Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NZ Music Month: Introduction

Jochen Rueckert: Introduction (Jazzline)
Rueckert (d) Hayden Chisholm (as) Chris Potter (ts) Johannes Weidenmuller / Matt Penman (b) Kurt Rosenwinkel / Ben Monder (g)
NZ Music Month New Zealand Jazz
Before delving into Cusp of Oblivion, I decided to listen to revisit some of his earlier work, so why not go back to the album that was my introduction to Hayden Chisholm. I have to give a big thank you to Charmaine Ford for this one. Sometime during 2003 Char lent me her copy of Jochen Rueckert's Introduction as it featured Matt Penman on bass and as she handed it to me she casually remarked that apparently the saxophone player was a Kiwi too. In the evenings I would practice at the piano store where we worked, and that night I put the album on during a practice break as I ate dinner. My ear was immediately drawn to the alto saxophone. While odd-meter arrangements of standards wasn't something I was in to (they do it well though), the alto tone was right up my alley and the lines he played presented someone developing a voice all his own. I looked at the date it was recorded (1997) and then I wondered..... How could I spend three years at university studying music (saxophone and jazz no less) and have not come across his playing? In fact, no one had even whispered his name in passing.

During 2004, I spent six months in NYC studying with Richard Tabnik (more on that later!). I stayed at Matt’s for a couple of weeks (thanks Matt!) and made a point of checking out his record collection - and Introduction was there. I listened to the album a lot during those couple of weeks - everyday I would put it on, focussing on Hayden’s playing (the first couple of Root 70 albums also got plenty of airtime).

Fast forward a dozen years and it's been fun, and perhaps even a little nostalgic, giving Introduction a spin throughout the week. It's an important album in my musical development and Hayden continues to inspire to this day. Luckily for me I have 12 more new discs of Hayden's to get through.... oh, and the new Nautilus album. No complaints here (an American tour would be nice though!).

New Zealand Jazz

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