Resonator strikes right note with jazz award judges

Sunday 24 April 2011, 9:42AM

By National Jazz Festival



Resonator by Wellington drummer and composer Reuben Bradley has taken out the New Zealand Music Awards Tui for Best Jazz Album of 2010/11.

Reuben received his award last night (Friday 22 April) at a Jazz Tui Awards Concert as part of the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga.

Bradley’s debut album was released in September 2010 through Rattle Records as the third instalment of the label’s Jazz Subscription Series for that year.

The other finalists were Christchurch’s Sumo Jazz for Throwing Salt and Tessa Quayle for Whisper Not.

Reviewing Resonator on the NZ Musician website, Michael Flynn says, “Diverse and confident, [Resonator] is an album that is as rich in energy as it is in musical styles, Bradley having created an eclectic mix of improvisations and grooves.”

The album was composed on Bradley’s return to New Zealand following tuition from master jazz drummer Barry Altschul in New York which his website says “changed his musical landscape forever”.

Resonator features original songs in performances by a number of leading lights in the Australasian music scene: Roger Manins (Saxophone), Miles Crayford (Piano / Rhodes / Synth), Mostyn Cole (Acoustic /Electric Bass / Sampler), Kirsten Te Rito (Vocals), James Illingworth (Synthesiser) and Tom Callwood (Arco Bass).

Bradley has travelled the world extensively drumming with international jazz performers to develop his creativity and passion for new music. International cruise ship work has empowered him with the versatility of a top-notch session musician.

Bradley graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the New Zealand School of Music at Massey University and has also studied with rhythmic master Scott Tinkler from Australia.

New Zealand Music Awards spokesperson and RIANZ managing director Chris Caddick says it has been a vintage year for jazz.

“The standard of performances in the jazz genre have been truly world class this year and bode well for the future. Reuben is a young musician and faced some worthy competition from Sumo Jazz and Tessa Quayle but his class has shone through in Resonator.

“Through the music awards we are delighted to support all New Zealand music and look forward to acknowledging Reuben’s work both at the National Jazz Festival and the main music awards late in the year,” Caddick says.

National Jazz Festival director Arne Herrmann is thrilled the Jazz Tui has been awarded in the Bay of Plenty.

“We are one of the oldest jazz festivals in the world and it is a great fit to present New Zealand's most prestigious jazz award as part of our festival,” says Herrmann. “Our sincere congratulations go to Reuben for his win. The award certainly sets the right tone for our event.”

The National Jazz Festival in Tauranga is in its 49th year and attracts tens of thousands of jazz enthusiasts over the five days of Easter.

Bradley’s win will also be acknowledged at the New Zealand Music Awards in November.