For the love of the horn

It’s really early on a cold and wintery Saturday morning in an otherwise deserted high school in central Auckland. Sounds of warming up trumpets puncture the air. Trombonists slide gaily over their horns, and there is some early morning gentle banter kicking in. These are some of New Zealand’s finest jazz musicians, and they have turned out for no other reason than to join up with fellow musos and have a big band blow. Merv Thomas, an instution in New Zealand music since the 1950s, is passing round the trombone packs. And Neville Grenfell, one of the finest lead trumpeters around is doing the same with the trumpets.  Continue reading “For the love of the horn”

Falling out of love

I am what I often call a “late onset librarian”. The first half of my working life saw me first doing fairly tedious and unchallenging administrative jobs in order to devote all of my free time to music. So while my school friends were studying at university and then climbing the career ladder, I was not! I was practising hard, doing shows six nights a week, getting around town and playing, and getting known where I could. Continue reading “Falling out of love”

Sell me your Selmer

Saxophones! Who needs ‘em, eh? Well, that’s the problem. They kind of get into your blood and are pretty hard to give up. I got my saxophone in 1974 when I was a teenager, and I still have it today. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it over these years, and I have, on occasion, even tried to sell it. It’s been the tool of my trade at times, and together we’ve earned a bit of a living back in the good old days. There have been times when I’ve not touched my saxophone for long stretches of time, but when we reunite it’s like greeting an old friend. Continue reading “Sell me your Selmer”

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