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ZOO

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Reviews of ZOO

 

06/12/2010 The Jazz Mann

An adventurous offering with much worthy of praise, not least the contribution of guest trumpeter Guy Barker.

Zoo “Psychodrama” (3 stars) (Red Admiral Records REDAD CDA567)
The East Midlands band Zoo have attracted a considerable amount of critical acclaim for their intelligent brand of song based “nu jazz fusion”. Zoo began life as a trio centred around the song writing axis of husband and wife team Reg (guitar,bass) and Karen (keyboards,vocals) Clegg plus multi instrumentalist Paul Biggins (keyboards, guitar, bass).
2008’s “End Of The Telegraph Wires” (reviewed elsewhere on this site) featured significant guest appearances from saxophonist John Sanderson and drummer Ian Beestin. These two subsequently augmented the band on live dates (including a highly successful performance at the 2008 Lichfield Real Ale Jazz & Blues Festival where I first encountered the group) and have since progressed to full membership thus making the group a quintet.
2009 saw Zoo collaborating with the great Guy Barker, arguably the UK’s finest trumpeter, with Barker joining the band on stage for a highly successful concert at Nottingham’s Bonington Theatre. Barker subsequently joined the group in the studio for the recording of “Psychodrama” and appears on eight of the album’s twelve tracks. The music is a mix of instrumentals and songs, the latter featuring intelligent, sometimes enigmatic lyrics that scratch at the surface of human relationships.
Barker immediately makes his mark on the opening instrumental, Karen Clegg’s “Life In a Day”, his muted Miles-ian trumpet combining well with Sanderson’s tenor sax and Reg’s guitar. It’s a good example of Barker’s versatility, the sound he adopts on this chilled out piece of “nu jazz” is very different to the bright, burnished sound he adopts in his own hard bop derived small groups. Indeed there’s a film noirish quality about this piece that has more in common with Barker’s later “Soundtrack” album (2002). A good start.
The trumpeter sits out on Reg and Karen’s song “I Always Told Her”, the lyrics written from the point of view of a departed husband, leaving to find his own space but now seemingly regretting the decision. Sanderson’s tenor takes the instrumental honours here on a breezy tune that undermines the darkness of the lyrics.
Barker is back for Karen’s song “Breathing In” which alternates between the brooding and the wistful. Beestin drives the song along crisply and there are fine moments from both Barker on trumpet and Sanderson on tenor.
Essentially an instrumental “Dimanche” explores similar territory to the opener with good interplay between Barker’s trumpet, Sanderson’s tenor, Reg’s guitar and Karen’s melodica. 
Sanderson switches to sinuous soprano for the beautifully lilting ballad “December” which also features some of Barker’s most lyrical playing of the set.
I’m less convinced by Biggins’ “Chilled”, the self consciously hip lyrics and Karen’s mannered vocal performance don’t really work for me and although there a good moments from Barker and Sanderson, the latter now on flute, it’s still the weakest item thus far.
The charming “Ordinary Things” written by the Cleggs plus Sanderson is primarily instrumental with solos from Sanderson on soprano, Karen on electric piano and Reg on guitar.
Another Biggins song, “Walking Not Running” is a far more convincing piece of work, grainy bass clarinet, eerie guitar and wispy muted trumpet reflecting the bitterness of the lyrics.
Reg and Karen’s “Adaggio” includes wordless vocals reminiscent of the Pat Metheny Group but is again essentially instrumental. Performed by the core quintet the piece features breezy soprano sax and gently rippling acoustic piano, the latter courtesy of Karen Clegg.
The Cleggs’ insistent “Could’ve” is a litany of regret, the repetitive nature of the lyrics and an insistent electric piano vamp neatly capturing the air of paranoia and self loathing suggested by the words. Relief and variation come courtesy of Sanderson’s drily snaking tenor saxophone solo.
This is followed by Biggins’ claustrophobic “Electric” which simmers with sexual tension and adds sinister electronica, spoken vocals and percussion to the mix. Barker’s brooding trumpet and Reg’s spookily distorted guitar add greatly to the already unsettling atmosphere.
Finally Biggins’ “Disguise” is reprised from the previous album, appearing here as “Disguyse” in honour of their distinguished guest. The arrangement here is substantially different and more obviously bluesy with solos from Barker on trumpet, Karen on organ and Sanderson on tenor. Something of a live favourite, I’d guess that this closed the Bonington Theatre show too.
“Psychodrama” is lovingly crafted with some excellent playing and singing from all involved. It’s always a pleasure to listen to Barker and he brings much to the record with some memorable solos. As the other principal jazz soloist Sanderson also gives a good account of himself on tenor, soprano and flute with Reg and Karen showing up well on guitar and keyboards respectively. Beestin’s neat and intelligent drumming is right on the money and the multi talented Biggins adds good colouration.
There’s more of a focus on the instrumental side of things this time round and there are some fine moments, particularly from the horn players. I didn’t find the songs and lyrics quite as convincing as before, something that didn’t seem to effect the previous record. But let’s not forget how high Zoo are aiming, perhaps the “Psychodrama” precept of the album led to the songwriters striving a little too hard for emotional “significance”.
For all this Zoo remain admirably ambitious and show clear signs of development- from the instrumental viewpoint at least- and Barker is simply splendid as usual. “Psychodrama” may have it’s flaws but it’s still an adventurous offering with much worthy of praise.

 

18/11/2010 FATEA Records

Review of ‘PSYCHODRAMA’ album
Fatea's favourite jazzers, Zoo, are back with a new album, "Psychodrama" and have managed to persuade top trumpet man, Guy Barker, to come along for the ride. It's an album with fire like qualities, warm and welcoming only to suddenly spring into life with blistering solos and then threaten to burn the house down with some real sharp interplays. It's an accessable album, full of contrasts and tangents that allow you to explore the songs and pick up on the finer points of some silkly smooth arrangments without leaving you feeling like you've over indulged.
(ZOO invited to be part of the Feb 1st 2011 Fatea Showcase Session)

 

11/11/2010 Chris Beggs, Leicester Mercury

IMAGINATIVE JAZZ TICKS BOXES : Jazz x3 Y Theatre, Leicester, Nov 7th

The Y Theatre hosted one of the most imaginative and innovative jazz performances I've heard for a long time.
First up was Stuart McCallum playing ambient style solo guitar, sometimes enhanced with electronic loops.
Amazing Grace showed his musicality as he did something new with a hymn, while original Vital Space added electronic reminiscent of John Martyn. John Coltrane's Blue Train was the highlight.

Next up were Zoo. I could have listened to more of John Sanderson's reeds, and there was a moment of genius in the introduction to original Walking Not Running with Middle Eastern sounding bass clarinet and wordless vocals.

Then with a fanfare of blazing horns, the Beats & Pieces Big Band announced their arrival in style, playing witty, innovate arrangements.
If the term big band evokes Glenn Miller, erase this from your mind – this was a Loose Tubes for the 10s.
The section work was immaculate, the solos interesting, but Ben Cottrell's arrangements were truly a revelation.
Nothing was out of the question – an unaccompanied flugelhorn might be joined by a trombone, and slowly all the horns may be improvising with no rhythm section.
Cottrell's re-inventions of three Radiohead pieces were special. Nick Walters (trumpet), Sam Healey (alto), and Graham South (trombone), deserve praise too. Penultimate number Broken with Anthony Brown's delicious tenor solo was another.

 

10/09/2010 Joshua Taylor, Burton Mail

'PSYCHODRAMA' album review (4 stars)
An album produced with special guest Guy Barker on 8 of the 12 tracks and these 8 are definitely the best of an otherwise good bunch. The album builds a picture in the listener’s mind of a sleazy jazz club, containing excellent trumpet and maybe symbolising a change in the music zeitgeist of a resurgence of jazz in the mainstream

 

18/05/2010 Chris Beggs, Leicester Mercury

Jazz x3 at the Y Theatre, Leicester, 16th May 2010 :

An enraptured Y Theatre audience were treated to three contrasting jazz performances on Sunday night in a concert which must take the prize for value for money.
First up was If Destroyed Still True from Leeds - throughout the set there were shifting textures and time signatures, interlocking solos and themes, and first class compositions and arrangements.

Derby-based ZOO were next up - Ian Beestin was ever-inventive on the drums, Reg Clegg provided some nice John Martyn style guitar, John Sanderson was excellent on saxes and particularly bass clarinet, and Karen Clegg's voice was lovely.

Martin Taylor was, of course, a maestro on solo guitar.
Quite how he manages to keep a walking bass, rhythmic cords, and the tune going at all, let alone so beautifully sonically separated, on his own on one instrument is just unbelievable.

 

17/08/2009 Left Lion

ZOO with Guy Barker performed for Jazz Steps at the Bonington Theatre in Arnold on Thursday 13 August 2009.

Bonington Theatre, neatly tucked away on top of a leisure centre, home to Jazz Steps – Nottingham’s definitive jazz connoisseurs – this is a delightful little venue: intimate, atmospheric, and ultimately the perfect spot to succumb to the wiles of the genre.
Introducing ZOO: a Derbyshire based quintet praised for their distinctive vocal approach and laid-back style. Arriving on stage with them was trumpet maestro Guy Barker; a collaboration that incites a delicious evening of fabulous music.
These guys are undoubtedly amazing musicians, and boast that enviable talent where every instrument they touch becomes a natural extension of the body. In the second half of the evening ZOO and guest, Barker, really began to cook. There was some stunning pieces that screamed seedy jazz club: swinging-hip grooves, rich harmonies and Barker’s trumpet growling over the top. Now maybe I’m just partial to a bit of smut, but it was such moments of unified sleaze that rendered me that little bit hot under the collar.
ZOO do showcase some exceptional musical capabilities and their approach to the jazz fusion genre offers an interesting blend of acoustics, electronics and vocal dominance. This is a group about which you should definitely make up your own mind.

 

15/08/2009 The Jazz Man

Review of ‘End of the telegraph wires’ by ZOO
“A distinctive album that fuses subtly jazzy arrangements to interesting song based material”

This review copy was kindly given to me by the members of Zoo following their recent appearance at the 2009 Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues Festival. Zoo’s performance is reviewed as part of our feature covering the Saturday of the festival.
“End Of The Telegraph Wires” was recorded in 2008 when Zoo consisted of the multi instrumentalist trio of Reg and Karen Clegg plus Paul Biggins. Since then the group has expanded to a quintet with the addition of saxophonist John Sanderson and drummer Ian Beestin who both feature as guests on this album.
Zoo are based in Derbyshire where this album was recorded but their well crafted music has earned them a national reputation. Essentially they are a song based band centred around the lead vocals of Karen Clegg. They use a lot of jazz chords in their arrangements and in Sanderson now have a genuine jazz soloist. Their music has been described as “nu jazz fusion” but has a good deal more substance than that epithet, with it’s implied accusation of blandness might suggest. Biggins’ thank yous refer to “Don and Walt” which I take to be the celebrated Messrs. Fagen and Becker of Steely Dan. Certainly the combination of smooth-ish music and barbed lyrics is a Steely Dan trademark and Zoo offer something of the kind here without ever sounding remotely like their heroes.
This fourteen song collection features the song writing talents of the core trio either solo or in various combinations. Biggins’ “Button By Button” opens proceedings, teaming pounding electronic rhythms with Sanderson’s squiggling tenor sax on this tale of undercover crime and surveillance. The wistful “Beyond”, also by Biggins is one of his many “escaping from reality” songs. Instrumentally the piece features Karen’s piano solo and guest David Ives’ flute above a percussive backdrop led by Beestin’s subtle grooves.
Husband and wife team Reg and Karen Clegg wrote the unsettling “Open Air” which gains much of it’s atmosphere from the eerie combination of Karen’s melodica and Ives’ ewi (electronic wind instrument). Biggins’ “Mutual”, a “relationship in crisis” song continues the uneasy atmosphere with Ives’ flute now to the fore, dovetailing with Karen’s recorder.
At nine minutes plus“Big Red Bus” is one of the album’s stand out cuts. A collaboration between the core trio the song featured in their set at Lichfield, announced as “the story of someone’s life”. With it’s twin towers references it’s maybe more than that. The instrumentalists get the chance to stretch out here. Guest trumpeter Ben Lee broods in Milesian fashion shadowed by Biggins’ electric piano and Sanderson’s snaking soprano sax.
Reg Clegg’s “I Fell Through a Hole To You” tells the story of a stale relationship. Sweetly sung by Karen and paced by Reg’s guitar the song seems to shimmer on the horizon with Ives’ flute adding to the atmosphere of delicacy.
“Like A Knife” is another three way collaboration but given the escapist theme of the song I’d guess it’s predominately Biggins’ baby. Sanderson’s bass clarinet and tenor sax swirl around a shuffling electronic rhythm with Reg’s guitar also prominent in the mix.
“These Things Happen” is written by the Cleggs and features Reg on lead vocal, duetting with wife Karen. The intriguing arrangement juxtaposes electronic rhythms against Reg’s acoustic guitar, Ives’ flute and the woody clarinet of another guest, Michael Aggio.
Biggins’ “I Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love With You” is yet another broken relationship song. Karen’s singing is as close to orthodox jazz phrasing as anything on the album. Reg’s acoustic guitar paces the delicate arrangement and Ben Lee adds plaintive, mournful trumpet. The starkness of the arrangement makes this one of the album’s most effective songs. The way the group drop out as Karen sings the word “silence” is a neat touch.
The trio written“Energy” is more urgent, rhythmically driven and Latin tinged but behind the sunny exterior is a bitter lyric regretting “all this wasted energy”. This contrast/tension between the musical arrangement and the lyrical content make for an intriguing and convincing song.
“Leave It All Behind” is another of Biggins’ wistful “escape” songs with Sanderson’s floaty soprano sax prominent in the arrangement.
Reg & Karen’s “Kill a Man Today” explores the the motorist’s temptation to mow down a luckless pedestrian. We’ve probably all felt that urge, but like the protagonist of the song never gone through with it. Sanderson features here on flute alongside Ives’ ewi.
Biggins’ “Disguise” with Karen’s semi spoken hipster vocal proved a big favourite at Lichfield and works well here in an arrangement just featuring the core trio. Paul and Karen’s keyboards (the latter takes the piano solo) are supported by Reg on acoustic bass and guitar.
By contrast the closing “Changes”, also by Biggins, is an outlet for sextet with Beestin, Sanderson (tenor) and Lee added to the core trio. Powered by Beestin’s insistent groove Reg (guitar) and Lee take the instrumental honours.
“End Of The Telegraph Wires” is a distinctive record, fusing jazz based arrangements to conventional song based forms. Karen Clegg’s vocals are cool and assured throughout and although none of these songs is a real jaw dropper the group consistently try to keep things interesting. The lyrics may not be up to Becker and Fagen’s standards but they are an attempt to sing something more interesting than the usual “moon in June” fluff. The combination of acoustic and electric instruments works well on these painstaking, mainly keyboard led arrangements and all the guests make a significant contribution. It will be interesting to see how Zoo develop from here especially with Sanderson in the band. He was the star instrumentalist at Lichfield and I’d have liked to have heard more from him here. “Telegraph Wires” is Zoo’s third album following the earlier “Greenhouse” and “Endangered Species”. Maybe the next (quintet) album will be the real killer.

 

29/06/2009 The Jazz Man

ZOO at Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues Festival 2009
Saturday 27th June 2009

Saturday’s proceedings commenced with ZOO, a quintet of Midlands based musicians centred on the Derby area. Their music is based around the song writing axis of Karen Clegg (voice,keyboards,melodica), Reg Clegg (guitars and bass) and Paul Biggins (guitars, keyboards and bass). This core trio are now complemented by the highly accomplished saxophonist John Sanderson and the versatile drummer Ian Beestin.
With ZOO’s music there is an element of grit in their writing that makes them far more interesting than their smooth exterior might suggest. Fundamentally this is a song based band and those songs are intelligent and well crafted with a welcome touch of both bile and whimsy in the lyrics. That is not to say that the group lack instrumental expertise. The husband and wife team of Reg and Karen Clegg plus songwriting colleague Biggins are all talented multi-instrumentalists and Sanderson an inspired soloist on the moments when he cuts loose. Drummer Beestin offers flexible and sympathetic support in a thoroughly dependable manner.
ZOO are nothing if not prolific. Their new album “End Of The Telegraph Wires” (which will be reviewed on this site in due course) follows swiftly on the heels of “Endangered Species” (2006) and “Greenhouse” (2008).
Unfortunately I missed the start of their first set but arrived in time to hear the reflective “Could’ve” with Karen’s rueful lyrics and vocals complemented by a fine tenor solo from Sanderson. Many of the group’s songs are about relationships gone wrong but they avoid all the clichés and the lyrics have a bitter-sweet, poetic edge. “That’s It” from “Endangered Species” falls into this category and here boasted an intriguing arrangement for twin guitars (Reg Clegg and Paul Biggins) with Clegg’s solo making good use of effects to produce ghostly scratchings and scrapings that were wholly in line with the arrangement and subject matter. The first set closed with Biggins’ “Leave It All Behind” a more optimistic song of escape featuring Sanderson on soprano.
Their second set included “Life In A Day” featuring Reg on slide guitar and Sanderson on tenor.
“Big Red Bus” combined a story “about someone’s life” with a reference to the tragedy of 9/11 and saw Reg on bass with Sanderson on soprano.
A new song “December” saw Karen demonstrating her keyboard skills with an electric piano solo. She had already amply demonstrated her vocal abilities with an assured, controlled performance throughout. Sanderson weighed in with another fine soprano solo. He is very much the band’s star instrumentalist and his addition to the permanent line up has given the group a considerable boost.
The ethereal “Walking Not Running” saw him switch to bass clarinet with Reg adding guitar atmospherics and Beestin deploying finger cymbals for a novel but effective touch.
The insistent “Changes”, another of Biggins songs about the nature of reality and the escape from it was based around a shuffling beat with Sanderson’s tenor solo taking the instrumental honours.
Finally came “Disguise” another Biggins song based around Karen’s semi spoken vocal and keyboard solo. This was an effective and fun way to end the set.
ZOO have a lot going from them and show considerable vocal and instrumental talent. They use a lot of jazzy chords and ideas, a touch of Norma Winstone here, a dash of Brazilian jazz stylings there. Ultimately they’re rather difficult to pigeon hole which may count against them, but having said that I was very pleasantly surprised by ZOO (who are all very nice people by the way ), making this a very enjoyable way to start the day.

 

24/04/2009 The Musician

ZOO : 'End of the telegraph wires'

"Eclectic fusion from this Derbyshire quintet, who are building an enduring reputation as an act to watch, thanks to their distinctive sax and vocal approach. These 14 cuts of top drawer jazz are sure to shake up the competition"

 

24/04/2009 City Review

ZOO : 'End of the telegraph wires'

‘Having picked up the Best Jazz Artist title at the Glasswerk New Music Awards in 2007 and being selected for the East Midlands Jazz ‘Rhythm-a-ning’ project this year, this Derbyshire-based outfit is beginning to make the right noises. It’s easy to see why – their jazz-fusion sound has quality written through it with some excellent arrangements of their own compositions.

 

27/02/2009 The Beat Surrender

ZOO : Album: End Of The Telegraph Wires

‘…some of it smoulders of a late night sex soundtrack, especially on tracks like Button By Button, Mutual, Big Red Bus and Like A Knife.’

 

21/02/2009 Sea of Tranquility

Zoo: End Of The Telegraph Wires

Zoo are a modern jazz trio from the UK who were formed at the turn of the decade, End Of The Telegraph Wires being their sixth full length release. Karen Clegg has a distinctive voice that provides a mesmerising vibe when set against the bands smooth yet evocative arrangements. And if the word 'Jazz' is an immediate turn off or gives you shudders down the spine then you'll be relived to hear that Zoo succeed in making it far more accessible than most without any hints of self-indulgence. They are clearly on a mission to bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century and with the exception of the near ten minute 'Big Red Bus' the tracks are generally around the six minute mark and sound all the better for it. There are a number of subtle blends of acoustic and electric touches that is further enhanced by the crisp and clear production.
A genuine contemporary jazz album that is both refreshing and enjoyable.

 

30/01/2009 mybrumtv.co.uk

Band create career-defining album
Zoo End Of The Telegraph Wires Red Admiral Records

ZOO craft their sound well using all manner of instruments to create jazz not heard since Ella Fitzgerald. Present are saxophones, trumpets, a piano - even a tin whistle, all of which are skillfully played to make a relaxing, peaceful sound.

For many songs there are no need for vocals as the sublime 9-minute ‘Big Red Bus’ delivers the kind of smoky, jazz bar music that easily stands up on it’s own merit. For such songs as ‘Energy’ and ‘Open Air’ though, vocals are present and are slow, soft, high but oddly soothing.

For move around the jazz world and Zoo is currently the name on everyone’s lips and with ‘End of the Telegraph Wires’ they may have just created their career-defining album. We can finally add Zoo to the long list of true jazz greats. Released: December 9

For Fans of: Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa

 

23/01/2009 FATEA Records Magazine

ZOO : Album: End Of The Telegraph Wires

Fatea's favourite jazzers, Zoo, are back with a new album, "End Of The Telegraph Wires". Like folk music, jazz has preconception problems with large swathes of the population who still associate the genre with smokey clubs and strangely dressed blokes in cravats. Zoo really are doing all they can to get away from all that whilst keeping the essential elements that make their sound easily identifiable as Jazz. Yes there is a mellowness to some of the songs, aided by Karen Clegg's sublime vocal, but the overwhelming element of this album is that it's contemporary, right now.

 

24/07/2008 BBC WM

‘Fabulous, fantastic and distinctive’

 

16/05/2008 Andy Parker, Burton Mail

'Dirty'by ZOO

Cheesy, choppy organs and eccentric faux operatic vocals are held together by a drumskin tight rhythm section on this classy and highly impressive crossover jazz nugget from a Derbyshire-based trio that sure can play. Evidence of this will be available at Dexter’s Jazz Club in Nottingham on Tuesday, May 20, which could well be a chance to catch a future star name when really hot.

 

11/05/2008 Airomee Wind, Que 98.2 Radio

'a band that could very well set the new standard for the Jazz Fusion genre is 'Zoo'
On 'Dirty', the delicate arrangement of keyboard effects makes it quite interesting to listen to. I like Zoo's music, it's great!”

 

07/04/2008 FATEA Records Magazine

'Dirty' by ZOO

Since we last featured Zoo, their most recent album, "Greenhouse" went on to win the 2007 Glasswerk Award for Best Jazz Album. They've also established themselves across the Midlands. "Dirty" taken from that self same "Greenhouse" album, serves as a timely reminder that if you haven't bought the album already, you should at least check it out. It also gives the band, a trio, Paul Biggins, Karen and Reg Clegg an opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and say, 'Hey this is us, this is what we're about, good contemporary jazz.'

 

11/02/2008 Jazzwise

ZOO 'Greenhouse' album

Vocalist Karen Clegg (a kind of jazzy Sandy Denny), Reg Clegg and Paul Biggins make up Derbyshire trio Zoo. They blend jazz chords and 80s indie guitar melancholia with a shade of electronics.

 

05/11/2007 FATEA Records Magazine

"Suddenly" is the first single from Zoo's criticallly acclaimed "Greenhouse" album.

Hopefully it'll garner some of the attention needed to push the album from critical success to a significant commercial one. Zoo are a jazz trio that create a sensitive blend of the acoustic and the electric. "Suddenly" has a groove that gives the impression of the vocalist laid across a grand piano focusing her attention on one member of the audience, in this case you. It's relaxed, but with an edge. Realisation dawns as the song's being performed that it's not the same as it was.

 

12/10/2007 Hartlepool Mail

'Suddenly' : Light and airy like summer clouds this jazzy number drifts by, helped on its way by the Cleo Laine-esque vocals and lazy double bass. Interesting, but very laid back.

 

12/10/2007 County Times

Jazz trio ZOO's new single 'Suddenly' available to download next Monday comes from their acclaimed Greenhouse album. Sounding like it was recorded in someone's noisy lounge, the song has some airy beatnik vocals with mellow bass and flute notes. Open up the cafe beacuse the beats are back!

 

24/08/2007 Toxic Pete

Zoo - Single - Suddenly

'Suddenly' is slick and sexy, gently persuasive and very easy on the ear. There's no self-indulgence to be found anywhere here - ok, I know it's only a single of just over four minutes but Zoo keep it all nicely laid back and very much a no-frills kinda thing.

Subtle percussion offers loads of space for the expansive bass work to cast its magic and with delicate piano and flute set against the bright, precise vocals the whole thing melds seamlessly into a damn fine piece of nu-jazz - as chilled as you want it to be or, as vibrant as you want to make it.

The piece is a 'live' recording and probably benefits by being nicely loose (in the most controlled way!); it shows that jazz can indeed be a musical art-form for the twenty-first century and bodes well for future Zoo releases. 'Suddenly' by Zoo is a pleasantly laid back piece of accessible jazz that you can enjoy for exactly what it is - you don't have to think too much or be a jazz buff to get what Zoo are doin'! Very nice, very pleasurable and refreshingly different - oh, and certainly nothing to be the slightest bit frightened of!

 

30/04/2007 FATEA Records Magazine

"Greenhouse"

is a highly evocative and entertaining album that draws heavily on jazz and mixes it into intimate and rich harmonies. Whilst sounding simple, Zoo, manage to hide a wealth of complex interactiosn into their songs with out ever managing to disappear up their own backside. Even as a three piece it can be too easy to over indulge in this sort of album, chosing to show how well you can play rather than providing something that reaches out to the audience. "Greenhouse" reaches out and enchants.

 

16/12/2005 Blinded

Endangered Species CD :
"...draws you into its' own beautiful world and makes you want to listen right 'til the end"

 

09/05/2005 Spare Room Music

Endangered Species CD :
"Everything oozes class - from the exquisite musicianship, stylised vocals, crisp and clear production
- a quality piece of work and must have for all jazz lovers"

 

02/03/2003 Brian Maher, The Marrs Bar, Worcester

"ZOO...a band you should look out for -
mellow but jazzy and at the same time mesmerising..."

 

29/04/2002 Arts Council England

"ZOO's music has a great portability and accessibility,
whilst still belonging to a contemporary framework..."

 

22/04/2002 Andy Hawkins, Pravda Studios

"ZOO...nice music, but with a sinister edge..."

 

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