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Mike Nock: Ozboppin’

Mike Nock is an international treasure. New Zealand-born, and beginning his career down under, Mike built a reputation in long stints in the U.S. playing with many jazz greats. Australian-based once again, Nock is a giant on that continent, but he still tours the U.S. and Europe.

Additionally, Mike has reached a prominent role as A&R man for the recently burgeoning Naxos Jazz imprint. With this record, he struts his own stuff for the label.

The album is basically a quintet including young musicians Phil Slater on trumpet and Tim Hopkins on tenor sax, and Cameron Undy and David Goodman in the rhythm section. Slater and Hopkins screech through some searching explorations while maintaining a dynamic rhythmic sense.

The focus, of course, is on pianist Nock, and his intelligent writing that draws on his wide experience. The compositions here are finely wrought and defy description, as they filter Nock’s broad exposure into a personal vision and openness of spirit. Rounding out the date are sensitive interpretations of the standards “Come Sunday” and “End of a Love Affair.”

Originally Published