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

Various Artists: Message from the Tribe (Universal Sound/Southbound)

Various Artists: Message from the Tribe (Universal Sound/Southbound)

On the surface this may look like one for those with selective taste: here is a 12 track collection of inner city jazz from Tribe Records out of Detroit between '72 and '76. The dates are... > Read more

HORACE SILVER, JAZZ PIANO LEGEND: Fifty years of Peace, in our time

HORACE SILVER, JAZZ PIANO LEGEND: Fifty years of Peace, in our time

When I was at school, my dad wasn’t concerned about what marks I got. All he wanted to know was, ‘Where were you in the class?’ He figured while 82 per cent sounds impressive,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER MURRAY CAMMICK shows off his flash cars

GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER MURRAY CAMMICK shows off his flash cars

Elsewhere writes: Murray Cammick is best known in New Zealand for his longtime editorship of the legendary rock magazine Rip It Up -- yes, legendary, a word we only ever use sparingly in... > Read more

Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live Forever (Universal)

Bob Marley and the Wailers: Live Forever (Universal)

Some albums are accorded greater cachet because of the circumstances of their creation. Does anyone really think George Harrison would have won a Grammy for his instrumental Marwa Blues if he had... > Read more