Reuben Bradley: Resonator (Rattle Jazz)

 |   |  1 min read

Reuben Bradley: Doppler Effect
Reuben Bradley: Resonator (Rattle Jazz)

This new album on the immaculately presented and recorded Rattle Jazz imprint proves again there is a depth of New Zealand jazz talent to be encouraged and taken to a wider audience.

Helmed by drummer Bradley -- with a core group of Roger Manins on brusque and/or melodic tenor, keyboardist Miles Crayford and Mostyn Cole on bass -- this album covers a wide swathe of Bradley's original compositions which include edgy post-bop (Exposition) and driving swing (Peoples?), soulful ballads (Search in Progress with vocalist Kirsten Te Rito) and studio experiments (the Radiohead-referencing OK Monitor with James Illingworth on synth and Te Rito).

And sometimes -- as on the mood-shifting Doppler Effect with its repeated Twilight Zone-type figure, gloomy arco bass from Tom Callwood then the shift to sprightly electric keyboard runs and sci-fi synths -- some of these elements can happen in the same piece.

Elsewhere Cassandra's Prophecy opens like a slightly eerie theme to a disconcerting European movie before opening out into much more free and exploratory playing from Mannins and Crayford (driven by some exceptional playing by Bradley) before moving in another direction again.

This idea of unified pieces of separate segments and expression is a hallmark of Bradley's compositions and means they rarely settle but are constantly morphing and taking the listener on a journey. A rare skill -- and he has the players here to pull it off.

There is a lot of fine playing and rewarding listening on this album . . . which ends with the wonderfully jerky/funky OK Monitor, another which bounces off into unexpected places as Bradley changes the tempo, the synths phone home from outer space, and samples and Te Rito's vocals are threaded through in the middle distance.

Yet another excellent Rattle Jazz album -- and something rather more challenging and therefore exciting than most other New Zealand jazz albums of the moment. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Charles Lloyd: Sangam (ECM/Ode)

Charles Lloyd: Sangam (ECM/Ode)

The return of saxophonist Charles Lloyd to the frontline in the early 90s after almost two decades away has been one of the most enjoyable in jazz.  If you want to hear downright beautiful and... > Read more

THE ACT LABEL, SIGNATURE EDITION (2010): Getting their ACT acts together

THE ACT LABEL, SIGNATURE EDITION (2010): Getting their ACT acts together

There is something smart about a record label adopting the idea of generic covers: certainly the distinctive Reid Miles design for covers for Blue Note (frequently using Frank Wolff's photos)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS, a film by MARTIN DAVIDSON (Triton DVD)

EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS, a film by MARTIN DAVIDSON (Triton DVD)

Although this B-grade rock-cum-mystery film from '83 has plot holes and continuity problems so big you could drive a pink '57 Chevy through them, it isn't without some interest, especially if Bruce... > Read more

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Although little known in this country, the multi-culti Dub Inc from France coming here for Womad this weekend have been around since the late Nineties, have played in over 50 countries and released... > Read more