Category Jazz

Album Deep Dives: Dr Tree

Dr Tree was New Zealand’s first jazz-rock fusion group and album. It was formed by drummer Frank Gibson Jr. in 1973 with Murray McNabb after hearing the Mahavishnu Orchestra and wanting to try and do something that had a rock and funk feel to it, but was still inherently jazz. The oft-told story (by both […]

Album Deep Dives: Nathan Haines Shift Left 25th Anniversary

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of Nathan Haines debut album Shift Left, the first New Zealand jazz album I ever bought- on cassette tape no less (teenage me couldn’t afford the CD). When I thought about doing a series of deep dives into New Zealand jazz albums for NZ Music Month, this was the one that […]

Blog update: where did 2018 go? And NZ Music Month

Despite all my intentions for the last year as you will have noticed, nothing has happened here since, well, March 2018. Long story short for those of you who don’t know me personally, or follow me on Twitter, my day gig at the University of Auckland’s Music and Dance Library took over my life, and […]

TANZA Label- Dancing in My Socks

Pat McMinn- Entertainer Extraordinaire!

Singer, dancer and all-round entertainer Pat McMinn died last weekend aged 91. She was one of the last musical connections to the Swing Era and to some of our most iconic (and ear-wormy) novelty songs. McMinn was also one of the last old-school multitalented vaudeville entertainers. Born in 1926 ‘Pretty Pattie (or Paddie’) McMinn was […]

Jazz dancing

The Charleston and all things 1920s

A couple of weeks ago I was in Wellington doing some research, and while I was there I was interviewed by Zoe George of Radio NZ Concert’s Upbeat programme about the Charleston and all things 1920s New Zealand. It aired last Friday, but if you didn’t catch it you can listen to/read it and learn […]

Woman's silhouette with question mark

The Elusive Miss MacDonald

The title sounds like start of a good mystery novel, and it certainly is a mystery of sorts. One of the things I discovered in my Lilburn research last year was that women were a far greater part of the music scene in the 1920s that I knew (and I already thought that they were […]

Jazz dancing

Researching the Jazz Age in New Zealand

2017 was an amazing year for me. Getting my first really big fellowship (thanks to the Douglas Lilburn Trust) that allowed me to spend the entire year focusing on a research project…and get paid for it. That project was investigating the Jazz Age in New Zealand: how and when jazz got here (pretty early on […]