Track/Video: In-demand saxophonist Benjamin Samuels takes to the spotlight with ‘Ambitious Antithesis’ from upcoming debut album.

Sax-player, clarinettist and composer Benjamin Samuels is stepping out from the back line. A musician who’s worked with Californian fusionist Balkan Bump and Brighton’s own global beat pioneer Seb Taylor (aka Kaya Project), plus toured the world in the irrepressible Grouch in Dub’s band, Samuels has recently made time to pause. Except that hasn’t meant taking a complete break, he’s been re-focusing on his own compositions and shaping that moment of truth, a solo debut album ‘Dissensation’ (out on 11th April).

The album looks set to pull from his musical journey, absorbing the eclectic grooves he’s been pursuing in those various bands as well as the jazz expanses and classical forms linked to his starting point at Sydney Conservatorium. The previous singles signposting the new album show what this sounds like in action. ‘Gb’s Groove’ blended a juicy dub skank with zesty latin jazz stretches while ‘Crazy DNA’ cooked up a spikey no-wave jazz funk gumbo.

Now comes the final preview ‘Ambitious Antithesis’ (streaming now in all the usual places), a track that surges through eight plus minutes of vital nu-jazz expressionism. Framed by a curling Balkan/ Klezmer melody from Samuels and excited by agile percussive patterns, the tune motors like well-oiled Cuban jazz pepped up by a shot of today. With the energy of a live sound and space given for the players to explore, the music of Benjamin Samuels comes fresh and vital. ‘Dissensation’ is already feeling like an album that will find a warm welcome in the bustling jazz-dance church of sound.

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