by Nathan Haines / 2024

Release Notes



On August 9th, renowned New Zealand musician & producer Nathan Haines will release his eleventh studio album and first solo album since 2014. Nathan’s vibrant career has solidified his status as a leading figure in contemporary jazz and electronic music, and throughout his career he has distinguished himself as a masterful saxophonist, producer and DJ, celebrated for his innovative fusion of jazz with elements of soul, funk, and dance music. 

In the years since his last release, Haines has undergone transformative change in both his personal & professional life, including moving back to NZ, becoming a father, and setting up his own recording studio. Throughout this time, he was also diagnosed and has recovered from throat cancer, a hugely difficult time for a person who has made his career using his throat. Given the personal circumstances surrounding the album, Notes truly feels like a celebration of life and features a collection of tracks that are as rhythmically infectious as they are emotionally profound. 

A labour of love, work on the new album Notes started several years ago alongside the now deceased UK producer Phil Asher who had produced Nathan’s two most successful albums Sound Travels and Squire For Hire. Regarded as one of the finest DJ’s and producers to emerge from the UK and playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between 4/4 and broken beat, this was the first time Nathan and Phil had worked together in over eighteen years. Phil passed away during the recording of the album, but he appears on a number of tracks, and his spirit and influence can be felt throughout the entire release. 

Nathan has long been celebrated for his ability to blend different musical styles. and Notes features deep, groove-driven basslines, soulful melodies, and intricate rhythms, all enhanced by electronic elements. Notes also features collaborations with some of the music industry's most revered artists, bringing a diverse range of voices and styles to the album. This collaborative spirit adds richness and variety to the album. 

The album features a number of guest vocalists, including UK soul-diva Vanessa Freeman (Bugz In The Attic, 4 Hero, Kaidi Tatham, Kyoto Jazz Massive), and exciting young talents Arjuna Oakes, Ruby., La Coco and Eo (NZ). Alongside Nathan’s own musicianship and production, the album also features contributions from keybordists Michal Martyniuk and Joe Kaptein, Razor-N-Tape label founder Jkriv and electronic jazz pioneer Mark de Clive-Lowe, with all bringing a wealth of collaboration and musicality to the project. Long-time collaborator and much respected UK based producer Marc Mac (one half the highly influential and respected duo 4Hero) provides beats for a number, alongside Nathan’s father Kevin on acoustic bass. 

Highly respected DJ and producer Frank Booker (Razor and Tape) drops his signature beats on three tracks which fit nicely alongside Asher’s drum work. The album’s one cover see’s Nathan teaming up with vocalist Rachel Clarke on their version of ‘Storm’ by US 80’s vocal group Rare Silk - this track is entirely acoustic and is one of the album’s special moments both artistically and musically. 

To close the album, Nathan's own vocals form the centrepiece for his composition ‘Notes’, featuring his brother Joel Haines on guitar and an amazing live tabla performance from Manjit Singh - plus a closing vocal line from Nathan's eight year old son Zoot. This highly personal song details Nathan's journey through cancer and emerging from the other side with a new life perspective, with Nathan providing lead vocals for the first time since recovering from throat cancer. It's a track that according to Nathan took over three years "to get right", and in all its rawness and emotional impact, it's the perfect closing statement. 

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