JJ 01/91: Pinski Zoo – East Rail East

Thirty years ago Michael Tucker applauded the arrival of a strong British quartet but found an hour of urban grit too much of a good thing. First published in Jazz Journal January 1991


Pinski Zoo have already had some very good critical reactions to this release. In part, I share the enthusiasm of those who wel­come a strong British quartet, able to mix post-Shannon Jack­son harmolodics with a touch of both electro-funk and layered deconstruction.

We’re in a tough, urban world with this music, and taken in small doses, its blend of spacey yet forceful drumming, chattering percussion, legato slabs of computer-tinged colour and broadly spun, Aylerish melo­dies is not unattractive.

The trouble is, the small doses add up to an hour of music. By the end of it, I had had more than enough of post-punk variations on funk, Weather Report, ECM introspection and depression-cloaked dance grooves.

An occa­sional lighter touch of swing, such as the late Xero Slingsby brought to his own post-punk reworking of jazz in the 1980s, would have been more than wel­come: as it was, my spirits were eventually ground down by the overall ‘heaviness’ of the musical mix (Potlatch Boogie excepted).

Search Mode; Potlatch Boogie; Glamour Jungle; Rosa; Slip Drip; East Rail East; Fireside Baby; Jimi Quoshi; Later That Same Day; Safe House; Slab; Easy Attack; Breeze Block Brain; Rosa; Fireside Baby Too (60.15)
Jan Kopinski (ts/as/ss); Steve lliffe (kybds); Wesley Bingham (elb); Steve Harris (d/el pel. Derby, January, 1990.
(Jazz Cafe Records JCR CD 904)