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MIRRORS - Jan Kopinski's Reflektor -2010
33 Records JSLCD005

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. . ..De-Icer .......... ... . ...East Rail East . . .. . . . ...Rare Breeds . . . . . . . .Live in Warsaw .

...... ....v... . .

... . .Speak ....... ...........The City Can’t...... ... . .The Dizzy Dance Record. ..Introduce Me to......


JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones



.. Mirrors - Jan Kopinski's Reflektor

1. Mirrors (listen to extract)
Folk House (listen to FULL TRACK)
Church Cow (listen to extract)
Palace of Culture
The Great Bear
Family Song

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.

For more details - full contact details click on: contact page


AFTER IMAGE- Pinski Zoo- 2006
SLAM Productions SLAM CD 255

afterimage cd

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards

..Jan Kopinski


  1. Bounce
  2. Spymistress
  3. Father Daughter (Ojciec) (listen to excerpt)
  4. Firepoint
  5. Jab
  6. Slim
  7. Please Note (listen to excerpt)
  8. Polish zigzag


  1. Shed Bounce (listen to excerpt)
  2. Please Note After Image (listen to excerpt)
  3. Nu Choo
  4. Night To Dream
  5. Nathan's Song
  6. Firepoint Sphinx
  7. Stretcher

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… 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.

PINSKI ZOO After Image. Slam CD 266 147m:24secs (2 discs)


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. Less ferocious than of yore, perhaps, but there’s a much-extended palette. Harris is nimble and texture-savvy, Iliffe a master of colour, Jan Kopinski’s saxes as gorgeous and passionate as ever.
SOUND *****
Barry Witherden (August 2006)


www.allabout Pinski Zoo burst onto the British delinquent-jazz scene in the early '80s, around the same time as Neneh Cherry's Rip Rig & Panic. Rip Rig & Panic sweetened their avant garde jazz content with vocals, guitars, songs with hooks, and some savvy rock and roll image building. 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.
This two-disc live set celebrates the band's uncompromising 25 years at the sweaty coalface of deep-seam free funk. The nucleus of the original quartet—saxophonist Jan Kopinski and keyboardist Steve Iliffe—still leads the assault. Bassist Karl Bingham joined in '85 and drummer Steve Harris in '87. So even today's core quartet has been together for very nearly twenty years. Kopinski's son Stefan joined on second bass in the late '90s.
The album was recorded across eight different venues in Britain during tours in '02, '03 and '05. There's both new material and re-arrangements of old favourites. Every tune, of course, is a band original, with Kopinski and Iliffe doing most of the writing.
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.
Kopinski sounds practically untouched by the passing years. His playing is as hot and visceral and in-the-moment as it ever was, and his technique has grown beyond the merely formidable. He seems more comfortable with subtler nuances and lower boiling points, too: the unusually tender “Father Daughter (Ojciec)” here includes some rapturously lyrical playing.
Iliffe, who was always an arresting colourist and soloist, is on phenomenal form, with a tonal palette as broad as they come. And the rhythm section has never sounded so good: the twin-bass setup allows one player to maintain relentless, on-the-one, groove ostinatos while the other flies free above him.
In short, 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)

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 Iliff 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.
One could criticize a lack of dynamic range in the performance (somehow even the quiet passages are loud) and a formulaic feel to the music’s structuring, but Pinski Zoo have an immediacy and vigour that’s always compelling. Unlike many post-fusion bands, their music retains a rockist edge and they’re unafraid to be a bit nasty. “Bounce” is dominated by the sort of retchy bass line that’s a trademark, while Jan Kopinski’s tenor has rarely sounded so authoritative. “Father Daughter” treads into what could be described as the ‘driven ballad’ territory that David S Ware occupies so skillfully, allowing Kopinski to reveal his lyrical side. But it’s their up-tempo mania that makes most impression – compromise isn’t a word in their lexicon.PHILIP CLARK (November 2006)



EARTH - Jan Kopinski - 2004
SLAM Productions SLAM CD 255

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto / soprano saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards

..Jan Kopinski
  1. Tower
  2. Colt
  3. Tractor go
  4. Dream Road (listen to full track)
  5. Return and Turn (listen to excerpt)
  6. Field Line (listen to excerpt)
  7. Holy Man
  8. Falling Bells
  9. Glass Eyes
  10. Song for a New Life
  11. Land Sleep
  12. Song for Oleksandr
  13. Black Earth

Music from Jan Kopinski's live soundtrack to Oleksandr Dovzhenko's classic silent masterpiece from 1930 of life and death in in a Ukrainian village amid the upheavals of Soviet collectivisation.The lingering melodies and gentle improvisations reflect the struggles and eventual hope of this remarkeable film.Featuring the same line-up from GHOST MUSIC,this is an acoustic album with the main themes and melodies from the original music specially commissioned by Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, plus extra tracks inspired by the time and place.

Jazz at Ronnie Scott's, issue 149

Although saxophonist Jan Kopinski is still perhaps best remembered as the leader of the seminal late-1980s loud-jazz band Pinski Zoo, he is featured here as a composer of film music (for Aleksandr Dovzhenko's silent classic Zemlya). The visual poetry and moving emotional content of the film's potrayal of a Ukrainian community living through what was the Soviet collectivisation project, is perfectly conveyed by Kopinski's multi-textured saxophone sound, which runs the emotional gamut from rhapsodic, almost Lloyd-like, warbling to gutsy passion. Steve Iliffe's eloquent, lyrical piano, and occasional contributions from Janina Kopinska's viola and Stefan Kopinski's bass complement the leader's brooding skirling beautifully, and the whole album, even without the film it illustrates, is a deeply moving and intensely personal statement from one of the UK's most instantly identifiable saxophonists.
Review by CHRIS PARKER (July 2004)

EARTH is something completely different, a soundtrack written by saxophonist Jan Kopinski for the old silent Soviet film classic, Earth. I wasn’t able to find a copy of the film to check how the music matched the visuals but even without the film you can hear the narrative progression in this music (Tower/ Colt/ Tractor Go/ Dream Road/ Return And Turn/ Field Line/ Holy Man/ Falling Bells/ Glass Eyes/ Song For A New Life/ Land Sleep/ Song For Oleksandr/ Black Earth. 66:26.), going through phases of sadness, mourning, determination, and hope. The score is performed by a chamber group (Kopinski, ts, as, ss; Steve Iliffe, p; Janina Kopinska, vla; Stefan Kopinski, b. 9/9-10/02, 9/18/02,
Nottingham, England.) with Kopinski’s saxophone first emulating the spirituality of John Coltrane then moving on to the simple folk-based beauty of Albert Ayler. His soulful cries are underpinned by Steve Iliffe’s weighty piano and the viola and bass strengthen the body of the work. It would be interesting to see how this music enhances the film, but even without that it is impressive work.
Review by Jerome Wilson, Cadence, (August 2004)

Pinski Zoo goes to the movies…Earth is an extraordinary, visionary film created in 1930 about the Stalinist collectivisation of Ukrainian farms. It toes the party line while transcending it with a take on family life deeply rooted in the soil. So not a bundle of laughs, but rare and special, not unlike Kopinski's soundtrack . As a fine artist himself, Kopinski has a sensitivity to visuals as reflected in other scores he's performed for silent movies. And by using his own family in the band Kopinski evokes the intimate, inexplicable binds/bonds of family life that are integral to Dovzhenko's silent film. There are various paradoxes within Kopinski's music; he evokes Slav folk music, melancholic and lost to an irrecoverable past, but Iliffe's broken chords also reflect the equally lost world of discordant modernism that this brave new era of revolutionary cinema was going to usher in. There are moments of lyricism but essentially there is a hushed chamber music feel throughout, with Kopinski close-miked and intense; even moments of release, like the joyous funeral, are underlined with a sense of tears that pervades the whole composition.
Review by Andy Robson (March 2005)

There’s long been interest among improvisers in working with silent films, whether classic or contemporary. It’s a special experience having form determined by visual narrative, whether the music is closely attentive or otherwise. There’s now a small but significant body of recordings by composer/improvisers, including Bill Frisell (various Keaton Projects), Mark Dresser (Cabinet of Doctor Caligari); Schiano/ Kowald/ Léandre (Battleship Potemkin); Luis Sclavis (Dans La Nuit); Sakis Papadimitriou (Nosferatu); and Gary Lucas (The Golem). The present CD is music composed by saxophonist Kopinski for live performance with Earth (Zemlya), made by Ukrainian director Aleksandr Dovzhenko in 1930. It’s music of great pathos and beauty, clearly fuelled by both the film’s grandeur and by the painful historical ironies of its propaganda component. Kopinski is joined here by his children, violist Janina Kopinska and bassist Stefan Kopinski, and pianist Steve Iliffe. From the outset there’s a lovely convergence of materials and approaches, the Eastern European-flavored opening theme gradually giving way to Kopinski’s Trane-like flutters. At times it almost feels like litany on an unknown text, as on “Dream road” a dream of love and utopia,- which mixes contrasting modes in a particularly arresting way, and the beautiful “Falling Bells”- religion rejected, with Iliffe’s bell-like piano. Kopinski often seems very close to Coltrane’s elegiac period, circa 1965--A Love Supreme, Crescent (the concluding “Black Earth”_ suggests ‘Wise One’)--and it’s a mobile profundity, meshing beautifully with his themes and the chamber music aspects of the instrumentation. Even without the film, this is music that swims in history, somber and richly allusive. It’s a worthy addition to the genre.
Review by Stuart Broomer (March 2005)


ZONE K - Kopinski & Konikiewicz - 2003
SLAM Productions SLAM CD 252

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto saxophones
WOJCIECH KONIKIEWICZ grand piano / keyboards

..Jan Kopinski

1.Corner Jam
2.Night toDream ( listen to excerpt)
4.Impresja XV
5.Trinity Meet
6. Pool Fool

A meeting of minds and memories. Jan and Wojtek first met in Poland whilst touring and recording with Pinski Zoo. (See Live in Warsaw). Followed by a UK tour with PZ Wojtek continues his musical career in Poland, where Jan has joined him on several occasions for tours and research projects over there. A succesful UK touri in 2002 led to the release of ZONE K , live recordings in Nottingham Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Gainsborough. There is a sort of GHOST MUSIC meets PINSKI ZOO feel about the album, regular PZ drummer Steve Harris completes the trio. Open, and spacious , the music has those elements of freewheeling passionate playing and an intriguing folksy piano solo in the middle.

K and K go back two decades. They re-cemented their musical partnership with a tour during the saxophonist’s sabbatical from his venerable band, Pinski Zoo. This album draws on three of those gigs. The brooding, riveting “Pool Fool” is the earliest performance, in Nottingham on the last day of February. I’m not familiar with the Bonington Theatre, but the acoustics on this cut suggest an intimate space, with Kopinski supplying some extended perspectives by the occasional use of added echo and other electronic effects. A gig in Gainsborough six days later is represented by “Impresja XV” and “Trinity Meet”, the former a gorgeous, startlingly pastoral solo for grand piano, the second a passionate but controlled trio composition opening out from some eloquent drumming. Kopinski is in spellbindingly authoritative form here. The remaining tracks were cut in Newcastle the following day.
Even on the crowded harmolodic agenda of Pinski Zoo, Kopinski finds room for same ballad business, but the keenest PZ fans (amongst which I’d number myself) sometimes wish he’d allow himself a little more elbow-room, the chance to spread that magnificent thick tone and epic vibrato more generously over broader expanses, to develop his ideas in a more linear fashion than he does within the intense but closed systems of the regular band. He was last heard on disc in 1998 with Ghost Music, where his lyrical side was given full rein. Zone K paces the territory between that and Pinski Zoo. The PZ ethos derives largely from the world of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, though Kopinski’s own sound is closer to Albert Aylor. With this trio he navigates the other principal stream of the New Thing, sometimes using a light tenor tone sounding unusually like Coltrane. (He even quotes “Cousin Mary” on “Corner Jam”.) “Troika” carries us close to PZ territory, but the other pieces let us hear how adept Harris is with a less structured but no less dynamic pulse. Konikiewicz creates consistently engaging and fluent music on the piano, whilst his electronics stand in for the great Karl Wesley Bingham… or, perhaps, more like Stefan Kopinski who, in the current double-bassed edition of Pinski Zoo sets solidly funky diatonic figures against KWB’s pantonal harmolodic fantasies.
Impreja? It most certainly did.
Barry Witherden (June 2003)

Also and tenor saxophonist Jan Kopinski has been leading Nottingham’s free-funk jazz quintet Pinski Zoo for 23 years. The group have just reconvened for an album and tour after two years set aside for the various solo projects. Kopinski’s collaboration with Polish keyboardist Wojtek Konikiewicz stretches back almost as far to the early 1980s, when they began a regular programme of touring and recording. This live set was recorded in February and March 2002 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gainsborough and Nottingham. Kopinski has captured a big, open sound, even if it hasn’t enough reverb to fill between the instruments. Pinski Zoo’s drummer Steve Harris seals this trio with his perpetually suspended percussion smears. He keeps up a cascade of ringing snare and flashing cymbals, anticipating and facilitating the shifting momentum of their lengthy workouts. The trio share a vocabulary of jazz fusion, albeit with a gritty edge that discourages any backsliding. Though some of Konikiewicz’s sounds shimmy straight out of his keyboard’s standard settings booklet, his attack gives them a slightly distorted edge, and a crackling immediacy. Kopinski, meanwhile, sometimes smears his lines with electronic effects, wah-wah pedalling or harmonizing them into chortling abstraction. The opening “Corner Jam” is a tense 13 minute prowl that sprawls over into “Night To Dream”, with Kopinski ruffling his sore-flesh tone with a rough vibrato. When he switches to alto for “Troika”, he’s more evidently in thrall on Ornette Coleman, as Harris underlines the track’s folksy bounce with a curtly snapping tattoo. The restful solo piano interlude of “Impresja XV” is soon erased in the closing standoff between Kopinski’s electronically distended saxophone and Konikiewicz’s quicksilver piano rushes.Martin Longley (April 2003)

"...Kopinski's raw, spookily hollow and haunting saxophone sound, with plenty of off-the-wall grooving too.....this is music of character and bite." The Guardian

GHOST MUSIC - Jan Kopinski - 1998
ASC Records ASC CD19
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Ghost Music CD cover

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

..Jan Kopinski

1. Cemetery (listen to excerpt)
2. House
3. Spaghetti Traffic
4. Slow Zawsze (listen to excerpt)
5. Station
6. Pool of Bells
7. Egg Ceremony
(listen to excerpt & watch video)
8. Roundfield
9. Spook
10. Station east
11. Marble Day Dream

After several years recording with PZ, GHOST MUSIC includes music that he 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.

At the original stoke Newington Jazz Café in the late eighties, an eccentric Nottingham free-funk band mixed infectious dance-floor beats with keyboard electronics and a saxophone sound that suggested Albert Ayler more than it did Ronnie Laws. This was Pinski Zoo, led by saxophonist Jan Kopinski, and it deserved mega-stardom because it not only funked your socks off but foresaw future developments in jazz fusion. But its members were diverted by other lives and its good to know that Kopinski and his keyboard partner Steve Iliffe are still creatively active. 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.

Hi-Fi News & Record Review
On holiday from his non-pareil avant-funk band Pinski Zoo, saxophonist Jan Kopinski brings in the family: Stefan Kopinski on bass and Nina kopinska on viola. He retains the Zoo's keyboard-wizard Steve Iliffe. Though the sweat and drive of the classic quartet have gone, the programmed rhythms are cunning. Atmospheric and sinister, they avoid the cloddishness cyber-beats are heir to. 'Cemetery' is a haunting opener, Kopinski's sax drifting with gothic grace over the bar-lines. Occasionally the melancholia feels a little too constant: Kopinski's lyricism springs from Ayler and he can take greater challenges as an improvisor. Nevertheless, 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.
BEN WATSON (June 98)

As a keen Pinski Zoologist, I approached this family affair with some trepidation, regretting the absence of bassist Karl wesley Bingham. Steve Iliffe is brought forward on keybaoards and programs, but Stefan Kopinski contributes bass (and programs) and Janina Kopinska plays viola. Jan Kopinski's talent for writing striking or beautiful or strikingly beautiful tunes was always evident, but in the hurlyburly of Pinski Zoo the finer points could get submerged. Not here. 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.

Altough two thirds of the nucleus Jan Kopinski's previous band, Pinski Zoo, are involved in this recording - saxophonist Kopinski, plus keyboards player Steve Iliffe - the sound of this album is very different from the heavily anthemic harmolodics-influenced music frequently produced by the Nottingham-based band. The tune titles - "Cemetery", "Pool of Bells", "Marble Day dream" - give some idea of the atmosphere the music conjures up; the intstrumentation - the tenor, alto and soprano saxophones of Kopinski, his daughter Janina's viola, son Stefan's bass and programs - a little more, but 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.

“Ghost Music will convince doubters that Kopinski is one of Britain's few authentic voices on saxophone” - Hi-Fi News & Record Review

“Kopinski's tenor has never sounded quite so polished an gorgeous”
- The Wire


Slam Productions SLAM CD 206
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De-Icer CD cover

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto sax / feedback
STEVE ILIFFE synthesizer & samples
KARL BINGHAM electric bass

..Jan Kopinski

1. Bubble Fun
(listen to excerpt)
2. Dust Bowl
3. Fridge
4. Ben Hur (listen to excerpt)
5. White Out
6. Bouncing Mirror (listen to excerpt)
7. Nathan’s Song
8. Nightjar
9. De-Icer
10. Slab

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


EAST RAIL EAST -Pinski Zoo- 1991
JCR CD 904
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East Rail East CD cover

JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto / soprano saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards

Jan Kopinski Available as download only

1. Search Mode
2. Potlatch Boogie
(listen to excerpt)
3. Glamour Jungle
4. Rosa
5. Slip Drip
6. East Rail East
7. Fireside Baby
(listen to excerpt)
8. Jimi Quoshi
9. Later that Same Day
10. Safe House
11. Slab
12. Easy Attack
13. Breeze Block Brain
14. Rosa
15. Fireside Baby

Also released on vinyl JCR LP 904 Tracks 1 -12

This is the second CD we recorded for the famous original Jazz Café in London. The band aimed for short tracks to see how they could pack a lot into the album and concentrate the compositional side of the music. This was released about the same time that the Pinski Zoo were awarded the Best Band (small group category) at the British International Jazz Awards 91 at the Midem Festival, a boozy do in Cannes!

“…densely poised cyberfunk wail” - Voted No 4 out of 50 in the critics choice of The Wire.


RARE BREEDS - Pinski Zoo- 1989
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Rare Breeds CD cover
JAN KOPINSKI tenor / soprano / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards
TIM BULLOCK drums (trks 1 - 10)
FRANK TONTOH drums (trk 11)
STEVE HARRIS drums (trk 12)

Jan Kopinski Available as download only

1. No Release
2. Back Down The Mountain
3. Nathan’s Song
4. Blueprint
5. New Lunacy
6. Body Moves
7. Awkward Friends
8. Duel in The Sun
9. Deep Scratch
10. Sweet Automatic
11. Sweet Automatic (extended)
(listen to excerpt)
12. Sun Duel

Also released on vinyl PINS LP 006 (tracks 1-10) Track 10&5 also released as a vinyl single.

Rare Breeds was recorded on Dug Out Records initially as an LP. Jon Dabner’s Jazz Café Records, which was a main venue and vital to the jazz scene in London, then released the CD version with extra tracks as one of their first releases (as well as putting out Sweet Automatic as a single).
A changeover of drummers between the LP and CD versions is noticeable with Steve Harris recording for the first time with Pinski Zoo, a live version of Duel in the sun at Hackney Empire.

“Classic Recordings…Energetic, Pugnacious grooves from Mutant Disco to Miles Davis, with an Albert Ayler tenor" - ‘JAZZ’ by John Fordham

Only available as itunes download: or contact Jan for details on: contact page

LIVE IN WARSAW - Pinski Zoo- 1987

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JAN KOPINSKI tenor / soprano / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE keyboards
ANIRUDDHA DAS percussion

This is an elusive vinyl album produced in Poland when through Jan’s Polish connections, PZ played at The Club Hybrydy, during The Warsaw Jazz Jamboree in 1985. This Polish Jazz Festival was a major European Jazz Festival, and western countries (particularly the US) were keen to spend money sending their artists into an Eastern bloc country. PZ however weren’t supported in this way and the record was part of a way of putting something back to the musicians. Unfortunately, the LPs never arrived in the UK, but you can still get them on the net. Wojciech and Jan also play with Steve Harris in a trio (see Zone K) which toured UK in 2002. Aniruddha later founded and led Asian Dub Foundation and is now Dr Das.

SPEAK - Pinski Zoo - 1984
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JAN KOPINSKI tenor / soprano / alto saxophones
STEVE ILIFFE electric grand piano
NICK DOYNE-DITMAS electric bass

1. Blue Jam in Paris
2. Awkward Companions
3. Jump Out the Water
4. Speak (If You Can)
5. Snakes Like Frogs
6. Beach Burns
7. Don’t Dig The Grave
8. Frogs Like Flies

Recorded after touring in France (Blue Jam….. a 3 hour traffic jam and a Paris metro strike on the way to the New Morning jazz club). Nick joined Jan and the band, not only on French tours, but on their first tour to Poland in 1985. Several of the compositions were composed or improvised in the studio.

THE CITY CAN’T HAVE IT BACK - Pinski Zoo - 1982
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JAN KOPINSKI tenor / alto / soprano saxophones / percussion
STEVE ILIFFE electric grand piano / voice
KASIMIR KARL BINGHAM electric bass / voice
TIM NOLAN electric bass
MICK NOLAN electric guitar / percussion

1. Stefan at the Window
(listen to excerpt)
2. See-shine for Karl
3. Put Your Ghost Shirt On
4. The Human Bookmark
5. The Trane Passed by Too Quick (dedication)
7. This Juice is Hard
8. Ojciec, Córka, (to Mr P.O.)

Track 8 also released as vinyl single PINS 004 1983.

PZ’s 3rd LP, Jan and Steve were still experimenting with the rhythmic sound of the group. This was the first time that PZ used 2 bassists, something which they still incorporate today. The LP has a heavily textured sound with the final track sounding almost lush. The Trane dedication is a rare chance to hear some earlier soloing from Jan on tenor and alto, duetting with Tim on kit, moving into a more central role.

THE DIZZY DANCE RECORD - Pinski Zoo - 1982
DUG-OUT RECORDS Mini LP PINS 002 (vinyl)

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JAN KOPINSKI tenor / soprano saxophones / voice
STEVE ILIFFE electric grand piano / harmonium
MICK NOLAN percussion

1. It’s a Monster Steve
2. Spasm and Split
3. Dizzy Dance
4. Erase My Memory

For this 12” mini LP, Jan collaborated with famous Dub producer, Adrian Sherwood, who produced it at Berry street Studios. Dizzy Dance is about trying to hear many harmonies and rhythms as if they were crossing the street at once and picking your way through it. Steve Iliffe’s use of the harmonium is an interesting clue to his later masterful use of sounds with keys and samplers in the 90’s.

- 1981

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JAN KOPINSKI tenor / soprano saxophones / percussion / voice
STEVE ILIFFE electric grand piano / harmonium
MICK NOLAN congas / percussion / voice

1. Zawsze...Znowu
2. Stutter Strut
3. Here in My Zoo
4. Iron Lung
5. Walking With My Monkey
6. Introduce Me To The Doctor
7. Pink Lint

PZ’s first album which established their reputation, being picked up by the weekly music mags such as MNE and Sounds. Jan recorded and produced the album himself and established the core of PZ with Steve Iliffe and Tim Bullock. The album is atmospheric and tense, with harmonies, percussion and vocals splashed throughout. It was recorded after constant weekly gigging, and as with most of Jan’s recordings, was made live in the studio with little overdubbing.

“Pinski Zoo have put the animal back into music” - NME

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