with featured guests
Oxide is the second album from Auckland-based jazz trio, Samsom Nacey Haines, an entirely self-penned set of very fine New Zealand jazz. Their debut, Open to Suggestions, was very well recieved critically and commercially. This new album features material from all members of the trio, but the dominant compositional voice is Dixon's. There is impressive melodic, harmonic and rhythmic subtlety in the writing that is sure to reward the attentive listener. The intuitive dialogue between the players is compelling. The keen sense of a shared language and intuition is never exclusive or unwelcoming.
Oxide will appeal to listeners with an appreciation for the beauty and joy found in the very best jazz.
"Auckland's Rattle label -- which has an unimpeachable track record in releasing beautifully produced, impressively packaged, often award-winning contemporary classical and elsewhere albums -- now makes a serious foray into jazz..."
Graham Reid, Elsewhere (Read more at Jazz in Elsewhere)
"Based round a guitar, acoustic bass, drums trio, this music is subtle, thoughtful, & generally understated. Don't expect to be knocked out by it, this is music for careful listening. Various guests turn up on some tracks including Roger Manins on tenor & Neville Grenfell on flugelhorn. Typical tracks are "Silent Surface" & "Finish My Sentence" both of which evoke the sounds of a very discreet power trio (remember Abercrombie's "Gateway"?), or The Swiss Trio. The most straightforward music is to be found on"Ten Down" where Roger Manins contributes some swinging tenor sax over a bluesy rhythm section. Sixty Eight minutes of very tasteful & unusual contemporary jazz from New Zealand."
Martin Bright - UK Jazz Radio (***** 5-stars)
RAT-J-1004 (2011)Recording: Steve Garden
Production: Steve Garden, Ron Samsom, Dixon Nacey, Kevin Haines
Samsom Nacey Haines thank the University of Auckland for its contribution to this project.
Bad Lamb (Nacey) 5:28 View Score
Ron Samsom comments on the album
In his lecture delivered at Tunbridge Wells on February 16th, 1858, John Ruskin said that all art worthy of the name incorporates the energy of the human body and soul, both united and guiding each other. Ruskin understood that oxidation was responsible not only for the colour palate of our world, but for the life that exists within it.
It was Ruskin’s insight into the relationship between the natural world and human creativity that inspired the title of our album. This project was about introducing new elements into our established trio sound, and the results are more than we could have imagined. In a sense, we have oxidized (or changed) as a result.
Many thanks to our special guests for their unique energy and soulful efforts: Chris Melville: vocals, Neville Grenfell: flugelhorn, Joel Haines: guitar, Kevin Field: piano, Roger Manins: tenor saxophone, and special thanks to Steve Garden for his immense efforts in producing this work.
Dixon Nacey comments on the album
I am immensely proud of Oxide. All compositions are original, and each has been lifted higher by the hard work and individual brilliance of our superb collaborators: Nev, Rog, Kev, Joel, Chris and Steve. The collective energy and ease with which they supported our project was very humbling. It was a great privilege to share the music with you guys! Kev and Ron, I ALWAYS love playing with you! Enough said.
I got the inspiration for Tribute to JM from a series of gigs and a private lesson with the amazing Sydney based guitarist James Muller in 2005. The Lion is a nod to West African guitarist Lionel Loueke. I knew that Kevin Field’s heavy sense of complex harmony and masterful approach would suit this tune and he certainly proved me right. Ten Down is a good old 12 bar jazz blues, ripped apart perfectly by a classic Roger Manins solo: explorative, gusty, and swinging! Come What May was written in two stages - I developed the two section chord vamps the night before our session with singer Chris Melville, then he took the outline home and wrote three completely different melodies and lyrics over the recording, staying with the final rendition. His back phrasing and feel blew us all away. The All Nighter (named after staying up all night to finish writing it) features Neville Grenfell on flugelhorn: his beautiful tone and feel beautifully augments the melody. We decided to keep Bad Lamb (named after a dodgy meal) as a trio tune, choosing to explore the dynamic of the melody and solo section solely within a trio setting. Reprise is a soft bossa originally written as a prelude to The All Nighter, and again features some beautiful flugelhorn from Neville.
Huge thanks to Mark Casey for the 335, the Tele, the nylon string and the Fender twin. Without your support and fabulous gear, I’d be a lot quieter. And finally, special thanks to my partner Kylie Jones for putting up with me through all the practicing, gigging, rehearsing and planning for this album.
Kevin Haines comments on the album
Ron is more than just a drummer: he is a consummate musician with vast range of skills. He makes the music breath, and he can write well, too! Dixon just gets better everyday. His writing on this album shows how much he is blossoming as a composer. It’s a joy to work with such talented people.
I had no idea what would happen when I asked Joel to play with us, but the results are spectacular. He is one of New Zealand's great guitarists, and has great musical instincts. With just a single run-through he is able to interpret the music in a way that turns out to be killer!! Thanks Joel. When I wrote Nickel Allergy, I kept hearing Roger’s style in my head. I knew he would get hold of this tune like a dog and worry it to death! I’ve worked with Kevin for many years and he always delivers. His sense of timing and harmony is second-to-none. Chris is a master song smith. We asked him to collaborate on this one track and he not only came up with the melody and lyrics, he sang all the parts fabulously. How are we going to do this one live? Neville has an amazing tone. You have to be a great player to produce such a moving sound, a beautiful warm feeling that fits perfectly with Dixon’s tune. This is the second time Steve has recorded the group. Somehow managed to capture wonderful sounds from what was a very trying room. Don't go away - we have another to do. Thanks also to Rattle Records for having faith in us.
The weekend we recorded the album was a memorable one, but it’s only the beginning. We are writing more, and the group continues to grow. Oxide is the second in what we hope will be a long line of great albums.
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