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After Image

Artist: Pinski Zoo

Date of Release: 01/08/2006

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 266

Label: SLAM

Price: £16

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Track Listing

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Appearances by

Jan Kopinski

NEW LIVE ALBUM - AFTER IMAGE - SLAM CD266
PINSKI ZOO - Celebrate 25 years of kicking down the barriers and sticking doggedly out for individualism with a new DOUBLE ALBUM- "AFTER IMAGE" - refusing to record for 10 years, this new album is a collection of live tracks from tours between 2003 - 2005, mixing their new material with occasional updated versions. 2 cd's of music with their twin bass propelled rhythm section and the expressive, energetic freedom that live takes bring to the recording. PINSKI ZOO feel that this is their best and most representative album to date.
PINSKI ZOO- feel that with more interest in music outside the box, it’s the right time to put out a comprehensive live album which catches the band in full flow and hear originators at work.

 

Reviews

 

01/08/2006 Barry Witherden

BBC Music Magazine August 2006-07-31 Barry WitherdenWith its members involved in extracurricular projects,Pinski Zoo hasn't released an album since the stunningDe-Icer, captured live in 1993. After Image, drawnfrom concerts across England between 2002 and 2005,has been worth the wait. The classic quartet has for some while been augmentedby Kopinski junior on additional bass. He and Binghamconstitute a sharp, well-focused unit, threading linesof clarity and strength through the band's crowded,swirling, polytonal canvas. PZ is still uncategorisable (I'd plump forpost-punk-funk-harmolodicism if pressed), stilluniquely exciting, danceable and darkly atmospheric,still powers irresistible pulses without stooping totediously inflexible beats, still conjures nebulous,magical, mysterious soundscapes from forbidding ranksof hardware, still enchants with tender melodiesplucked from the rowdiest melee. Less ferocious thanof yore, perhaps, but there's a much-extended palette.Harris is nimble and texture-savvy, Iliffe a master ofcolour, Jan K's saxes as gorgeous and passionate asever.Performance ***** Sound*****

 

01/08/2006 Chris May

Chris May All About Jazz August 2006

Pinski Zoo burst onto the British delinquent-jazz scene in the early '80s, around the same time as Neneh Cherry's Rip Rig & Panic.
Rip Rig & Panic sweetened their avant garde jazz content with vocals, guitars, songs with hooks, and some savvy rock and roll image building. Pinski Zoo, by contrast, made no concessions to the broader marketplace...or to anything at all. They served up a raw, unfiltered mix of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler-inspired tenor saxophone improvisations and rough-sex funk. And they peeled the socks clean off your feet.
This two-disc live set celebrates the band's uncompromising 25 years at the sweaty coalface of deep-seam free funk. The nucleus of the original quartet—saxophonist Jan Kopinski and keyboardist Steve Iliffe—still leads the assault. Bassist Karl Bingham joined in '85 and drummer Steve Harris in '87. So even today's core quartet has been together for very nearly twenty years. Kopinski's son Stefan joined on second bass in the late '90s.
The album was recorded across eight different venues in Britain during tours in '02, '03 and '05. There's both new material and re-arrangements of old favourites. Every tune, of course, is a band original, with Kopinski and Iliffe doing most of the writing.
The performances are as thrilling and unpredictable as any on the band's early-'80s breakout recordings. Utterly faithful to their original, post-Coltrane route to the jazz/funk shotgun marriage, Kopinski and Iliffe's playing is as shocking and in-your-face as it was back when they were freshmen.
Kopinski sounds practically untouched by the passing years. His playing is as hot and visceral and in-the-moment as it ever was, and his technique has grown beyond the merely formidable. He seems more comfortable with subtler nuances and lower boiling points, too: the unusually tender “Father Daughter (Ojciec)” here includes some rapturously lyrical playing.
Iliffe, who was always an arresting colourist and soloist, is on phenomenal form, with a tonal palette as broad as they come. And the rhythm section has never sounded so good: the twin-bass setup allows one player to maintain relentless, on-the-one, groove ostinatos while the other flies free above him.
In short, Pinski Zoo are still out there and still on cracking form. Organic, no-surrender, spiritually uplifting music, After Image is probably the best album the band has released to date. After 25 years at the barricades, that's an astonishing achievement.

 

28/07/2006 John Fordham

The “British jazz boom” of the late1980s produced such
distinctively different improvisers as Courtney Pine,
Andy Sheppard and Tommy Smith – but it also fostered
an unswervingly hardcore cult band called Pinski Zoo,
who mixed
Dark, throbbing soul-sax, free-improv and jazz-funk
with the thudding energy of Ornette Coleman’s Prime
Time, early Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders. This
two-CD live set is proof of the group’s sporadic
survival into the new millennium, with the original
lineup now augmented by a second electric bass – the
bass dialogues and guitar-like solos now becoming one
of the band’s strongest features. Zoo fanatics (and
there certainly are some) will want every crunching
impact on these long tracks recorded around the UK
between spring 2003 and last summer, though the less
dedicated might feel a single cd would have done just
fine. But the group’s sustained but constantly free
and mobile handling of funk grooves is a collective
triumph, and you can get lost in just that for long
periods – as in the Zawinul – like Firepoint, with the
bassists, keyboardist, Steve Iliffe and drummer Steve
Harris showing just how much Pinski Zoo can get out of
sitting tight. Jan Kopinski’s throaty tenor-sax drives
the Prime Time-like Bounce, and he’s hoarsely
passionate on Father Daughter, even if his full-on
Pharoah Sanders approach can run out of melodic
options over these long pieces.The later material
situates the sax in a more enveloping electronic
soundscape and there’s more Zawinul and Miles in this
intriguing band than in its early days.

 

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