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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 […]


Hello all, So as you might notice by the tag line above, there are a few changes going on here. I have been recently been thinking about writing about things other than jazz (or even jazz outside of NZ), but I didn’t want to that to take over this space. At the same time, I’m […]

Dusting off the cobwebs

Hello out there! Is anyone still reading? Apologies for neglecting this blog for the past couple of months, but I’ve been rather busy with paid work (necessary, but annoying) and also writing an article on the Australian influence on swing in New Zealand for Jazz Research Journal, which will actually have a component on this […]

Jazz: Music and Dance

From about 1920 to the late 1940s jazz was almost inextricably linked with the act of dancing. This is a fact that is both simultaneously known and (for the most part) ignored by publications and courses on jazz (music) because it ruins the narrative that the greatest early jazz was not to be danced to. […]

Jazz Concert Controversy: Cartoons

Last May I wrote a post about jazz concerts in New Zealand and a little about the controversies surrounding them. Early this month I spoke at the Cartoons, Comics and Caricatures Symposium at the University of Auckland on one specific controversial incident involving the expensive and new Steinway grand piano at the Auckland Town Hall […]

Why Hip Hop works for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby

Since seeing The Great Gatsby a few months ago and reading a variety of reviews of it I have been pondering why many people felt that Luhrmann’s use of hip hop did not work for the film, and why I think it did. I should note that this is entirely my own opinion- I have […]

American bands in New Zealand during WW2

All of my interest in the history of jazz in New Zealand began with a research project in my third year of University. I was trying think of something interesting when one of my teachers- Bernie Allen- suggested that I do something on the influence of the American troops that were stationed in New Zealand […]