Nathan Haines: The Poet's Embrace (Haven/Warners)

 |   |  1 min read

Nathan Haines: Offering
Nathan Haines: The Poet's Embrace (Haven/Warners)

At the launch of this classy album recently, the graphic designer Andrew B White -- who had done the cover for both this and Kevin Field's Field of Vision -- made an interesting aside.

He noted that Haines' new album -- all acoustic -- sounded more like Field's previous one Irony, and that Field of Vision -- with electronic keyboards and vocalists -- sounded like Haines' previous albums. Good point, there had been a turnaround for both (and they played on each others albums) and both came out with great credit.

Especially Haines on this one which proudly proclaims on the cover it is a direct to stereo analog recording.

This is a jazz album cast in the classic style, the band live in the studio over two days and not resorting to overdubs, just blowing hot and cool as the music demanded.

It feels warm and real . . . and Haines had spoken of making a "real" jazz album.

He certainly has and -- using vintage gear -- this one has its reference points in the most spiritual side of Coltrane's ballads (the impressive, scene setting opener Realisation where even the title is a clue) and bebop energy (on Ancestral Dance)

With pianist Field playing a Steinway, bassist Thomas Botting and drummer Alain Koetsier, the album has the depth and breadth of timeless jazz and Haines, here playing tenor and not soprano as he often has, finds a maturity of tone and attack which is persuasive throughout.

Yusef Lateef's Eboness is the sole non-original among pieces by Haines and/or Field, and there is some wonderful playing from all here, notably on the bouncy Ancestral Dance and the midnight-blue title track ballad and Field's Offering right at the end.

Running the length of two sides of vinyl (and yes, there is a limited edition on record), this is not just classy but intelligently economic.

It's a real jazz album.

Nathan Haines answers the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here.


Share It

Your Comments

Duncan - Feb 26, 2014

Being quite honest I've found most NH stuff I've listened to pretty bland or somehow contrived maybe - aimed to a market that wasn't me maybe. What ever..., but I love this one. I went to a live Wgtn concert when he toured Vermillion Skies and the band played half the tracks off this and almost without exception these ones caught my imagination. beautifully conceived, played (the whole band) and recorded. Terrific.

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

AMIRI BARAKA/LE ROI JONES: A black critic in the black arts

AMIRI BARAKA/LE ROI JONES: A black critic in the black arts

Nobody talks about Amiri Baraka these days, despite the fact he’s still alive*, still writing and still irritating the hell out of people. That’s called doing God’s work. The... > Read more

Marilyn Crispell: Vignettes (ECM/Ode)

Marilyn Crispell: Vignettes (ECM/Ode)

American pianist Crispell was a longtime member of saxophonist Anthony Braxton's often demanding quartet, and that alone tells you she knows what it means to be put on the spot under the spotlight.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

World Party: Goodbye Jumbo (1990)

World Party: Goodbye Jumbo (1990)

By any measure, 1990 was a pretty good year in rock and pop: Sinead O'Connor announced herself with the single Nothing Compares 2 U and the album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got; George Michael's... > Read more

Austin, Texas: The dream deferred

Austin, Texas: The dream deferred

For a sensitive, gay New York Jew he sure picked a helluva place to live: Texas, the home of rednecks, Stetsons, and chicken-fried steak, that peculiar delicacy which is a perfectly good piece of... > Read more