Haines to jazz up London

Renowned Kiwi saxophonist Nathan Haines hits his adopted hometown of London for two dates next week. He speaks to ED EARL about making his latest album and the thrill of playing infront of his compatriots.


Nathan Haines

KIWI expats are in for a treat as one of its most treasured creative exports plays two London shows on October 21 and 22, bringing his blend of acoustic jazz and modern soul to Soho.

Nathan Haines, whose resume spans more than 20 years, has worked with the likes of Blur frontman Damon Albarn, Jamiroquai and American drumming legend Billy Cobham.

His two shows, at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho next week, will showcase work from the saxophonist’s new album, The Poet’s Embrace, released in March.

It is the Kiwi’s first live analogue recording, described by the musician as “a 60s recording session”, taking only two days to record.

” We (were) playing at the same time in the same room, straight to tape with no overdubs or ‘fixing’ anything later. We used all vintage gear,” said Haines, speaking from his base in London.

Describing London as his home, he fondly remembers the last time he played at Ronnie’s – a gig he rates as one of his best in 25 years as a musician.

“Ronnie Scott’s is probably my favourite club to play in the world. It’s fantastic,’” he said.

“Last year when I played it was a sold out show. I loved it and so did the band. I had a lot of friends in the crowd. I was very nervous before I went on, but as soon as you walk out onto the stage, you feel very welcome.”

Haines, who crafted his music skills in New York as a nineteen-year-old, has released eight solo albums, four of which have been released internationally.

He boasts two Gold albums in New Zealand, along with numerous other awards, including Sony Young Jazz Musician of the Year in 1989 and Most Outstanding Young Jazz Musician at the Tauranga Jazz Festival, which he won aged just 13.

The night promises to be a great night for jazz enthusiasts, New Zealand expats and music fans in general.

“I am blessed that there are always New Zealanders at my gigs when I play around the world,” he said.

“For those who know my albums we will be playing some older stuff, and material from my latest album.”

Haines plays at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club on October 21 and 22.

For more information visit www.nathanhaines.com or www.ronniescotts.co.uk