RICHARD X BENNETT is a Brooklyn-based jazz pianist whose work often has a soulful undertow and, maybe surprising, an Indian raga flavour. His work has appeared on labels like Ropeadope and  Times Music but for his latest offering he’s working with Ubuntu Music who’ll be releasing his ‘RXB3’ LP on May 28th.

The 12-track collection was recorded during the lockdown and on it Bennett is supported by bassist Adam Armstrong and drummer Julian Edmond Armstong is a long-term collaborator while Edwards makes his Bennett debut here, bringing in a tight and soulful feel (his background is in gospel).

The music throughout ‘RXB3’ is eminently melodic with the leader utilising the classic theme and variation jazz mode. Highlights include the funky ‘Made From Stone’, the soulful ‘This Is My Code’ and three tender ballads – ‘Vape’ on which Bennett plays melodica, ‘One Voice’ and the emotion-tugging ‘It’s Only July’.

Eleven of the twelve songs are Bennett originals. The exception is the closing ‘Tum Hi Ho’ which is a Bollywood standard from the movie, ‘Aashiqui 2’. Here it’s given an innovative makeover.

RICHARD X BENNETT: ‘RXB3’ released May 28th via Ubuntu Music.