At various times the band consisted of Leslie Jonkers, Peter Keen, Graeme Humphreys, Craig Mason, David Beniston, Jane Dodd (previously of The Verlaines), and Ronald Young. They formed in 1984 and named themselves after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. They released four albums and two EPs on Flying Nun Records. The band split up in 1996.
The band's style of music could be considered as somewhat similar to the prevalent Dunedin sound, as recorded by Flying Nun during the 1980s and most effective when keyboards (not normally prominent in the Dunedin sound) were to the fore, as on their early student radio hit "Snow White Chook."
Graeme Humphreys is now better known in New Zealand for his role as a radio talkback host (under the name Graeme Hill).
|Date of Release||Title||Label||Charted||Certification||Catalog Number|
|1987||A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down||Flying Nun Records/Flying Nun Europe||-||-||FN075, FNE18|
|1990||Hey Spinner||Flying Nun Records||-||-||FN162|
|1992||Somebody Ate My Planet||Flying Nun Records; Festival Records||-||-||FNCD233; D30807|
|1995||Store in a Cool Place||Flying Nun Records; Festival Records||-||-||album: FN312; L31461 |
CD: FNCD312; D 31461
|1998||Songs From the Departure Lounge||Flying Nun Records||-||-||FNCD404|
|1985||The Tired Sun||Flying Nun Records||42||-||FN043|
|1993||Shape Of Dolls||Flying Nun Records; Festival Records||39||-||FNCD280; D17044|
|1986||A: Able Tasmans, "Buffalos"
||Flying Nun Records; Festival Records||-||-||FN067|
The group have appeared on a few CD and DVD compilations since 1991 in New Zealand. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by the Able Tasmans.
- (1990) - In Love With These Times (Flying Nun Records) - "What Was That Thing?"
- (1991) - Roger Sings the Hits (Flying Nun Records) - "Getting Older"
- (1991) - Getting Older (Flying Nun Records) - "Sour Queen"
- (1995) - Abbasalutely (Flying Nun Records) - "S.O.S." (ABBA cover)
- (2004) - Second Season Flying Nun DVD II (Flying Nun Records) - "Big Bang Theory"
- (2004) - Very Short Films (Flying Nun Records) - "Hold Me 1"
- Flying Nun band history Archived 15 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "New Zealand Listener: "Baroque Dreams" by Nick Bollinger, 25–31 March 2006". Listener.co.nz. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Radio New Zealand: National Radio, Sept 15, 2006. Archived 20 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- CD includes Buffaloes and most of Tired Sun
- Posthumous "best-of" compilation
- "Various - Roger Sings the Hits". Discogs.