The Caitlin Smith Group
Caitlin Smith has gathered Aotearoa's finest musicians and created THE most independent and original fusion of funk, jazz, folk, alt-country, breakbeat and dub on the planet. Appropriately and un-apologetically, The Caitlin Smith Group’s first CD is called Aurere meaning ‘passion’ in Maori.
When Smith's guitar-based jazz trio The Fondue Set broke after two CDs and seven years continuous gigging, the mould was also broken. This was a blessing by enabling The Caitlin Smith Group to take shape.
Every member of The Caitlin Smith Group is a star in their own right.
Kevin Field has been a close musical associate of Nathan Haines since the early 1990s. He was a Jazz Committee member, has released a solo album called Dangerous curves and currently teaches jazz theory at Auckland and Massey Universities.
Neil Watson has leant his highly original guitar sound to the albums of Anika Moa, Sola Rosa and The famous Finn Brothers. Like other members of the Caitlin Smith Group, he teaches, inspires by example and hypnotizes by trade.
Rota Barrington was the original D-dub tub-tapper and is 15 piece Batucada Sound Machine’s backbone as well as being a highly sought after session drummer
Vanessa McGowan has toured NZ with Micheal Brecker. She is currently completing a Masters in Bass Performance at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She brings a great love of jazz, hip-hop and dub.
Caitlin Smith is the highly-respected vocal coach behind many of our country's iconic performers from Nesian Mystik, The Have, Dave Yetton, Anika Moa and literally hundreds of others. She has sung vocals for as many too from Ben Lummis to Concord Dawn, Eye TV to SJD. Assisting her students with their songwriting re-ignited her own scribe inside after a twelve-year hiatus. 11 of Aurere's 13 tracks are Smith's originals.
Aurere is a one-take wonder - a testimony to the group’s musical alchemy. Recorded and mastered in analog, all band tracks are one-offs: the whole band recording simultaneously under the hyper-vigilant ears of Kevin Haines in The Labs one-roomed dungeon. No need for overdubs (except for background vocals and atmospheric guitar tracks) as each song –with its uninterrupted narrative, dynamic map, solos, ebbs and flows is as it was - in the moment - on the day. Guitar and soundtrack genius Joel Haines not only mixed and mastered Aurere but also contributed a haunting guitar accompaniment to Smith's “Without You”.
All musicians are center stage in the unpretentious and uninhibited tradition of improvised jazz. Aurere is a truly original, authentic and uncompromising CD.
Of Aurere, Smith had this to say
''I'm very proud of this album, it has a very New Zealand-feel to it. I've sung my whole life, but you can only get to a certain level singing other people's songs. To really find out about your voice and yourself you have to write. A voice isn't just a sonic thing, its an expression of what you've got to say.''
''The tracks started as my songs, but they have been reshaped by the musical personalities of the other musicians who are among the very best in the country.
''If you are expressing yourself honestly, it’s hard to critique that contribution. Too many musicians are trying to copy someone else or playing what they think people want to hear. The hardest aspect of my job as a teacher involves getting people to feel comfortable with their own voice.
More Info available on www.caitlinsmith.com