Free Parking for improvisation in multiple environments.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Flipside - Elder Days
Flipside - The Magic Beans
From Flipside: Naxos Jazz 86013-2 [Buy]

Characterised by airy and open post-bop compositions, Flipside was a young quartet made up of New Zealanders Matt Penman (b) and Greg Tuohey (g), Irish drummer Darren Beckett and French saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh. They met in New York and worked together for several years in the late 1990s, recording one album together as a band.

The guys have moved on now to other projects - Darren Beckett has played with Kenny Wheeler. Greg Tuohey has a pop-rock band called Tennis. Sabbagh works on both sides of the Atlantic and leads his own quartet in New York. Matt Penman (featured on my recent Mark de Clive-Lowe post) has recently performed as part of the 2005 San Francisco Jazz Collective with Bobby Hutcherson, Nicholas Payton and Joshua Redman.

The Moomins - nothing to do with Flipside

Friday, May 27, 2005

Few thing are more beautiful than a genuine musical discovery

I don't normally blog a blog, but check out this post on Cuong Vu on Xanax Taxi. I've known a little about this guy for a little while, but I didn't quite know he was this interesting... electric trumpet - played Hendrix-like in an improvising trio setting with bass and drums.

Cuong Vu and Stomu Takeishi

And if the audio tracks aren't enough there are some links to two videos from a gig at a club in Belgium (where else?) from 2002 - Again and again and Vinas Lullaby. 30Mb each, but well worth the download.

Darn. This stuff is inspiring. Could I enthuse any more?

Eddie Palmieri !

Eddie Palmieri - Justicia
From The Best of Eddie Palmieri: Declic/Globe B10032 [Buy]

Eddie Palmieri - Bouncer
From Palmas: Elektra Nonesuch 7559-61649-2 [Buy]

Pianist and composer Eddie Palmieri. The classic Justicia, and Bouncer from the insrumental album Palmas, featuring inter alia Brian Lynch (tp), Donald Harrison (as) and Conrad Herwig (tb).

Can I say .... Arrrrribaaa!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Don Cherry and John Coltrane

Don Cherry and John Coltrage - Cherryco
Don Cherry and John Coltrane - Bemsha Swing
From The Avant-Garde: Rhino/Atlantic 812279822 [Buy]

Few introductions are required here... John Coltrane and Don Cherry, recorded in New York in 1960. Ed Blackwell on drums, and Charlie Haden (Cherryco) and the late Percy Heath (Bemsha Swing) on bass. Compositions by Don Cherry and Thelonius Monk, respectively (and respectfully).

Friday, May 20, 2005

TrinityRoots: Kia Kaha My Friend

TrinityRoots - Touches Me
From Home Land and Sea: Independent/TR03 [Buy]

TrinityRoots - Just Like You
From True: Independent/TR02 [Buy]

Warren Maxwell (g, keys, vox), Rio Hemopo (b) and Riki Gooch (d) were TrinityRoots. Together, they formed the single most important popular musical group to emerge from New Zealand in the past 15 years. From their formation in Wellington in 1999 through to their final gig in February 2005, they were the standard bearers in our country for great songs, even better live shows and unselfconscious virtuosity . Their sound is soul embedded in humility.

But enough superlatives. TrinityRoots released just two albums in their career, and I've selected one song from each.

Just Like You has a particular story behind it - it was recorded around a campfire (that's the crackling you can hear) on a farm in the middle of the North Island - late in the evening of 11th September, 2001 New Zealand time. Just a few hours before the terrible events that unfolded on the East Coast of the United States.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Nathan Haines: At Home and Abroad

Nathan Haines - Judge
From Soundkilla Sessions Volume 1: huh!/Polydor huh7 [OOP]

Nathan Haines - O Misterio
From Squire for Hire: Chillifunk 336622 [Buy]

Even the briefest survey of jazz music in New Zealand must, at some point, touch on Nathan Haines. A saxophonist and flautist by trade (and no mean singer either), Nathan has been portrayed as the nerdy kid at school who was hip before his time: listening to Coltrane, Miles Davis and Monk when his classmates were headbanging to Guns 'n' Roses.

His musical family (father Kevin is a bass player, and brother Joel is a respected guitarist and composer) was also probably a major factor in Nathan becoming the powerful musician he is today. Initially released just in New Zealand, Nathan's 1995 debut Shift Left was picked up by Verve - not bad for the kid from Northcote College...

While cutting his chops playing straightahead bop, Mr Haines has always been interested in the melding of jazz and dance music. The two songs here mark steps along this road. Judge is from a 1998 album recorded live at nightclubs around Auckland (yes, this was definitely dance music). O Misterio features on 2003's album Squire for Hire, recorded with Mark de Clive-Lowe and Phil Asher in London.

Today Nathan Haines splits his time between New Zealand and London. What is most exciting is that this guy has yet to make his definitive musical statement.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Mark de Clive-Lowe: Before the Beats

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Naisei
From Vision: Tap Records TAP004 [OOP]

Mark de Clive-Lowe - Hinde Hinde
From Manifesto Auckland Jazz Sampler: Tap Records TAPSR001 [OOP]

Half Kiwi, half Japanese, Mark de Clive-Lowe today lives in London and is a well established part of the nu-jazz/broken beat scene, working with artists such as Kaidi Tatham (Bugz in the Attic), DJ Spinna, and Sa-Ra. If you want to hear what he sounds like in 2005, his new album Tide's Arising is well worth a listen.

But prior to establishing a reputation for killer jazz-influenced club tunes, Mr de Clive-Lowe had a previous incarnation in Auckland in the 1990s as a rather well-rounded acoustic jazz pianist, and one of the genuine movers and shakers of the musical community. Wherever Mark was, stuff happened - gigs got organised, funding got secured, record labels got started, jam sessions congealed.

Here's some recordings from that time: Naisei with Matt Penman (b) and Nick McBride (d), displaying the influence from Keith Jarrett's earliest trio work with Paul Motian and Charlie Haden. And then we go a little African with Hinde Hinde: the trio is joined by Phil Slater (t), Carl Dewhurst (g) and Ghanaian musicians Kojo Owusu and Nii Tettey Tetteh on percussion.

Photo Break

I've just been sent some lovely photos taken while we were recording at The Lab in Mount Eden, Auckland in April. They looked so good I thought I'd post one. Here's our engineer and team psychologist Tom Miskin doing something inexplicable at the mixing console.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Kim Paterson: Auckland Legend

Kim Paterson - Mink
From Impending Journey: Tap Records TAP003 [OOP]

Kim Paterson - Impending Journey
From Manifesto Auckland Jazz Sampler: Tap Records TAPSR001 [OOP]

Kim Paterson, the elder statesman of Auckland's jazz community, player of the game, teacher, trumpet player and drummer.

Kim's been playing around New Zealand, Australia and the world since the 1950s, but didn't record his first album as a leader until 1997: Impending Journey, on Mark de Clive-Lowe's shortlived Tap Records label. Even in New Zealand, these Tap Records releases are now very hard to find.

Mink is the opening latin strut from Kim's album, featuring Kevin Field (pn), Jason Jones (ts), Cameron Undy (b), Nicholas McBride (d) and Miguel Fuentes (perc). Impending Journey starts as a medium swinger, and then heads somewhere else entirely. The track featured here is an alternative version of the title track from Kim's album.

I hope visitors enjoy this little slice of jazz music from my hometown.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Fat Freddy's Drop: Marauders

Fat Freddy's Drop - Midnight Marauders
Fat Freddy's Drop - Roady
From Live at WOMAD 2003 [Bootleg!]

Aotearoa. New Zealand. There's 4 million of us at the bottom of the world, and some of us even play music.

So I'll share a few examples of what we kiwis get up to when we get down. Wellington band Fat Freddy's Drop has been around for almost five years. Reggae. Hip-Hop. Jazz. Dub. Dancehall. It's all in their mix somewhere. Although they've just released their first full-length album this month, I've chosen a genuine (so-rare-I-know-everyone-who-has-a-copy) bootleg of their March 2003 gig at WOMAD in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

A perfect time-capsule of a great day out in the sun. If you want to hear more, listen to Gilles Peterson's BBC show online, or buy their album Based on a True Story online.

Never let your love run cold.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Kenny Wheeler V: Quintets

Kenny Wheeler Quintet - Foxy Trot
From Double, Double You: ECM 1262 [Buy]

Kenny Wheeler and Bob Brookmeyer Quintet - Upstairs with Beatrice
From Island: Artists House AH0006 [Buy]

This will be the final post in this series on Kenny Wheeler. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by and especially to everyone who took the time to comment. Don't worry, Mr Wheeler will return at a later date, without a doubt...

To bid a temporary farewell, some slightly more straightahead stuff, set off with some interesting compositions. On Foxy Trot, Michael Brecker adds his particular muscularity to a group featuring longtime Wheeler collaborators Dave Holland, John Taylor and Jack deJohnette. Recorded in New York, May 1983.

Upstairs with Beatrice is a Bob Brookmeyer composition. Bob (valve trombone) and Kenny are joined by East Coasters John Hollenbeck (d) Jeremy Allen (b) and Frank Carlberg (p) on the 2002 record Island - a disc worth getting just for the bonus DVD with interview material, deconstructions of Kenny's and Bob's solos and footage of the recording session.

Coming soon on etnobofin... some kiwi music for New Zealand Music Month.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Kenny Wheeler IV: Mediaevilsms

Kenny Wheeler Brass Ensemble - Going for Baroque
From A Long Time Ago: ECM 1691 [Buy]

Thierry Péala with Kenny Wheeler - 546
From Inner Traces - A Kenny Wheeler Songbook: naive Y266 102 [Buy]

When you track down the (very rare) interviews with Kenny Wheeler, one of the things you learn is that Mr Wheeler is very interested in early music - that is, the music of Western Europe of the middle ages and the Renaissance. And sometimes this interest manifests itself in his compositions.

Here are two examples - Going for Baroque is fairly self-explanatory, with contrapuntal horn lines eventually dissolving into a more familar "wheelerian" harmonies. 546 is a short composition for jazz ensemble and vocalists based on the form and harmonies of Elizabethan English choral music.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Kenny Wheeler III: Variations

Kenny Wheeler Quartet - Kind Folk
From Angel Song: ECM 1607 [Buy]

Kenny Wheeler Big Band - Part II - For H. Part III - For Jan
From Music for Large and Small Ensembles: ECM 1415/16 [Buy]

Thierry Péala - Of Smiles Remembered
From Inner Traces - A Kenny Wheeler Songbook: naive Y266 102 [Buy]

Three different interpretations of Kenny's tune Kind Folk. The 1996 Angel Song version features the impossibly cool combination of Kenny with Lee Konitz (as), Bill Frisell (g) and Dave Holland (b).

The tune appeared six years earlier under the title "For H" - the second movement of The Sweet Time Suite, played by Kenny's British big band on Music for Large and Small Ensembles.

Recorded in Pernes les Fontaines, in southeast France in January 2000, the vocal version by French singer Thierry Péala is backed by Steve Arguelles on drums and Bruno Angelini on piano.

Young Kenny

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Kenny Wheeler II: Sideman

Jurgen Friedrich Quartet with Kenny Wheeler - Baghira
From Summerflood: CTI Records [Buy]

John Abercrombie Trio with Kenny Wheeler - Little Booker
From Open Land: ECM 1683 [Buy]

I've just spent another whole weekend in the studio, recording the band's new album. Once again, it's been a demanding (and sometimes frustrating) experience. I have incredible respect and awe for those professional musicians who can step into someone else's band at short notice and make a meaningful contribution.

Here's Kenny Wheeler working as a sideman, both recorded in 1998, in Germany for an American label, and the other recorded in New York for a German label!

Kenny Wheeler Quartet, Jazzclub Lustenau, Austria, May 2001

The German pianist Jurgen Friedrich's quartet features Claudius Volk (s), Volker Heinze (b) and the young Irish drummer Darren Beckett.

Little Booker displays Wheeler playing in an unsual trumpet-organ quartet, with John Abercrombie (g), Dan Wall (organ) and Adam Nussbaum (d).