Rodger Fox Big Band: Plays Tuwhare (digital outlets)

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Miles Davis (written by Rodger Fox)
 Rodger Fox Big Band: Plays Tuwhare (digital outlets)

After half a century, trombonist and band leader Rodger Fox still manages to be creative and inventive in his constant refreshing of his band's catalogue. Earlier this year they explored the music of Dave Dobbyn and here the great poet Hone Tuwhare's work – born 100 years ago – is the inspiration for 10 pieces.

Those unfamiliar with Tuwhare's work – this writer has only passing knowledge of key poems – are at no disadvantage as the arrangements here shift confidently from meditative passages (the lovely opener named for the great painter Ralph Hotere) through ballads to big band swing and a touch of rock'n'roll funk (the sassy Haiku).

There's the wiry bop-cum-fusion of Miles Davis and the moody and whimsical Child Coming Home in the Rain From the Store.

Big tunes from a disciplined big band which gets to wail and showcase individual players when required.

Another landmark recording by this country's longest running big band which has been the invaluable training ground for scores of musicians.

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You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here where there is a package deal for the group's complete discography.

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The Rodger Fox Big Band: Hamilton, 11 November; Kerikeri, 12 November; Auckland 13 November.

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