The Rodger Fox Big Band




The Rodger Fox Big Band follow their 2015 Michael Houstoun collaboration (Concerti) with this collection of big band arrangements of nine pieces by contemporary New Zealand composers, including Nick Granville, Norman Meehan, Phil Broadhurst, Fat Freddy's Drop, and even one from Mr Fox himself. 

Recorded by Troy Kelly at STL Studios in Wellington, and mixed and mastered by Talley Sherwood at Tri-Tone Studios in Los Angeles, X is a continuation of the style Rodger has fostered with enormous commitment and enthusiasm for over 40 years, a tight, groove-based, high-energy programme of unashamedly joyful big band jazz. 

Featuring the compositional, arranging, and soloing expertise of Nick Granville, Matt Harris, Bill Cunliffe, Bryn van Vliet, Roger Manins, Lauren Ellis and others, X celebrates established and emerging New Zealand jazz talent with great pride and conviction. This is big band jazz played with great verve and vitality, an album with the potential to appeal to a broad range of music fans. 




Rodger Fox (musical director, trombone)
Anita Schwabe (keyboards)
Nick Granville (guitar)
Rowan Clark (bass)
Lauren Ellis (drums)

Chris Buckland (soprano and alto)
Bryn van Vliet (alto and tenor)
Roger Manins (alto and tenor on tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 9)
Jake Baxendale (tenor)
Andre Paris (alto on tracks 2, 3, 4, 8)
Eilish Wilson (baritone)

Jon Papenbrook (lead on tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
Ben Hunt (lead on tracks 2, 6)
Imogen Thirlwell
Chris Selley

Christopher Fox
Cameron Kidby
Sean Tickle
Kurt Gibson




RAT-J-1032 (February, 2016)
This recording was made possible by a grant from the Research Office of Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.

Produced by Rodger Fox and Talley Sherwood 
Recorded by Troy Kelly at STL Studios, Wellington, NZ
Mixed and mastered by Talley Sherwood at Tri-Tone Studios, Los Angeles, USA  
Design by UnkleFranc
Printied by Studio Q

  The Rodger Fox Big Band: Plays New Zealand

    Roma In The Present Tense (6:43) – Composed Norman Meehan, arranged by Matt Harris
    Mr. Brown (6:21) – Composed and arranged by Nick Granville
    Wandering Eye (6:39) – Composed by Fat Freddy’s Drop, arranged by Jesper Riis
    North of the Apricots (9:53) – Composed and arranged by John Rae
    Matakana (4:34) – Composed and arranged by Nick Granville
    John Scon (7:57) – Composed by Roger Manins, arranged by Daniel Hayles
    Panacea (7:22) – Composed by Phil Broadhurst, arranged by Matt Harris
    Arching Birch (6:14) – Composed by Anita Schwabe, arranged by Jeff Driskill
    X – Juicy (7:00) – Composed by Rodger Fox, arranged by Bill Cunliffe

All compositions © 2015

In 42 years leading the Rodger Fox Big Band, I have always tried to present a good range of New Zealand compositions throughout our performances and recording. 90-something New Zealand compositions have been commissioned for the band, 68 of which have made it onto various recordings and widely performed both in New Zealand and abroad.

The music community in New Zealand hasn’t recognised this fact, and it is my strong belief that our continuing advocacy of New Zealand music is something that should receive funding and support.

This new recording features a further nine New Zealand compositions from a cross-section of New Zealand composers, including Phil Broadhurst, Nick Granville, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Anita Schwabe, John Rae, Norman Meehan, Roger Manins, and even an offering from me. These very fine home-grown works now have a place within the jazz arena.

I hope that you enjoy this album, a celebration of the wealth of talent we have in this country, from the composers and arrangers to the musicians and technicians, without whom this project wouldn’t have happened. A huge thanks to all of you, and here’s to many more years.

Thanks to our friends at Musicworks New Zealand for their continued support; to Creative New Zealand for commissioning John Rae’s North of The Apricots; and to all of the musicians who committed so much of their time to make this project happen. Lastly, thanks to my dear friend Jon Papenbrook, Los Angeles based trumpet player, for his energy and support of everything we do in New Zealand.
Best as always, Rodger Fox