Kevin Field (piano)
Ron Samsom (drums)
Olivier Holland (bass)
Irony is the debut album of The FSH Trio, a collaborative project initiated by Ron in conjunction with Rattle Records. Kevin, Ron and Olivier have been the rhythm section of choice for many artists over the last decade, including internationally renowned Nathan Haines. Nathan makes a guest appearance on two tracks on the album.
The album features compositions from all members of the trio, reflecting their diverse cultural backgrounds and wide ranging influences. Olivier sailed to New Zealand from Germany in 2002, in a boat he built himself! Ron arrived from Canada in 2003, while Kevin is a native New Zealander. Having played together for five years, the trio have developed a unique musical identity, rich with intimacy, energy, lucidity and risk, all captured in this exceptional debut recording.
The subtle use of melody and dense layers of harmonic and rhythmic complexity balance the buoyancy and fluidity of the music. There is keen interplay between the musicia ns, and an engaging sens e of fun is evident as the conversational elements expand through improvisation. There is enormous generosity between the players, and their dexterity and flexibility brings a dynamic-range and breadth of contrast that gives the music great distinction. Recording engineer Steve Garden captured the performances with clarity, warmth and intimacy, and the resulting sound is deeply attractive.
This is a trio you’ll hear a lot more of in the future.
Kevin started his musical career with classical piano lessons at age 8. At 17, he discovered jazz. This life-changing experience was the start of an unquenchable passion for the music. Kevin taught himself jazz concepts and harmony, and to this day has never had a jazz lesson. Consequently, his musical development has been uniquely individualistic, and he is widely considered one of the most original and exciting musicians of his generation.
Kevin’s approach to jazz harmony lends a distinctive character to his writing and performances. “Since I was young,” said Kevin, “harmony in music has always moved me the most. I’m fascinated by the emotional potential of chords and chord sequences.” Kevin’s first release, Dangerous Curves showcases his innovative approach to harmony, and on Irony he develops these ideas further.
He has featured on many notable jazz albums, including Shift Left, Soundtravels, Right Now and Lifetime for Nathan Haines. He has also recorded with vocalists Caitlin Smith and Carolina Moon, and was musical director for Whirimako Black’s Sings CD (winner of Best Jazz Album at the 2008 New Zealand Music Awards).
Ron is a leading musician and educator in the field of contemporary jazz. Among numerous award-winning achievements, he has featured on more than twenty recordings, earning an impressive, high-regarded international reputation in jazz performance. Ron’s unique approach to drums has been in demand by many prominent musicians, and he recently featured with legendary tabla guru Fazal Qureshi, Grammy award-winning pianist Jim McNeely, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Starting his career in 1989, bassist Olivier has performed at major festivals and venues with an impressive array of some of the finest Jazz artists in New Zealand and Europe, notably Joscho Stephan, Danny Weiss, Djamel Laroussi, Nathan Haines, Whirimako Black, Stefon Harris and Florian Ross. He has contributed to a number of CD releases, including Joscho Stephan’s Swing News; the Krakau State Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classic meets Jazz; Carolina Moon’s East of the Sun; Julie Mason and the Jazz Divas; Zauberberg III, and Whirimako Black’s Sings. Olivier has an album set for release in 2010 as a part of the Rattle Jazz Series. It will showcase his skills as composer, arranger and soloist, and feature a selection of duets with a number of superb musicians, such as Joscho Stephan, John Goldsby, Nathan Haines and Dixon Nacy. He currently lectures in Jazz at Auckland University and performs regularly with Whirimako Black, Caitlin Smith, Nathan Haines and many others.