The balance of Nathan Haines' ninth studio album is outstanding, with small combo approaches mixed with more complex arrangements, notably Lament, with the legendary Kiwi Wayne Senior bringing his talent to the fore. On this track, Haines has broadened his palette with a six-piece brass section, aiming for a Birth of the Cool feel.
That said, it's the core line-up that helps Haines deliver a memorable performance, especially long- time pianist Kevin Field at a massive Steinway.
Again, the production values are old-school with vintage microphones and York St's 1974 Neve desk. Navarino Street and First Light are Nathan Haines' self-penned vocal tracks and his delivery is well paced, with credible phrasing and mature lyrics, almost a Michael Buble feel, but more musically serious. The rest of Vermillion Skies is an open and shut case of master musicians at their best, lead by a tenor sax master. Nice one, Mister Haines.
Rating: 4 / 5