In 2016 The Ben Crosland Quintet released the critically acclaimed album The Ray Davies Songbook, a tribute to the Kinks iconic singer/composer Ray Davies.
Crosland began his musical education at the age of thirteen playing along to the Kinks’ singles on the Dansette in his bedroom. Fifty years on, he has discovered new subtleties and strengths in Ray Davies’ compositions and has assembled a quintet of international standing to record and perform his imaginative arrangements
The Quintet features Crosland on bass, Theo Travis on tenor and soprano saxophones, John Etheridge on guitar, Steve Lodder on piano and keyboards, and Dylan Howe on drums.
Strong grooves, a natural swing and strong, evocative melodies characterise Ray Davies’ songs which allows them to be beautifully re-interpreted in a more contemporary fashion. From straight-ahead swing through 8th feel grooves and ballads to reggae, Crosland and the band shine a new light on these classic songs.
‘Ray Davies’ tunes – evocative, catchy and deceptively simple. By recasting them in the jazz idiom and delicately elaborating their harmonies, bassist and composer Ben Crosland brings them out in a fresh glow. It’s remarkable how comfortable these melodies sound in their new settings’. The Observer
‘The only surprise is that nobody’s done it before!…there’s nothing exploitative in Crosland’s exploration of Davies’ witty meditations. What there is is a lot of affection, a lot of respect for those unforgettable melodies and a whole lotta damn fine playing…there’s space galore for unashamed fun playing…These well respected men have done Mr Davies proud’. Jazzwise