In 1994 Nathan Haines released his debut album Shift Left, an album which revealed a fault-line between the previous generation of New Zealand jazz players and – because of its use of turntables and rappers – a new generation which had embraced hip-hop as much as the cool sounds of the 50s and 60s.
Shift Left – the title chosen from a roadworks sign which appealed to Haines’ left-leaning attitude – remains New Zealand’s biggest-selling jazz album. Yet, a year later ,when it was awarded Jazz Album of the Year, Haines wasn’t interested in the accolade or the album anymore. He was only 22 when he recorded it and had, he said, “moved on into electronic music and found the album dated.”
But Shift Left remains a benchmark in Haines’s career; in April 2019 the album was remastered and expanded for a 25th anniversary reissue