Tuesday, May 05, 2015

NZ's best jazz album announced

This year's Best Jazz Album in New Zealand has been announced in Tauranga as part of the National Jazz Festival 2015.

Auckland band DOG has been crown the winner of the annual award for their self-titled debut album.
Dubbed a jazz super-group, DOG comprises four of New Zealand's most renowned jazz musicians, composers and educators: Kevin Field (piano), Roger Manins (saxophone), Olivier Holland (bass) and Ron Samsom (Drums). They are all music lecturers at the University of Auckland.
The self-titled album DOG has been described as a thrilling and vibrant recording, filled with innovative tracks and improvisation.
Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan said DOG's album was a reflection of New Zealand's world-class jazz scene. 
"A wealth of talent and experience went in to creating the album. DOG are masters of this difficult craft and I congratulate them on recording an exceptional album which is well deserving of a Tui."

DOG – dubbed a jazz super-group – comprises four of New Zealand’s most renowned jazz musicians, composers and educators: Kevin Field (piano), Roger Manins (saxophone) and Olivier Holland (bass) and Ron Samson (Drums) are all Music lecturers at the University of Auckland.
The group began playing together in 2014 and were greeted with enthusiastic support, prompting them to release their self-title Rattle Jazz debut album Dog.
The other finalists for the 2015 Jazz Tui were The Jac for Nerve and solo artist Jonathan Crayford for Dark Light, both from Wellington. 

What started as a rehearsal band for students and tutors at the New Zealand School of Music jazz school in Wellington eventually turned into the octet The Jac. The group developed from transcribing and performing charts by New York and San Francisco composers to writing and performing their own music.
The eight-piece’s recording Nerve is regarded as a sharp five-track album that bursts with colour and ideas, taking influence from the older members’ wealth of experience and coupling it with the students’ youthful enthusiasm.

Jonathan Crayford is a stalwart of the New Zealand Jazz scene having spent more than 20 years performing and honing his craft. His latest album Dark Light – a trio recording featuring New York-based Ben Street on bass and Dan Weiss on drums – was composed in London in 2013. It aims to explore the ‘subtle wonders’ and mystery between the dark and light.
Critics dub Street and Weiss two of the most remarkable and sought-after jazz musicians in the Big Apple with the New York Times naming Weiss ‘One of the five Most Promising Drummers of the New Generation’.

And Crayford himself comes with high acclaim, critics calling him ‘profound’, ‘luminous’ and simply ‘terrific’.  His work doesn’t stop at simply composing great jazz albums either; Crayford also has a cinematic opera project in the works – which he is writing and composing – called ‘El Diablo de Cadaqués’ or ‘The Devil Of Cadaqués’.

Recorded Music New Zealand chief executive Damian Vaughan says this year’s line-up of collaborative albums showcases the many talented jazz musicians in New Zealand.
“The result of having multiple-talented jazz musicians come together on an album is superb. The collaborations give each a unique, world-class sound that truly showcases the diversity and brilliance of the New Zealand jazz scene. Congratulations to all three finalists.”
National Jazz Festival president Darryl Haigh says jazz continues to grow in New Zealand and 2015 has a fantastic group of finalists.
“The Tauranga National Jazz Festival is one of the cradles of New Zealand Jazz. It is a privilege for the festival to be the home of the Best Jazz Album Tui. The 2015 finalists are a joy to listen to”
The festival is hosted over Easter weekend and is the longest running Jazz Festival in the southern hemisphere and one of the oldest in the world. It acts as a showcase of both local and international jazz talent.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

Recent previous winners of the Tui for Best Jazz Album
• 2011 - Reuben Bradley for Resonator
• 2012 - Rodger Fox's Wellington Jazz Orchestra for Journey Home
• 2013 - Nathan Haines for The Poet's Embrace
• 2014 - Nathan Haines for Vermillion Skies

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