Ivor Cutler

Jammy Smears

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AllMusic Review by

Ivor Cutler's final album for Virgin Records, 1976's Jammy Smears, is one of the best releases of his career. Kicking off with the jazzy piano tune "Bicarbonate of Chicken," a funny and bizarre dialogue with a waiter, the album runs through 31 brief songs, poems, and surreal short stories like the hilarious "Big Jim." About evenly split between recitations and songs like the catchy shaggy dog story "Barabadabada" and the oddly philosophical "Everybody Got," Jammy Smears features more of Cutler's piano playing than any of his albums other than 1967's jazz trio album Ludo. His trademark droning harmonium makes only a small handful of appearances. As on its predecessor, 1975's Velvet Donkey, Cutler's friend Phyllis April King reads five of her own poems and a short story, "The Wasted Call," on Jammy Smears, all of them based on life in and around a cottage in Dorset. Because most of Cutler's pieces this time out share the rural theme, with an episode of his ongoing Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Volume Two centered around a family walk in the country and several poems and stories about birds, bugs, and other wildlife, King's contributions are much more smoothly integrated with the whole than they had been on Velvet Donkey. Cutler's usual morbid obsessions crop up infrequently, making Jammy Smears one of his sunniest and most playful albums.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 0:50 Spotify
2
0:22 Spotify
3 2:24 Spotify
4 0:30 Spotify
5 3:54
6
0:25 Spotify
7 0:44 Spotify
8 0:46 Spotify
9 2:10 Spotify
10 0:40 Spotify
11 1:02 Spotify
12 3:01 Spotify
13 1:29 Spotify
14
1:02 Spotify
15 2:03 Spotify
16 0:08 Spotify
17 0:12 Spotify
18 2:13 Spotify
19 0:38 Spotify
20 1:26 Spotify
21 4:16 Spotify
22 0:41 Spotify
23 0:40 Spotify
24
1:34 Spotify
25 0:18 Spotify
26
3:09 Spotify
27 0:23 Spotify
28
1:02 Spotify
29 0:47 Spotify
30
2:08 Spotify
31 4:26 Spotify
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