JJ 04/94: Pinski Zoo – De-Icer

Thirty years ago Barry McRae heard in punk-jazz band Pinski Zoo the most positive European manifestation of Ornette Coleman's Prime Time. First published in Jazz Journal April 1984


For their brand of harmolodic jazz, Pinski Zoo presents a pared down version of Prime Time. There is only one bassist, one drummer and no guitar soloists. Iliffe’s synthesiser takes up the slack and a mood similar to that achieved by their mentors in engendered.

Kopinski may be no Ornette Coleman but that is a good thing. At least his solos belong to him and titles such as Ben Hur, White Out and Nightjar, in particular, have statements that would certainly not be mis­taken for someone else. More­over, they are an organic part of the ensemble and help, in a quite deliberate way, to ensure that the Zoo’s music, live or on record, is always realised in collective form.

Unlike Coleman himself, Prime Time has not been widely influen­tial. The Zoo can be considered as their most positive European voice and this CD should please those who have closely followed that phase of Coleman’s musical career.

(1) Bubble Fun; Dust Bowl; Fridge; Ben Hur (2) White Out; (3) Bouncing Mirror; Natham’s Song; Nightjar; De-icer; Slab (64.56)
(1) Jan Kopinski (ts, as, feedback); Steve lliffe (syn, samples); Karl Bingham (elb); Steve Harris (d). Wiesen, Austria, July 10, 1993.
(2) as (1). New York, March 21, 1991. (3) as (1). Banbury, England, July 17, 1993.
(Slam CD 206)