Zzebra - Panic (1975)

ZZebra play a varied blend of progressive rock, jazz, African rhythms and fusion, performed by an outstanding line-up of musicians. The intensity and passion with which the band plays is inspiring, and while I may not totally love every bit of it, generally the music is extremely high quality, so I hope this review might encourage some others to look into tracking a copy down. I find this album far superior to the debut album, which has a much higher profile and seems to be considered the better of the two.

By 1976, and the release of their second album, Panic, they had reinvented themselves into an altogether more sanguine outfit. Yeadon and Smith had left the band, replaced by keyboard player, Tommy Eyre and guitarist Steve Byrd. Joining them was vocalist Alan Marshall (later to appear on Alan White’s 1976 solo album, Ramshackled). The group are still doing what straight songs but there’s a greater maturity in the lyrics and Marshall’s soulful delivery on the hit-and-run funk of Put A Light On Me is hard to argue with.

Eyre’s Death By Drowning creates an tonally ambiguous world from Fender Rhodes fade-ins, subtle use of synth and a ghostly soprano sax accompaniment from Quincy. Though short, it’s richly impressionistic comparing well to the early duets of Zawinul and Shorter.

The instrumental version of You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling may be a touch smooth for some tastes but it’s another seductive Fender-Rhodes fest with chords ebbing and flowing from speaker to speaker. Steve Byrd’s superbly spiky acoustic guitar solo ensures the track avoids being too sentimental for its own good. Just 17 years old at the time of recording, Byrd gives an excellent account of himself with cutting embellishments on La-Si Si-La So So and biting additions to the anthemic Liamo.

Brimming with confidence and a sense of purpose, Panic is the most coherent and cohesive of the two first albums they released and the one by which Zzebra should be judged.

Cd reissue: Disconforme DISC 1955 CD  [1999]

Tracks Listing

1 Panic 4:34

2 You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling 6:10
3 Karrola 3:59
4 Liamo 5:54
5 Death by Drowning 2:58
6 Tree 6:01
7 Put a Light on Me 4:59
8 La Si Si - La So So 5:12


Loughty Amao - percussion, sax, flute, vocals
Liam Genockey - drums, vocals
Dave Quincey - sax
Terry Smith - guitar
Steve Byrd - guitar
Tommy Eyre - keyboards, flute, vocals
Alan Marshall - vocals
John McCoy - bass 

1 comment:

Buscador del groove perdido said...

many thanks