NewBop Quintet, The Tuning Fork, 15 June 2010 – Live Review

June 16, 2021

FRANCES CHAN reviews an Auckland gig that put classic jazz in a setting that brought out the best of players both young and uh… legacy.



Hard bop heaven! The appreciative Tuning Fork crowd was transported to a hep uptown NYC jazz club when Auckland’s own NewBop Quintet performed last night.


Would you like to support our mission to bring intelligence, insight and great writing to entertainment journalism? Help to pay for the coffee that keeps our brains working and fingers typing just for you. Witchdoctor, entertainment for grownups. Your one-off (or monthly) $5 or $10 donation will support and help us keep producing quality content. It’s really easy to donate, just click the ‘Become a supporter’ button below.


By embracing, respecting and studying this definitive era born out of mid-1950s African-American jazz, the five-piece set a groovy head-nodding tone with much-loved classics and originals.

NewBop’s Kevin Field

Opening with Miles Davis’s ‘So What’ (1959), you can really hear the bluesy influences of the genre as a progression from the frenetic tempos of 1940s bebop. Another highlight was Monk’s ‘Straight, No Chaser’, a 12-bar blues given a Latinesque feel with the use of toms by the legendary Frank Gibson Jr. Give it up for 75-year-old Frank! We are blessed that he has been a stalwart of the NZ jazz scene ever since forming the fusion band Dr Tree in 1977.

Accompanying Frank was the skilful Mike Booth on trumpet, Pete France on tenor saxophone, Kevin Field on piano and young buck Wil Goodinson on double bass. The rhythm and blues motifs were in capable hands with Mike and Pete interchanging solos, and I particularly loved Kevin’s fluid and funky improvs that feverishly rattled his electric Kawai on its X-stand (especially on “Speak No Evil”). A composer in his own right, Wil held his millennial own with confident playing and some deft solo touches.

NewBop’s Wil Goodinson

Raconteur Mike likes a yarn and kept the banter humble and humorous, praising Frank’s celebrated status to a deserved degree, and explaining the inspired title for his tune written during lockdown: “It’s called ‘Lockdown’.”

Two other originals written in the spirit of hard bop slotted in nicely with the repertoire, namely ‘3 Up 3 Down’ by their usual bassist Cam McArthur and Frank’s ‘Beaver Fever’, which he began with a percussive flourish.

NewBop was created in 2019 by jazz devotee and industry champion David Innes and Terence O’Neill-Joyce (of Ode Records), who wanted to assemble top-notch T?maki Makaurau musicians to keep the hard bop vibe alive.

NewBop’s Pete France

This collaboration has now spawned a 12-track self-titled album released in June a few days before their appearance at the Wellington Jazz Festival, featuring four originals and quintessential pieces such as ‘Green Dolphin Street’, ‘Round Midnight’ and ‘Soul Eyes’.

You can listen to your treasured Art Blakey, Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley LPs whenever you want but if you can sit in sophisticated pleasure in front of live musicians saluting the sounds of hard bop, it’s a night out to savour. NewBop has announced a show at the Creative Jazz Club, Anthology on K Rd on 23 June, so there’s no excuse now.

NewBop’s Frank Gibson Jr

The Rachel Clarke Trio also impressed as support act. These Auckland University jazz graduates have the chops on vocals, guitar (Alex Pipes) and double bass (Hank Trenton). Trios work wonderfully well to showcase each instrument clearly and even with a regular choice of standards, their assured playing and synergy was a nice surprise. Rachel’s pipes got a full workout with her creative improvised scat, including a beautiful arrangement of ‘Summertime’. Next-gen talent to watch out for around town.

The Rachel Clarke Trio

Set list:

  1. So What
  2. 3 Up 3 Down
  3. Beaver Fever
  4. Speak No Evil
  5. Straight, No Chaser
  6. Stablemates
  7. Lockdown
  8. Soy Califa


Photos by Frances Chan, Dom Nola and Merrin McCreadie.


Avatar photo

Frances is now into her fourth decade of editing, writing and proofreading for books and magazines in the fields of children’s education, music and film, architecture and design, fashion, travel and sometimes even her favourite subject – rugby. Other discernible likes include hosting the 95bFM Jazz Show, DJing, baking, biking and bashing the drums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Give a little to support Witchdoctor's quest to save high quality independent journalism. It's easy and painless! Just donate $5 or $10 to our PressPatron account by clicking on the button below.

Witchdoctor straight to your inbox every 2nd week


Advance Paris - Designed with French flair. Amplifiers, Streamers, CD players and more
Previous Story

Canapalooza rocks on!

Next Story

Dianne Swann – The Witchdoctor Q&A

Latest from Concerts

Perfect Pitch

Twenty-five years ago GARY STEEL met up with wayward Kiwi electronic duo Pitch Black for a nice chat. A NZ Music Month special.

Mike Oldfield with bells on

Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells is over 50 years old but still sounds fresh. GARY STEEL chats with the man behind the upcoming Auckland performance

Icehouse, 40 years ago

It’s not often you get to interview Iva Davies (Icehouse) and Jo Camilleri (Jo Jo Zep) at the same time. GARY STEEL did way
Go toTop