Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Just a quick acknowledgement here of this excellent double-disc collection of the three albums by Auckland's early-to-mid 80s jazz-rock outfit Space Case which formed around drummer Frank Gibson, saxophonist Brian Smith and keyboard player Murray McNabb.
To that core were added some fine players: bassist Bruce Lynch on their 81 debut album Executive Decision which came in a cover designed to attract attention (and judging by the title might have been the idea of Ode headman Terence O'Neill-Joyce while the band were absent). For the follow-up Space Case Two of 83 Kim Paterson joined on trumpet, Americans Ron McClure (bass) and Claudio Roditi (trumpet/flugelhorn), and Andy Brown (bass) were guests.
After the earlier Dr Tree (Gibson, McNabb, Paterson, Lynch and others) had staked out exploratory and somewhat fiery jazz-rock as their territory for a couple of years in the mid 70s - and won most promising group and top group performance in the rock category at the music awards - the Space Case music pulled clearly towards a more considered kind of jazz with some hints of funk.
More than two decades on much of his music sounds fresh and inventive, and the musicianship is exemplary.
Another welcome reissue of Kiwi jazz. Now let's hope some of the albums under Brian Smith's name start coming through.