Brian Smith: Taupo (Manu/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Brian Smith: Kids At Play
Brian Smith: Taupo (Manu/Ode)

Most New Zealand jazz is like the Kiwi: endangered, pokes around in the dark away from public gaze and doesn't take flight.

This year however is shaping up to be a good one: albums by Wellingtonians Kevin Clark and Charmaine Ford are both worth serious attention, and now a long overdue new album from Auckland saxophonist Brian Smith.

Smith recorded one of my favourite local jazz albums, his self-titled release of 1986.

In the two decades since them Smith has continued to play, did the Moonlight Sax thing (and whatever you make of that MOR album you have to concede Smith did it well) and now this which sees him firing hard in places (the coiling and exciting opener) or pulling right back (the restful Moon and Sand).

With the likes of pianist Kevin Field, bassist Kevin Haines, trumpeter Kim Paterson, guitarist Lance Sua, bassist Billy Kristian and drummer Alain Koetsier on hand this is an album of great depth and experience, all of which is underplayed in the service of the compositions which include Smith originals alongside material by Charlie Parker (Perhaps), Gershwin (Soon) and others.

The band also gets looser on the free improv Big Kids At Play.

Yes, this is looking like a very good year in local jazz.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando (ECM/Ode)

Bobo Stenson Trio: Cantando (ECM/Ode)

Swedish pianist Stenson is one of those rare individuals who extends the contract of improvisation by deliberately drawing on diverse source material, which gives him and his musicians different... > Read more

THELONIOUS MONK; THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL by ROBIN D.G. KELLEY

THELONIOUS MONK; THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL by ROBIN D.G. KELLEY

In late November 1963, a 5000 word profile of Thelonious Monk was scheduled to appear in Time magazine. Monk was to be the cover. An interviewer and jazz aficionado Barry Farrell from Time had... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER ALEC MORGAN looks back at the car culture of Auckland's Queen St in the Seventies

GUEST WRITER ALEC MORGAN looks back at the car culture of Auckland's Queen St in the Seventies

Auckland’s Queen Street has long been a place for young people with wheels. In 1976 the cars would converge from mainly out West (Te Atatu, Henderson, Massey, Glen Eden, Blockhouse Bay),... > Read more

5 FLIGHTS UP, a film by RICHARD LONCRAINE

5 FLIGHTS UP, a film by RICHARD LONCRAINE

When, about 12 years ago, I bought the modest townhouse I'm in, I went through what is called a “blind auction”. For those who don't know what this... > Read more