Dave Fraser Profile

Russell Baillie
14 Nov 2017

Dave Fraser only released two albums with his name in big letters. The albums by The Dave Fraser Trio were 30 years apart: Music à la Carte appeared in 1970, and Embrace in 2000, just two years before his death. Although his own recording career was modest, it was a sideline to everything else he did in music. Which was a lot.

Fraser spent as much time in the studio and touring the world as many of the household names of New Zealand music, many of whom he played with. “He never got the kudos he deserved for his talent,” says Craig Walsh-Wrightson who, with his late brother Dale Wrightson, worked with Fraser through the 1970s. Their work included producing and arranging Shona Laing’s debut album Whispering Afraid, including its lush hit single ‘1905’. “He would never push himself. He was a very humble guy. He underrated his own talent but he could just pull it out of his hat.”

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Dave Fraser at Zodiac, photographed by K E Niven, 1967. Alexander Turnbull Library, 1/2-215042-F
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The Dave Fraser Trio, 2001. With Paul Dyne on bass and Roger Sellers on drums, Fraser performs 'Autumn Leaves' at his home studio in Nelson
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Miss Lee Grant sings 'Fever' on NZBC TV backed by Slim Dorwood, bass, and Dave Fraser on drums
Photo credit: NZBC
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Dave Fraser was musical director of country music TV show Dixie Chicken, fronted by Andy Anderson (Episode 3, 1987)
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Dave Fraser on piano and Mike Shaw on trumpet as part of the Merv Thomas Orchestra. His Majesty's Theatre Auckland, summer 1975/76.
Photo credit: Merv Thomas
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The Dave Fraser Trio's Music à la Carte was produced by Peter Hitchcock for HMV (NZ) Ltd in 1970
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Dave Fraser was musical director of country music TV show Dixie Chicken, fronted by Andy Anderson (Episode 5, 1987)
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Dave Fraser was musical director of country music TV show Dixie Chicken, fronted by Andy Anderson (Episode 2, 1987)
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