nzmsd 2021

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Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Hayden Chisholm/Norman Meehan/Paul Dyne: Unwind

Reviewed by Amanda Mills

Hayden Chisholm/Norman Meehan/Paul Dyne: Unwind

In 2015 pianist Norman Meehan and bassist Paul Dyne released ‘Small Holes In The Silence’ with vocalist Hannah Griffin, an album of notable New Zealand’s poetry set to similarly evocative music. This time Meehan and Dyne have teamed with saxophonist Hayden Chisholm to release ‘Unwind’, 11 tracks (10 of them original compositions by Meehan and Chisholm) of flowing ideas and intuitive musicianship, recorded at the end of 2016.

‘Unwind’ often puts Chisholm’s alto saxophone front and centre, but the interplay of all three instruments is like a musical discussion, with the piano and bass having their own conversations on the minimal, restrained Fly, and the airy, swinging, Trip to the Moon.

While firmly in the jazz idiom ‘Unwind’ also plays with elements of minimalism and ambience, and the album frequently weaves these together, although a more established jazz style creeps in with the elegant Edward, and the light, flighty, Tinkerbell’s Whim.

Nominated for Best Jazz Album at the NZ Music Awards, ‘Unwind’ is a rarity, an album that works well both as background music, or as the main focus. However, repeated listens to pick up on the many nuances in the performances and instrumentation prove continually rewarding.