Matt Ridley – bass
‘The Antidote’ are an exciting young contemporary jazz quintet, featuring leading lights of the UK scene. Brainchild of bassist Matt Ridley, the music is firmly rooted within the contemporary jazz discipline, and also emanates both rock overtones and classical influences, evolved from decades of genuine passion for music. Matt inhabits his own space within the creative diaspora, being able to navigate a broad spectrum of inspirations and transform them into a vibrant and exciting sound.
The Antidote features the formidable quintet of Tom Barford on saxophone, Ant Law on guitar, Tom Hewson on piano, Marc Michel on drums, and of course Matt Ridley on bass. With an insistence on detailed, expressive and thought-through compositions, Ridley allows time and space for both himself and his band members to express and showcase both their individual and collective talents thorough dynamic improvisation. The synergy between the group and a mutual understanding of each players’ specific nuances are more than apparent, while still allowing enough freedom for independent flair to shine though. Combining this with the more melodic and compositional aspects of the music makes for a truly engaging experience. Rather than a ‘leader + sidemen’ attitude, Ridley has cultivated a genuine ‘band’ sound, as Tom Hewson elucidates: “This project totally captured my imagination from the first minute of rehearsal. Matt has managed to create something full of incredible compositional range whilst staying totally grounded with this immediate, unpretentious sense of energy. As someone that came to jazz through rock and prog I love that feeling of unshackling, that desire not to hold back from. The whole band really bought into the spirit from the start – something you can really hear on the record, and something that definitely comes across live.”
The eponymous debut album, released in 2021, received glowing reviews from across the globe from coveted publications such as Downbeat Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, Jazzwise, Ivan Rod (Denmark), JazzMania (Belgium) and Presto Music. The album also received a nomination for ‘Best Jazz Album of 2021’ in the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards UK, as well as making the Jazzwise ‘20 best jazz albums of 2021’ (worldwide) list.