De-Icer

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Pinski Zoo
LABELS: Slam
WORKS: Artist Bubble Fun (Live) Dust Bowl (Live) Fridge (Live) Ben Hur (Live) White Out (Live) Bouncing Mirror (Live) Nathan’s Song (Live) Nightjar (Live) De-Icer (Live) Slab (Live)
PERFORMER: Jan Kopinski (ts, as); Steve Illiffe (ky); Karl Wesley Bingham (b); Steve Harris (d)
CATALOGUE NO: CD 206

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Although their sound is clearly indebted to Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics (where each instrument plots its own path across common terrain provided by a crashing electronic beat), Nottingham’s Pinski Zoo are instantly identifiable.

Typically, a hypnotically repetitive riff is established, anthemic and declamatory or infectiously jaunty, and the drums carry it throughout the piece while the saxophone screams and roars, the electric bass stutters and snarls and the synthesizer provides splashes of colour. Relentless, uncompromising and loud, this is not for the faint-hearted, but for improvisational inventiveness, textural variety and sheer gutsiness, it is difficult to match.

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De-Icer, their third album, was recorded live, and while it captures the band’s raw energy, the occasional balance infelicity might make it advisable for newcomers to test the waters of Pinski Zoo’s two Jazz Café-label studio albums, Rare Breeds and East Rail East, before plunging into this. Chris Parker