Grammaphone: Grammaphone (Thoughtless)

 |   |  1 min read

Grammaphone: Grammaphone (Thoughtless)

Got to say when I went to school it was a big deal just to be in a band and the thought of making a record was beyond our comprehension -- which made Nooky Stott, drummer with Larry's Rebels, something of a distant (if slightly overweight) god to us.

But times change (for the better) and these students from Auckland Grammar not only recorded, but produced a very impressive double disc in a gatefold sleeve.

It is an exceptionally confident debut and they pick one of the tougher genres too: these guys don't play alt.rock or emo as many their age but take up jazz head-on and classic material by the likes of Gershwin, Coltrane, Jobim, Herbie Hancock, Paul Desmond's Take Five (spun out to 14 minutes) and so on -- and some very interesting original arrangements.

This is courageous but with the confidence of youth it works -- and in Campbell Rehu they have a singer who is assured and seasoned beyond his years.

There is a Latin or swing drift to most of this, but when young people write a track called Mingus you know they are stepping up to be counted. The first disc is instrumental and vocal, the second all intrumental and in places (Cantaloupe Island, Green Dolphin Street) they really stretch themselves out and find their groove.
Certainly there are flaws -- the occasional rush to get the solo going when a more leisurely opening up might have been better -- but that is a minor criticism.

What is here is as fine an opening statement as you could imagine from people who still can't get into bars legally.

Here's my pick: if you are interested in New Zealand jazz you should expect to hear much more from vocalist Rehu, saxophonist Sam Weeks, pianist Robbie Muir, bassist Tom Marshall and drummer Nick Chan.

And I'd bet that people internationally will also be hearing from these guys: this much talent, innate invention and willingness to take on a challenge usually flies far, probably to Berklee.

Quite something.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

PALLE MIKKELBORG PROFILED (2013): Another man with a horn

PALLE MIKKELBORG PROFILED (2013): Another man with a horn

The curious thing about the career of Denmark's acclaimed jazz trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg is that after 25-years as a professional -- and at the top of his game -- he came to wide international... > Read more

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

Jonas Kullhammar Quartet: Lat Det Vara (moserobie.com)

I cannot tell a lie, I bought this for the cover when I spotted it in a record store in the old town of Stockholm . . . but am delighted I did. At the time I didn't even know it was a jazz... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Downliners Sect: The Sect (1964)

Downliners Sect: The Sect (1964)

Some people live interesting lives . . . but when it comes time to check out their timing is appalling: the author Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, The Doors of Perception) died the same day John F... > Read more

FROM EARTH'S END; THE BEST OF NEW ZEALAND COMICS by ADRIAN KINNAIRD

FROM EARTH'S END; THE BEST OF NEW ZEALAND COMICS by ADRIAN KINNAIRD

There's the old observation that for most people history began with the first thing they remember, like in Billy Joel's song We Didn't Start the Fire which is just a baby-boomer litany of names and... > Read more