Richard X Bennett
Release 28th May 2021
Fresh out of New York City, Ubuntu Music is proud to release RXB3, the new album from innovative pianist Richard X Bennett, bringing to the world his unique brand of ‘Bounce Jazz’ and ‘Theme & Destruction’.
Release concert Sunday May 16, 3pm
Live from St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University. Presented by Sacred Music at Columbia, from the Earl Hall Center for Religious Life at Columbia University.
View the concert on YouTube
While we cannot have in-person audiences at this time, we are delighted to present this streaming concert, with socially-distanced musicians.
Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of the Brooklyn-based pianist Richard X Bennett for the worldwide release of his next album ‘RXB3’, on 28th May 2021. The inspirations for Richard X Bennett’s lively work evolve from a wide range of unlikely sources, from contemporary visual art to ancient metaphysics influenced by years performing in India, where he recorded a series of critically acclaimed raga-jazz albums for Times Music, India’s largest record label. At points on RXB3, Richard X Bennett might adopt the triplet pattern of rhythm made popular by leading contemporary rap group Migos, or channel the vibe of pre-LP era Duke Ellington, but ultimately he follows his own muse. His pieces are short takes on the classical ‘theme and variation’, given an edge by deconstructing said themes in a whirlwind of improv, transforming this long-standing technique into ‘theme and destruction’!
Richard X Bennett recorded RXB3 during the lockdown period with long-term collaborator Adam Armstrong on bass and new drummer Julian Edmond on drums, who originally comes from a gospel background. The synergy between the trio is more than apparent on the album. On RXB3, Richard reimagines the trio as a vehicle for his tuneful songs and weighty, poly-rhythmic, groove-centric piano explorations. He explains: “Each song begins as a bespoke piano pattern. The melodies evolve from these patterns, resulting in a multitude of ideas that exist together. I create modern music with a melodic and funky fabric and then tear it apart. My expectation is that you can listen, dance or vibe to this music at your leisure and pleasure. Listen closer and you will hear jazz, contemporary classical and Indian raga elements threaded throughout. The rhythm section has that bounce I like. I met drummer Julian Edmond during the middle of the pandemic and immediately knew that he could raise the music to a new level. He plays a stripped down drum set so there’s more air. Adam Armstrong (bass) has that big jazz sound that roots us in the tradition.”
The songs are all by Bennett with the exception of Tum Hi Ho , which is a Bollywood standard written by Mithoon for the movie, Aashiqui 2. Richard elaborates: “In 2019, I played Tum Hi Ho as a lighter encore for my raga concerts in India. Ballads should be all about the feel. If you’re noticing my technique, then I’ve done something wrong.” Richard X Bennett has adopted a multimedia approach to his art, by creating a series of music video’s (partly inspired by Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’!) that conjure up a range of moods from the comic to the abstract that perfectly compliment his musical endeavours.
Richard X Bennett has released music on Ropeadope, Times Music and now Ubuntu, fast growing in both repertoire and reputation as one of the hottest jazz labels of recent times. Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, gives his perspective on the Label’s latest signing: “Richard’s is, undisputedly, a unique and eclectic breed of the modern piano trio. His compositions are an intoxicating mixture of inviting, seductive melodies which are underpinned by a take-no-prisoners collision of funk-meets-raga-meets-jazz. It’s an addictive musical cocktail for the head, the heart and the feet. We’re only too happy to have Richard join the Ubuntu Music Family.”
Pianist/Composer Richard X Bennett plays unique and soulful jazz with a sound all his own. His albums, the exuberant jazz-raga quintet Experiments With Truth and melodic groove jazz trio What Is Now were simultaneously released by Ropeadope Records in October 2017. He also has six critically acclaimed raga-based records on Indian labels. In New York, he has performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Guggenheim Museum, The Rubin Museum and Central Park Summerstage. Internationally, he has played in over twenty countries including a two month tour of China and Japan in 2019. His 2018 release, the solo Away From The Many and the 2020 downtempo collaboration with HUW, InParallel find him exploring more ambient and electronica influenced sounds, but in live performance his bands remain committed to a joyous and energetic groove.
Connect with Richard X Bennett:
What they’re saying about RXB3:
- Downbeat Magazine, 7/1/21, Richard X Bennett RXB3, 4 stars
- Republic of Jazz, 4/10/21, Richard X Bennett – RXB3 (May 28, 2021 Ubuntu Music) / Release concert Sunday May 16, 3pm
- DownBeat Magazine, 5/10/21, What To Stream May 11-18
- Soul&Jazz&Funk, 5/11/21, X Marks the Spot!
- Liberissimo, 6/1/21, Richard X Bennett- RXB3
- London Jazz News, 5/28/21, Richard X Bennett- RXB3
- Simply Jazz Talk, 5/25/21, Richard X Bennett- RXB3
- Grotesqualizer, 6/1/21, Richard X Bennett, Laughing Lion
- The Jazz Mann, 5/27/2021, Richard X Bennett, RXB3
- All About Jazz, 5/14/21, Richard X Bennett: RXB3
- Elsewhere, 5/31/21, Richard X Bennett: RXB3
- Secret Eclectic, 6/8/21, ‘bounce, power, mirth’ | Interview with Richard X Bennett
- Last Day Deaf, 5/30/21, Groove On (Take 51)
- Republic of Jazz, 5/28/21, Richard X Bennett – RXB3 (May 28, 2021 Ubuntu Music)
- Take Effect Reviews, 7/2/21, Richard X Bennett