Ben MacDonald’s Animus Quartet is one of the UK’s foremost emerging Jazz groups. The highly anticipated debut album from this exciting and vibrant group was extremely well received at their sold-out launch gig at Glasgow Jazz Festival 2016. This new repertoire is enchanting audiences with enthralling and emotive modern jazz, blending progressive compositions and eclectic influences.
The Quartet features acclaimed Scottish musicians and virtuosos in their field: Ben MacDonald (Guitar/Composer) Adam Jackson (Alto Sax) Peter Johnstone (Organ) and Doug Hough (Drums) all of whom have a plethora of musical experience at an international level.
This stunning work gives jazz guitarist MacDonald, a longstanding contributor to Scotland’s thriving jazz scene, an opportunity to display his skills as a composer and arranger. From the mellow, nostalgic melodies of “Bossa Roma” to the urgent, driving beat of “New Dawn” and the intricate complexity of the ambitious “Tyranny”, this album showcases an impressive wealth of ideas and utilises the formidable skillsets of all four players. Already the album has been getting regular airplay on BBC Radio’s Jazz House, 1320 Radio and Castle FM. One of the most exciting and accomplished emerging jazz guitarists/composers In Scotland. Ben cut his teeth playing with some of the top musicians in the country such as; The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz orchestra, Alyn Cosker, Paul Towndrow, Martin Kershaw, Steve Hamilton, Paul Harrison, Euan Burton, Thomas Gibbs and many more. Ben Also spent 3 years in Italy studying and performing with many of the top players there, including supporting Tom Harrell at the Eddie Lang Jazz festival.
“I see young players who are absolutely burning using every technique,(a Scottish kid named Ben MacDonald) who can play through changes like a knife through butter” Frank Gambale
“The Animus Quartet concert that we witnessed was a virtuoso improv performance, with the band’s leader Ben Macdonald and sax man Adam Jackson particularly impressive” Evening Times
“A fine young talent who’s got a lot of potential” Frank Gambale
“Improvises with a sure sense of structure, building solos to climaxes that chimes with the music’s natural ebb and flow” The Herald