CD reviews: Hopetoun Brown

Finger-clicks, clarinet, trumpet and plenty of sax and sass equals an album that aims for the heart via its swing-infused grooves and the head via its understated jazz complexity.

There are all sorts of harmonic ideas floating around on the debut by the Auckland duo, who have been playing together since their teens (as Supergroove's horn section).

Burning Fuse works best when Tim Stewart and Nick Atkinson combine syncopated funk-soul brio (Road Runner Rocks) with an almost minimalist approach that leaves space for their technical ability to shine (Knitted Into My Bones).

Unique, assured and uplifting, the eight-song release is an almost perfect concert.

• Hopetoun Brown. Burning Fuse. Independent.

 Four and a half stars (out of five)

Single download: Burning Fuse
For those who like: Sly and the Family Stone

- Shane Gilchrist

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