b. New Zealand. This jazz musician was thrust into the musical forum at an early age as his father Kevin Haines is a highly respected bass player. Haines was classically trained on flute and saxophone and in 1991, he moved to New York to study jazz, studying privately with saxophonist George Coleman. His first experience in fusing dance music and jazz was with Groove Collective at the ‘Giant Step’ nights in New York City. Haines returned to New Zealand, releasing his acid jazz-inspired debut, Shift Left, in 1995. Recorded by an ensemble including his guitar-playing brother Joel, the album quickly became the bestselling jazz release in the country’s history.
Haines relocated to London, England in the mid-90s and teamed up with drum ‘n’ bass producer A-Sides. In 1996, Haines released singles on Goldie’s Metalheadz label under the pseudonym Sci-Clone. This spurred Haines to start a club night, ‘Bemsha!’, at the Notting Hill Arts Club in London, where live sets were fused with DJing by Patrick Forge and Phil Asher. The latter became Haines’ production partner and, after guesting on many of Asher’s remixes, the duo collaborated on Sound Travels. Released in 2001 on Chillifunk Records, this cool nu jazz album included the club hit ‘Earth Is The Place’. Support from dance music heavyweights Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez and Little Louie Vega culminated in Haines going to New York to work on a remix with the duo. Haines teamed up again with Asher to record 2003’s Squire For Hire, the follow-up to Sound Travels. Featuring guest vocals from Marlena Shaw and Blur’s Damon Albarn among others, the album moved seamlessly from Frank Sinatra -style lounge music to cutting-edge nu jazz of the style championed by Gilles Peterson and 4 Hero.