ZOO - reviews and
What people think...|
- live reviews|
Collective perform The Derbyshire Suite at Buxton Festival Fringe, 18th July 2012
don't get much jazz on the Fringe and to have an original suite, expertly played
was a very welcome addition to the programme.
Jet Collective came about almost by accident last year and the line-up isn't conventional:
two saxes, electric guitar, bass, drums and three keyboards (plus miscellaneous
shakers, recorder and, delightfully, melodica). This combination must have presented
challenges when it came to composition and the option of a trumpet, perhaps, might
have been welcome at times.
Suite comprises 13 pieces - all prompted in some way by the experience of being
in Derbyshire. Some are relatively obvious in terms of inspiration. The opening
'Storm over Derbyshire' by pianist Paul Biggins - with a rolling and rumbling
McCoy Tyner-like figure - was especially appropriate for this year. Other movements
needed more explaining. The finale - 'Shaw Croft' - takes its name from the site
of the Ashbourne Shrove Tuesday 'football' match and one saxophone represented
the 'Ups' while the other took the part of the 'Downs'.
music drew on a wide range of forms for inspiration. So, for example, the Castleton
carol 'Down in yon forest' provided a simple but charming starting point for one
piece. Jigs and morris dance tunes also found their way into the suite. For me
the highlights included the bluesy 'Back Home', which featured Sara Littlefield's
tenor sax and the bossa nova 'Summer Peaks' - written by Wendy Kirkland. (Incidentally
it was a pleasure to hear a jazz outfit in which women took such a central role).
calling themselves a Collective this group seems to eschew leaders and everyone
had a chance to shine either instrumentally or as a composer. Pat Sprakes' bass
sounded strong and purposeful all night and Clive Loveday's drumming was subtle
and sensitive. Karen Clegg provided some lovely vocal touches - as well as recorder
and melodica solos. Steve Salfield - on tenor and soprano - shared the saxophone
duties as well as contributing the boldest composition 'Mills & hills, mines
Clegg's guitar was thoughtful throughout - and his work in producing the CD of
the Suite is excellent. The last member of the Collective - but certainly not
the least - is pianist Paul Biggins whose strong compositional sense was also
evident in his improvisation.
Collective had to wrestle with the acoustic of the Church at times - piano recitals
have sounded very good here but the amplified jazz was a little muddy at times
(not, I think, a musical metaphor).
you missed the JET Collective in Buxton you can remedy that by hearing them on
August 2nd at Club Chesterfield - www.chesterfieldjazz.com
- or buy their music at www.jetcollective.org
Collective perform The Derbyshire Suite at The Burton Institute in Winster, 9th
"Wonderful exciting music, I would not have believed
that music so vibrant, and of such quality would be produced by 8 musicians in
Winster village hall. Jazz themes but with folk hints lurking in the background.
The music caught the mood and experiences of Derbyshire, from the mines to the
morris men. Not sure about the bossa nova beat re the Derbyshire hills!
run The Strand, a jazz cafe for 22 years, I have heard a great many musicians,
and The Jazz Collective definitely deserves a much bigger stage.
a BBC producer had been present!! Keep up the good work."
thank you for letting me see that, I loved it'
Lucas was spellbound last night
- and me too!
What a fantastic sound you made and so fun too see all the percussion
I thought the pieces were all so unique it was very interesting
so hear the contrasts - Allan and Lucas loved the Morris dance!!"
with Stuart McCallum and Beats and Pieces Big Band, Leicester Y Theatre, 7th November
2010 (JetCollective Jazz x 3)
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."
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..."
with a fanfare of blazing horns, the Beats & Pieces Big Band announced their
arrival in style, playing witty, innovate arrangements." Leicester
Stuart McCallum | Beats
and Pieces | Y Theatre
| Jet Collective
with Guy Barker performed for Jazz Steps at the Bonington Theatre in Arnold on
Thursday 13 August 2009.|
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.
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.
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.
Photos courtesy of Bob Meyrick (c)
ZOO on myspace | Guy
Barker website | Jazz Steps website
Lion Review, Leftlion.co.uk, Aug 09
Hannah Boylin went to see ZOO with Guy
Barker at the Bonington Theatre in Arnold
with Alan Joyce|
August 07, 2009, 07:30
Nottingham Evening Post.
DERBY jazz fusion group
Zoo, which has made a favourable impact locally with frequent visits to Jazz At
Dexter's, provides an early opening to the new Jazzhouse season in the Bonington
Theatre, High Street, Arnold, next Thursday. For the occasion Zoo teams up with
UK trumpet ace Guy Barker.
Zoo bases its music around the song writing
skills of multi-instrumentalists Paul Biggins and husband and wife team Karen
and Reg Clegg and has recently gone from a trio to a quintet with the addition
of highly accomplished saxophonist John Sanderson and versatile drummer Ian Beestin.
took up the trumpet as a child and studied formally at the Royal College of Music.
One of several brilliant British musicians to come up through the ranks of the
National Youth Jazz Orchestra, he has always attracted media attention. Barker's
pure-toned melodic playing, allied to a crackling, boppish attack, makes his solo
work particularly attractive and exhilarating.
of ZOO at the Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz & Blues Festival, July 2009, by TheJazzMann.com|
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.
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.
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).
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.
set included "Life In A Day" featuring Reg on slide guitar and Sanderson
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.
the JazzMann's review of End of the Telegraph Wires)
The Que 98.2 Internet Radio, Utah, May 2008|
and a band (also from London, UK) that could very well set the new standard for
the Jazz Fusion genre is 'Zoo' with their, song you'll never guess the name will
you? That's right the song is actually named 'Dirty', but there's nothing dirty
about it at all. In fact the lyrics present quite an interesting story. The delicate
arrangement of keyboard effects in this song makes it quite interesting to listen
by many of the Jazz greats like Miles Davis, Zoo is setting the trend for Jazz
fusion in the future. I
would like to invite all of you to learn more about the band and sample some of
their unique music. Go to: zoo's websites at: www.zoo-music.co.uk
Zoo with their song Dirty still
remain at number two this week. Miles Davis inspired I learned after Sunday night's
radio interview. Popular these guys are. Will they ever come down off the top?
music, but with a sinister edge..."
Pravda Studios, Leeds
Alex C, Stamford RiverCare Event, 2006
music has a great portability and accessibility, whilst still belonging to a contemporary
Arts Council, England
'Endangered Species' draws you into its own beautiful world and makes you
want to listen right 'til the end"
'Blinded', Review 2005
'Greenhouse' reaches out and enchants."
Review by FATEA,
'Suddenly' is slick and sexy, gently persuasive and very easy on the ear."
Review by ToxicPete,
band you should look out for - mellow but jazzy and at the same time mesmerizing
Brian Maher, The Marrs Bar, Worcester
they are most inventive they are at their best. Being daring really suits"
Live Review, 2003