ROCKHAPPENZ.com homepage

Neketini Brass

ROCKONZ Rock Hall Of Fame
First Name· Last Name· Groups· Venues· Events· Entities· Submit· e-Mail· Links· About

   

Neketini Brass 1968  —  Tangi Williams, Gerald Marston, Nick Nicholson, Neil Stringer, Bruce McKendry, George Williams and Roger Whyte

 

In the Studio at NZBC, Christchurch 1967


Tangi Williams, Gerald Marston, Bruce McKendry, George Williams, Nick Nicholson, Neil Stringer, Roger Whyte

 

In the late 1950s Nick Nicholson moved to Christchurch to live with his cousin, bandleader Martin Winiata (who was famous for his long residency at the Union Rowing Club cabaret, and his ability to play two saxophones at once).  Bick began playing guitar and saxophone with Winiata's band, and he immediately impressed saxophonist Stu Buchanan.  He was soon in demand for gigs with top-level players such as Doug Caldwell, George Campbell, Harry Voice and Stu Buchanan.  He formed The Neketini Brass in 1967 and mostly played bass, with players such as Gerald Marston and Bruce McKendry on trumpets, Roger Whyte on piano, Tangi Williams on guitar, Neil Stringer on drums, and George Williams on percussion.  The Nekitini brass was an application of Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass to Maori and New Zealand tunes.  They recorded two singles as well as two EPs (including a Christmas EP), and an album, using arrangements by Nicholson, with production by veteran bandleader Don Richardson.  The self-titled album was apparently one of the first stereo recording sessions at HMV's Wellington studio, although it was reissued on the budget Regal label with the Neketini Brass renamed Exciting Brass.  The album was dominated by Maori favourites such as "Po Atarau" (Now is the Hour), "Mehe Manurere", "Haere Mai", "Hine E Hine" and "Pokarekare Ana", but Nick also wrote a couple of stunning originals. "Tararua Tramp" and "Neketini Mambo".  In "Po Atarau" the tempo is doubled to turn the mournful farewell song into a cheerful party goodbye, with Marston and McKendry let loose for a trumpet break that swings.