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

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Marion Brown: Three for Shepp (Superior Viaduct)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Marion Brown: Three for Shepp (Superior Viaduct)

Although that is Archie “let my notes be bullets” Shepp staring intensely out of this album's cover alongside saxophonist Marion Brown, and despite three of the six pieces being penned... > Read more

SHORT PASSAGES: A quick overview of recent jazz releases

SHORT PASSAGES: A quick overview of recent jazz releases

Facing down a slew of jazz releases, Elsewhere will every now and again be obliged to do a quick sweep like this. Comments will be brief. But we are keen to acknowledge as many jazz releases... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MAURICE SHADBOLT (1932 - 2004): Time will tell

MAURICE SHADBOLT (1932 - 2004): Time will tell

The legacy of authors is often uncertain. Popular works may fade into obscurity after their death; for others, their words may be elevated beyond the respect they commanded when they lived.... > Read more

MILES DAVIS QUINTET; EUROPEAN TOUR 1967 (/Impro-Jazz/Southbound DVD)

MILES DAVIS QUINTET; EUROPEAN TOUR 1967 (/Impro-Jazz/Southbound DVD)

You might have thought in the decade since Ken Burns' groundbreaking television series Jazz that there would have been a slew of DVDs out there on the market to add depth to what he showcased. But... > Read more