Nathan Haines has taken out the Tui for Best Jazz Album 2013 with his eighth recording, ‘The Poet's Embrace'.
The award has been presented in March 31st by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) at the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga.
The album notes ‘The Poet's Embrace' as Haines' "first ‘real' jazz record, in light of his commitment to reviving the almost extinct art of analogue recording". The entire album is recorded live to a late 1950s two-track Ampex tape deck during just two sessions, with no overdubs or mixing.
Critics say it provides a soulful throwback to classic Jazz albums of old, likening it to Miles Davis' timeless 1959 album, ‘Kind of Blue'.
Haines worked with friend and long-time collaborator Mike Patto to produce the award winning set. The album credits Patto as having a significant influence on the final result; he decided Haines would play only tenor and that Yusef Lateef's ‘Eboness' would serve as the only non-original piece on the set.
Patto and Haines have been on similar journeys throughout their careers and the album served as an opportunity for them both to pursue their goals of creating a traditional vinyl sound, virtually unheard of in the modern age.
The pursuit of sound has seen ‘The Poet's Embrace' lauded by both music and mainstream media. It debuted at #15 on the RIANZ Top 40 Albums Chart, remained in the Top 20 for three weeks and received four and five star reviews across the board.
Haines is no stranger to the limelight, beginning his career early and playing in major international Jazz Festivals by the mid ‘80s alongside his father, jazz bassist Kevin Haines.
He then went on to record his first solo album ‘Shift Left' in 1994 which won New Zealand Jazz Record of the Year and was certified Gold.
New Zealand Music Awards spokesperson and RIANZ managing director Chris Caddicksays "Congratulations to Nathan. One listen to ‘The Poet's Embrace' and you can tell Nathan has recorded a very special album. Eminently listenable, I hope this Tui encourages a wider audience to discover this brilliant record."
Tauranga's National Jazz Festival president Darryl Haigh says it's encouraging for budding New Zealand jazz musicians to have such a wealth of local jazz talent to look up to."The finalists this year represent a coming of age for kiwi jazz," says Darryl. "The quality of the musicianship, the excellent performances, and the fantastic production of all of the finalists is outstanding. We are very proud to see such quality jazz music coming out of New Zealand."
The other finalists for the 2013 Jazz Tui Award were Latin-songstress Jennifer Zea for ‘The Latin Soul' and‘The Late Night Plays' by Tuhoe country local Whirimako Black.
The National Jazz Festival in Tauranga has been running for more than 50 years and attracts more than 60,000 jazz enthusiasts during the four days of Easter.