Also available from the Chris Mason-Battley Group
'KARAKIA' - Our Debut CD
Available at: www.cdbaby.com/cd/cmbgroup2
------- DOUBLE CD --------
The Chris Mason-Battley Group play original jazz that reflects the
open spaces and untamed beauty of New Zealand. Taking their
audiences on a journey from intimate ballads to dynamic compositions
fusing jazz, rock and world music influences, this group delivers a
unique, contemporary New Zealand jazz experience.
'Unspoken' is a great double CD, showcasing the different sides of the band:
'Side A' has 10 songs in the band's spacious, contemporary jazz style.
'Faces of the Land' - an evocative soundscape inspired by the varied landscapes of our country. One of our favourite trips takes us through a series of dramatic, contrasting regions - picture yourself taking this journey with this song as the soundtrack.
'4 by 4 Blues' - this is one of our favourites on our live gigs. It's a great tune to stretch out and blow over - from the cool melody to the dynamic blues solos. It always seems to win our audiences over. I think they can see how much fun we have playing it!
'Side B' features 6 tracks in a more Acid Jazz vein.
'Falling Rain' - our most popular tune ever! This was the song that took us to the top of MP3.com when we started on the site in 2000. A tight slow-groove funk feel with a soaring soprano sax melody and superb acoustic guitar.
CHRIS MASON-BATTLEY GROUP
Tauranga Festival of the Arts, New Zealand, October 2003
JAZZ INFUSED WITH TRUE KIWI FLAVOUR
In a New Zealand jazz landscape strewn with copycats a few courageous breakaway outfits attempt to create a jazz that is truly Kiwi.
Among the current emerging supernovas are the Chris Mason-Battley Group, whose camaraderie as a band and original compositions struck a major chord with their Tauranga Arts Festival audience at Pacific Crystal Palace last night.
From the opening bars of drummer Steve Garden's solo air sculpture to the impetuous closing number Michelle the band displayed a finesse and competence which was musically satisfying as well as joyously entertaining. Graeme Webb's guitar playing (last heard in Tauranga with Caitlin Smith) has matured - his lyrical lines and singing tone complemented the well travelled saxophone of Chris Mason-Battley.
At times reminiscent of bands such as Yellow Jackets and Spyrogyra, the free-running rhythm section provided sympathetic support for the interplay between the fine front-line musicians.
David Lines' Lyle Mays influenced piano was featured to good effect on the moving Faces of the Land. His muscular blues solo on Mason-Battley's 4 by 4 Blues was also particularly notable.
A deconstructed romp through Ellingtons Caravan provided a good opportunity for the band to stretch out. But the strength of the concert was in the stylish originals. Among the gems were Webb's hypnotic Seventually and the acid jazz Groovity.
The festival organisers are to be congratulated for opening the festival with such fine fare. It was a rare and uplifting experience to witness a well oiled fusion band in full flight.
reviewer: Liam Ryan,
Bay of Plenty Times, New Zealand, November 1, 2003