Like a more user-friendly Last Exit, the UK’s loud and joyful Pinski Zoo has combined the free jazz of the 60s, the funk-fusion beat of the 70s and the technology of later decades to produce a powerful, accessible brand of harmolodics. Head-keeper Jan Kopinski claims Yma Sumac, Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane as his seminal influences, though clearly Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time have also been inspirations. The band, one of the most lively and exhilarating working units around, originated in Nottingham, England, like Kopinski and fellow-founder member Steve Iliffe. Earlier editions included Tim Bullock (drums), Tim Nolan (bass) and Mick Nolan (percussion, vocals), but by the early 90s the personnel comprised Kopinski (soprano and tenor saxophones), Iliffe (keyboards), Karl Wesley Bingham (electric bass), and Steve Harris (drums). Their albums Rare Breeds and East Rail East were highly acclaimed by UK jazz critics. Kopinski and Bingham are two of the most exciting and individual talents in contemporary jazz.
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