With Christopher Yeabsley on Hammond organ, twin brother Daniel weaving lyrical lines on flute, clarinet and all manner of saxes and Paul Hoskin steering the groove from his drum seat, Twinset have created their unique variation on the organ combo.
Funnily, the Yeabsley twins never intended to become jazz musicians. Sons of a prominent economist, Daniel was going to be a mathematician, Christopher a lawyer. It was their teenage discovery of the music of Dave Brubeck that diverted them into a musical education. At eighteen, Daniel took up the sax and Christopher the piano. In spite of their relatively late start, they applied themselves to mastering their instruments with the same passion and obsessiveness with which they had previously collected vintage suits and restored old Holdens.
Among their fellow students at the Massey Jazz School was drummer Paul Hoskin. They jammed, hit it off, and began gigging together around the Capital.
A Jimmy Smith record, played to Christopher by another Massey student Joe Lindsay (now of Fat Freddy’s Drop), was a further epiphany. The sound of Smith’s Hammond organ, the way he played bass lines on the instrument’s pedals while pumping chords and weaving melodies with his hands, determined the direction Twinset’s music would take.
From the outset, it was not just Twinset’s music that made an impression but their appearance. There’s the inevitable double-take when one first sees the near-identical brothers, not to mention their natty 50s-style suits.
Says Christopher “We had seen the old jazz guys dressed up on the record covers and just thought that if you played this kind of music that was what you did.”
For an early gig Paul borrowed a suit of Daniel’s. It was a poor fit, and from then on he began collecting his own, with a preference for a more 70s look. And the group’s sartorial style may have had a subtle effect on the music. As Paul explains: “It’s a matter of getting wholly into it. With this music it’s not just the way you sound, it’s the way you feel.”
Over five albums and countless gigs Twinset have grown an audience throughout New Zealand and around the globe. Flavour Country is Twinset’s sixth CD, and finds the group laying out its usual persuasive grooves, while expanding into unexplored territories...