Brian Molley

Saxophonist and composer Brian Molley is based in Scotland, leading several of his own projects as well as freelancing as an in demand session player.

The focal point of Brian’s musical output since 2012 has been the Brian Molley Quartet, performing his own compositions and arrangements. In spring 2013 the band recorded their debut album CLOCK [BGMM©], released to critical acclaim in October that year. Highlighted by Jazzwise Magazine as “one to watch 2014” Brian’s compositions have attracted much acclaim, “a classy and well-crafted debut” BBC Radio 3, “His tone is gorgeous, he never wastes a note” All About Jazz.

In 2014 the quartet made appearances at Glasgow and Manchester Jazz Festivals and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the prestigious Creative Scotland curated ‘Made in Scotland’ programme, in addition to an extensive UK tour in the autumn. Summer 2015 saw the band perform further UK dates before appearing at Rochester International Jazz festival, representing the cutting edge in UK jazz as part of the ‘Made in the UK’ series. Whilst in the US the group also performed at Silvana, Harlem and WhyNot Jazz Room in Greenwich Village, New York City.

In October 2015 BMQ made their first trip to India, performing at Jodhpur RIFF in Rajasthan. In addition to their own set, they also collaborated on a programme of new music with renowned Rajasthani musicians from the Langa Community, fusing Brian’s compositions with Indian folk music. Forming part of a short tour in India, BMQ also gave concerts in Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore. The quartet returned to Rajasthan to perform once again at RIFF in 2016, working once more in collaboration with their Indian counterparts, the Asin Khan Langa Ensemble. Their performance heralded much acclaim – “an incredible experience, Brian Molley Quartet provided a mesmerising fusion” Huffington Post. The combined groups also recorded the album Journeys in Hand (RIFF), in a custom built desert studio. The title track from the record was included in the June 2018 Songlines magazine compilation CD.

Brian Molley Quartet returned to the studio to record their second quartet album in November 2016. Colour and Movement[BGMM©] was released to much acclaim in spring 2017, the group touring around the UK once again through April and May ’17 to promote the record. Described as “richly textured and high on melody” All About Jazz, and featuring 12 tracks in 12 key and time signatures, 9 original compositions and 3 re-arranged jazz standards, the release of Colour and Movement was also marked with a live broadcast of the group’s set from Glasgow International Jazz Festival ’17 on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up. Brian Molley Quartet concluded their tour with a return trip to India as part of the UK/India 2017 season to headline Madras Jazz Festival, Chennai. Whilst in India, the group collaborated once again on a new programme of Brian’s original music with renowned percussionist Krishna Kishor.

In 2018, Brian Molley Quartet were selected once again for the Made in Scotland programme, performing in collaboration with the Asin Khan Langa Ensemble. Making their first trip to perform in the UK, Asin’s group joined BMQ for a Scottish tour in addition to their acclaimed performances at Edinburgh Fringe.

Working as a sideman Brian has performed with The Raymond Scott Project, Fabio Torrés/Edu Ribéiro, Valery Ponomarev, Stan Sulzmann, The Everything Treatment, The Stu Brown Sextet, Mirium Aida/Mario Caribe, Red Young Organ Trio, The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, David Patrick Sextet and The Sorensen Soul Workout among many others.

Classical and contemporary classical work has included appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Paragon Ensemble and The Scottish Concert Orchestra as well as performing the world premiere of Michael Spencer’s saxophone concerto ‘…los redes des piedra…’ with Garry Walker/The Kelvin Ensemble. Pop and session work has also included Hue and Cry, Ricky Ross, Silicone Soul, Bad Manners, The DT6, The Peatbog Faeries, Isobel Campbell and Camille O’Sullivan. As a theatre musician, career highlights have included working in London’s West End and on Broadway, New York on the National Theatre of Scotland/Improbable production ‘The Wolves in the Walls’.

Collaborative projects for Brian have included And’Art/Terre Sans Frontiere, a 10-day residency in 2009 in Tangiers, Morocco with a collective of Moroccan and International musicians, artists and film-makers, and a Scottish-Brazilian cross cultural project with Mario Caribé and Sao Paolo based musicians Fabio Torrés and Edu Ribéiro in 2012.

In 2011 Brian was commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council to produce an arrangement of electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott’s music for the Stu Brown Sextet. Portofino was premiered at Gateshead International Jazz Festival, April 2011. A recent addition to the band’s set has been Brian’s arrangement of the Scott Bradley cartoon score for Mouse For Sale, the Warner Brother’s Tom and Jerry cartoon.