This heavyweight third long-player from New Zealander Nathan Haines is as much a glowing
testament to his (truly outstanding) ability as a jazz musician as it is an abject
demonstration of his networking skills. This is a man who can get on with people, bring them into his projects and make them feel part of the bigger picture.
Alongside his long-time production companion London DJ Phil Asher, Haines' follow up to 2001's hugely successful 'Sound Travels' (25,000 copies worldwide and still going strong) features
collaborators ranging from the usual-but-still-great-Haines-people like Mark de Clive-Lowe and Marlena Shaw through to the just-plain-out-there, like Blur frontman Damon Albarn doing vocals on a just-plain-out-there cover of Steely Dan's "FM". Of course, there's skippy jazzy beats aplenty along with downbeat fare, but it's the collaborators that keep the tracks from noodling off too far into musical masturbation, like Philadelphia-based poet Rich Medina's spoken words on "Springtime Rain", Marlena Shaw's
inspired vocal on the opening title track or Vanessa Freeman and Marcus Begg's duet on
the uptempo first single "Right By Your Side", already a firm favourite with the worldwide deep house mafia from Louis Vega downwards.
An impressive long-player which (again) raises the bar on what we can expect from New Zealand artists, London-based or not. Highly recommended. Playing throughout NZ from late Jan to mid-Feb 2004. Bonus version available while stocks last.