The Jazz Butcher: Pineapple Tuesday
By the time of recording the third Creation Records album, Cult of the Basement, in January 1990, the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy line-up had reached a degree of stability. The rhythm section of Paul Mulreany and Laurence O’Keefe had been in the band for two years, and although Kizzy O’Callaghan had retired from touring due to ill-health, I had the impression seeing the band, and even listening to the recordings, that they understood each other as musicians. Cult of the Basement is one of the great Jazz Butcher albums. It makes a virtue of its musical diversity with odd short tracks (The Basement, Fertiliser, After the Great Euphrates) and samples. Only one of the songs (‘My Zeppelin’) seems throwaway, its comedy country-and-western stylings a glance back at the Glass-era band.
Whether having a stable band is a prerequisite for creating a great groove only musicians can say; perhaps complete strangers could have done it.
It’s not really a reggae bass-line, but it has a reggae feel to it, and the song is reggae-like in that everything coheres around the bass. I especially like the way it starts with an unpromising stop-start drum beat, and then everything suddenly springs into life. The guitar lines are wonderful too, but they’re leaves and flowers on the branches; the lyrics are minimal and relatively obscure, but the delivery is delicate and fits around everything else.
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