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1. Intro (0:19)

2. Apple road (Rae) 3:10

3. From here to there (Rae) 5:26

4. Say it with a smile (Rae) 3:54

5. Tak a minute (Rae) 1:12

6. The Expanse (Wilcock) 3:29

7. Try tone (Rae) 2:31

8. Splendid Isolation (Rae) 5:07

9.  Archie's Rumble (Wilcock)  2:41

10. Yes (Rae) 2:16

11. Position normal (Rae/Wilcock/Bleakley) 6:07

12. Together (Rae) 4:34

13. Esperar (Wilcock) 3:05

14. Brainiac (Wilcock) 4:30

15. Daddy what did YOU do in the war? (Rae) 3:39


New Zealand composers and musicians John Rae and Ben Wilcock have produced a stunning 14 song collaboration of original material.  Joined by the celebrated New Zealand bassist, Patrick Bleakley the album has been described as "beguiling" (PBS, The Modernist)

Featuring guest artists Scottish guitarist Kevin Murray, former Black Seeds Irish based saxophonist Jabin Ward and multi instrumentalist Daniel Yeabsley, this is jazz for the 21st Century. Ebbing and flowing between chaos and beauty this album will take the listener to places they never expected. A truly unique take on contemporary jazz.


Recorded over two years, with contributions from Scotland, Ireland and different parts of New Zealand, Splendid Isolation takes traditional acoustic forms and bends them in a way only these two highly original composers could.


The album begins with three of Rae's compositions; 'Apple Road', the title a homage to Ronnie Rae (John's father and well known Scottish bass player), the more contemporary 'From Here to There' and a sonic trip for the listener 'Say it with a Smile'.

'Tak a minute', also one of Rae's compositions,  is based on the Indian rhythmic syllabic method of Konnakol.

Wilcock's 'The Expanse' is an emotive ballad depicting the vastness of space.

Rae's 'Tri Tone' features an elegant verse up front from bass player Patrick Bleakley...someday there'll be no more trouble...

The title track takes the listener on a journey from a traditional jazz quartet setting into something totally unexpected, a theme throughout the album.

Wilcock's 'Archie's Ramble' and Rae's 'Yes' are the two up tempo tracks on the album, which are followed by the ever bluesy 'Position Normal' and 'Always Alone Together'. 

On 'Esperar' the listener is treated to kiwi saxophonist Jabin Ward's emotive creativity, a track which also features well known Scottish guitarist Kevin Murray. 

The album concludes with 'Brainiac', again featuring Wilcock and Murray. This up tempo highly energetic waltz concludes the album before Rae poses the question - 'Daddy, what did you do in the war?'

John Rae - drums 

Ben Wilcock - piano

Patrick Bleakley - bass

Dan Yeabsley - sax and bass (track 8)

Jabin Ward - sax (track 13  )

Kevin Murray - guitar (tracks 8, 13, 14)

Artwork by Riley Claxton


Recorded by Benni Kruger and Lorenzo Bhune at Sandbox Studio, Wellington 2022

Mastered by Kevin Murray


Thick Records NZ 015

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