De-Icer

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE synthesizer & samples
KARL BINGHAM bass
STEVE HARRIS drums

Tracks 1-4 recorded in Austria at the Wiesen Jazz Festival.
Track 5 recorded at the Knitting Factory, New York.
Tracks 6-10 recorded at The Mill, Banbury, UK.

The band wanted a live album which they hadn’t set out specifically to record, and had got the edginess and intensity of sounds that get smoothed out in the studios – They got it! Distortion and all. In fact, Pinski Zoo’s studio recordings are done in “live” takes with little or no overdubbing if there are parts the band didn’t like they’d do another take.

Incidentally, Dust Bowl and WhiteOut are variations of the same track, the venue always seemed to change this number drastically. Nathan’s Song and Bouncing Mirror were always favourites at this time.

“…good enough to make you want to burn down the disco”
Hi-Fi News And Record Review

After Image

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards
KARL BINGHAM bass
STEFAN KOPINSKI bass
STEVE HARRIS drums

Originally sold as a 2-disc box set, you can now enjoy the complete Bounce album in one digital download!

PINSKI ZOO – Celebrate 25 years of kicking down the barriers and sticking doggedly out for individualism with a new album – “AFTER IMAGE” – this new double cd is a collection of live tracks from tours between 2003 – 2005.

PINSKI ZOO- feel 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 the originators at work. -2 cd’s with over 2hours of the most representative and original versions of the band. A twin bass rhythm section and no holds barred playing.

PINSKI ZOO -The true UK originals of free funk or power fusion…..call it what you like this cult-like band are almost impossible to categorize – they swing from virtuosic jazz to gritty funk with freedom and movement, veering into leftfield territory and snap back into grand melody without blinking. A highly potent and controversial force on the late 80’s /90’s UK jazz scene with a unique fusion sound, they foreshadowed later styles, and were linked with harmolodic outfits, such as Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time.

B B C M U S I C M A G A Z I N E 

PINSKI ZOO: exciting, danceable and darkly atmospheric.With its members involved in extracurricular projects, Pinski Zoo hasn’t released an album since the stunning De-Icer, captured live in 1993. After Image, drawn from concerts across England between 2002 and 2005, has been worth the wait.

The classic quartet has for some while been augmented by Kopinski junior on additional bass. He and Bingham constitute a sharp, well-focused unit, threading lines of clarity and strength through the band’s crowded, swirling, polytonal canvas.

PZ is still uncategorisable (I’d plump for post-punk-funk-harmolodicism if pressed), still uniquely exciting, danceable and darkly atmospheric, still powers irresistible pulses without stooping to tediously inflexible beats, still conjures nebulous, magical, mysterious soundscapes from forbidding ranks of hardware, still enchants with tender melodies plucked from the rowdiest melee…  Jan Kopinski’s saxes as gorgeous and passionate as ever.
PERFORMANCE *****
SOUND *****

www.allabout jazz.com 

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.

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.

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.
CHRIS MAY (August 2006)

JAZZ REVIEW
Pinski Zoo have been playing their own concoction of post-Coltrane, post-Prime Time and post-Albert Ayler abstract funk since the early 1980s. This two-CD anthology pulls together material from live gigs, recorded over a three year span, into a sort of idealized Pinski Zoo performance.

Tenor man Jan Kopinski and keyboard player Steve Iliffe were in the group’s original incarnation, while Bingham and Harris joined in the mid-80s. Add Stefan Kopinski on electric bass and the basic group aesthetic is unchanged. Pinski Zoo is bigger than any single member.

Mirrors

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE piano
MELANIE PAPPENHEIM voice
STEFAN KOPINSKI bass
JANINA KOPINSKA viola
PATRICK ILLINGWORTH drums

This is Jan’s exciting new CD of the music to his long term project of exploration of music, images and mindscapes. He was commissioned by Opera North Projects to develop Mirrors, a mixed-media project combining music and visual imagery, with his collective outfit Reflektor (who specialise in works linked to projected visuals).

Collaborating with video artist Jim Boxall (Joy of Box) in live performances of the work, using visual footage that Kopinski has collected over 20 yrs of visiting Poland, Mirrors uses jazz and improvisation to create a highly personal reflection on themes of displacement, loss, identity, belonging and diffused memory. The darkly atmospheric suite-like piece is inspired by folk, religious, jazz and contemporary Polish music.

Whilst Mirrors is determinately based on Polish impressions, it is not a travelogue and transcends the particular to explore those moments of hovering reality, in and out of sleep, when emotions, fears, nostalgia and sentiment speak very clearly.

In the sleeve notes the composer speaks of his attempts to connect with the stories and cultural roots of his ancestors as ‘those experiences that we all discover when searching for bonds with people we perhaps never had relations with but know so well. In my case, it became a much more empathetic understanding of situations and emotional charges when I started to visit Poland. It is so personal and yet, like reflections, removed and not touchable’.

Mirrors is a passionate and exhilarating cross-genre musical journey, a dreamscape bound up with personal history and intimate present connections on which he is joined by family members viola-playing daughter Janina Kopinska and bassist son Stefan Kopinski, long-time collaborators and Pinski Zoo members Steve Iliffe on piano and Patrick Illingworth on drums, plus the haunting wistful vocals of Melanie Pappenheim.

Ghost Music

To buy individual tracks from this album, just click the trolley in the music player. To buy the full album, click the last trolley.

PERSONNEL:

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto / soprano saxophones / programs
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards / programs
STEFAN KOPINSKI basses / programs
JANINA KOPINSKA viola

After several years recording with Pinski Zoo, GHOST MUSIC includes music that Jan wrote for visual imagery, film and commissions. This CD is Jan’s most personal recording with a closed mic sound and a slower vibe. It also includes his son Stefan who was instrumental in the programming and composed Spook. He also plays in PZ.

Janina, (Jan’s daughter) is a professional viola player, and there is a strong feeling of empathy throughout. Jan incorporates elements of Eastern European influences in many of the compositions (eg House, Station), but it is the strong identity of the sax sound which prevails.

QUOTES…

…The music mostly takes Kopinski’s ghostly Ayler-like sound at a trance-like walk, and at times it sounds like Headhunters meets free-improvisation. Terrific. // The Guardian

…Ghost Music will convince doubters that Kopinski is one of Britain’s few authentic voices on saxophone. Unfussy yet ambivalent, this music speaks a unique, pungent emotionalism.
// Hi-Fi News & Record Review

…Though this is a predominantly lyrical album, the emotional intensity and instrumental power of his work with PZ is retained. Music with this combination of earnestness, expertise and passion is a rare breed indeed. Snap it up. // The WIRE

….the textures resulting from kopinski’s saxes slowly unfurling over hypnotic backing, especially when mixed with viola, are intriguingly original and demand to be heard. // JAZZWISE

“Kopinski’s tenor has never sounded quite so polished an gorgeous” // The Wire