Dr. Tree

Dr. Tree was a New Zealander jazz-rock band that released a self-titled album on EMI in 1976. Drummer Frank Gibson and bassist Bob Jackson were already established sessionists. Both appeared on the 1974 album The Song of Crazy Horse by American singer/songwriter J. D. Blackfoot.

Members: Frank Gibson (drums), Murray McNabb (keyboards), Martin Winch (guitar), Kim Patterson (trumpet), Johnny Banks (percussion), Bob Jackson (bass)

Dr. Tree released their singular album on EMI (New Zealand) Limited in 1976. It features a brief intro number and five medium-length pieces. Writing credits are split between four members: keyboardist Murray McNabb (the noodly 7/8 strut “Affirmation”), trumpeter Kim Patterson (the rattling brass-funk “Eugenio D”), guitarist Martin Winch (the arpeggiated 6/8 “Transition”), and Gibson (the fast/slow asymmetry of “One for Dianne”). They also cover the Stanley Clarke composition “Vulcan Worlds.” Gibson’s lightning crisp snare rolls dominate throughout.

Dr. Tree was produced by Alan Galbraith and veteran jazz conductor Julian Lee. Colin Hemmingsen (Blerta) guests on soprano sax. The music is comparable to the mid-’70s output of Return to Forever.

Dr. Tree was twice reissued on CD during the 2000s. Most of the members remained active on the antipodean jazz scene. McNabb and Patterson reteamed in 2009 for a pair of discs of Auckland-based composer Gianmarco Liguori.


  • Dr. Tree (1976)

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