new zealand jazz

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FRANK GIBSON PROFILED (2008): Long Distance Drummer

FRANK GIBSON PROFILED (2008): Long Distance Drummer

Early in 2007 I would get calls from Frank Gibson, who some say is arguably this country’s finest drummer. I would have thought that was beyond argument myself. Frank was asking what he could do, how he might capitalise on a playing career that had taken him around the world, won him numerous awards and the acclaim of musicians...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Nick Granville

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Nick Granville

Wellington guitarist and composer Nick Granville first appeared at Elsewhere as far back as 2008 with his Wishful Thinking album with his group. An in-demand session player and guest performer (on everything from Dancing with the Stars to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) he is also a tutor at the New Zealand School of Music teaching...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Rodger Fox

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Rodger Fox

Rodger Fox has managed to do the unthinkable and what some might have said was impossible. For 40 years he has kept a big band viable in a small country. And along the way he has taken various versions of the band on overseas tours and brought in big names from the States to perform with his players in New Zealand. His bands have also...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Roger Manins

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Roger Manins

New Zealand-born saxophonist Roger Manins has made his reputation in two tough places: New York and Sydney. Called "outstandingly gifted" by Mike Nock, he has brought passion and sensitivity to hard bop and recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums, among them the Trio album for Rattle Jazz with bassist Moysten Cole and...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Fergus Barrowman

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Fergus Barrowman

Fergus Barrowman is the Publisher of Victoria University Press, New Zealand’s leading publisher of new fiction and poetry, as well as scholarly non-fiction, where he has been since 1985. This year VUP has its biggest ever literary list: eight books of fiction (including four first books and two second books) and nine of poetry...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: John Bell

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: John Bell

Multi-instrumentalist John Bell (vibes, horns, noises) has been at the cutting edge of New Zealand improvised music for many years. His name is on releases by CL Bob, the Spirals album with his own trio, various albums which take a new look at the possibilities of brass bands (which he grew up in and he revisits with the Spoilers of Utopia album...

Mavis Rivers: Farewell Samoa (1950)

Mavis Rivers: Farewell Samoa (1950)

Because her career as singer was mostly in the United States -- where Sinatra apparently called her the purest voice in jazz -- Mavis Rivers was for many decades after 1953, when she made the first move from Auckland, more respected in New Zealand than actually heard. Yet in her brief period in Auckland -- the family originally from Apia,...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Reuben Bradley

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Reuben Bradley

The name of drummer/arranger Reuben Bradley has appeared many times at Elsewhere, but because Elsewhere can't be everywhere we missed one major mention this year. He masterminded, played on and produced the album Mantis; The Music of Drew Menzies which was a tribute to the life and music of the late Menzies and which pulled jazz and...

Carnivorous Plant Society: Carnivorous Plant Society (bandcamp)

Carnivorous Plant Society: Carnivorous Plant Society (bandcamp)

Drawing on everything from cool and classic Miles Davis, sci-fi, Mexican music, Spaghetti Westerns and ambient sounds, this large ensemble lead by Auckland horn and keyboard player Finn Scholes (who also did the cover art and animated videos) doesn't exactly try to be all things to all people. But you can imagine listeners with catholic...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Phil Davison

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Phil Davison

Phil Davison tells a funny story of his first performance at the Tauranga Jazz Festival. It was 1976 and he was just 17, and into playing free jazz with a small ensemble. However the band broke up just before the festival and he decided to literally go it alone. He hitched to Tauranga and played a free form solo set. "In my...

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you don't like it") and so on, Elsewhere will every now and again do a quick sweep like this. Comments will be brief. Soulahula: You &...

Hip Flask: Hip Flask2 (Rattle Jazz)

Hip Flask: Hip Flask2 (Rattle Jazz)

I suppose it was always thus: Every generation of jazz players would complain about the music of their successors, whether it be big band swing, bebop, Third Stream, free jazz, fusion . . . I've certainly heard my share of gripes from jazz musicians who felt they weren't get enough attention when their juniors were being acclaimed. That...

Nathan Haines: 5 A Day (Warners)

Nathan Haines: 5 A Day (Warners)

In a recent in-depth interview with Elsewhere, Nathan Haines spoke about how hard it was for him and his longtime producer Mike Patto to make this new album. In comments we didn't publish there he said, “we were running up against deadlines and it took a massive toll on our lives”. “I had to stop working because...

The Remarkables: Swinging on the Gate (Fragile Colours)

The Remarkables: Swinging on the Gate (Fragile Colours)

When Tim Julian of the record company Fragile Colours got in touch about this album, told me who was on it and asked if Elsewhere might be interested I replied immedfiately. I said, "You had me at 'Robbie Laven'." People of A Certain Age fondly remember the gifted multi-instrumentalist Laven for his band Red Hot Peppers in the...

Alan Brown: Silent Observer (alanbrown.co.nz)

Alan Brown: Silent Observer (alanbrown.co.nz)

Despite what many amateurs in the New Age world may think -- and Brian Eno's Bloom app allows you to pretend you can do it -- creating respectable ambient music isn't quite as easy as it sounds. We default to Eno again because he has some form in this area and he said this genre was about creating music which should be as ignorable as it was...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Alan Brown

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Alan Brown

Auckland-based keyboard player and composer Alan Brown has been around the New Zealand jazz scene for decades in groups like Blue Train and the Grand Central Band, has toured and played with the likes of Nathan Haines and Caitlin Smith and of course helmed his own trio . . . as well as passing on the message through his teaching. But his new...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: David Long

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: David Long

Those who have followed the by-ways of David Long's busy life might wonder why this award-winning producer, composer and guitarist-without-portfolio – who was a founder member of the Muttonbirds, has composed scores for Peter Jackson films, is a member of Plan 9, his music appearing in the current NZ doco The Ground We Won and he has...

Reuben Bradley: Cthulhu Rising (Rattle Jazz)

Reuben Bradley: Cthulhu Rising (Rattle Jazz)

First in passing, a comment about the consistency of packaging of CDs on the Rattle and Rattle Jazz labels: they are excellent and make the CD into an art object. That is enhanced especially on classical albums associated with the Wallace Art Trust where a work from that collection is included in the cover with a short biographical note...

Murray McNabb: Eurasian (2002)

Murray McNabb: Eurasian (2002)

If the New Zealand Music Awards had a category for best reissue or best best archival release, the exceptional double vinyl The Way In Is The Way Out would be a shoe-in. Subtitled "The Music of Murray McNabb", this lavishly presented collection pulls together an impressive cross-section of jazz and improvised music by the late...

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: 3 Voices; 3 Voices (ohorecordings.com)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: 3 Voices; 3 Voices (ohorecordings.com)

The early Eighties were a remarkable time for innovative, daring and genuinely avant-garde music in New Zealand. In short succession there were albums by Avant Garage and Big Sideways (on the short-lived Unsung label) as well as spin-off projects such as Don McGlashan and Ivan Zagni's Standards (on Propellor), Low Profile (Festival), Zagni...

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