PIGBAG — Dr Heckle And Mr Jive

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PIGBAG - Dr Heckle And Mr Jive cover
3.00 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 1982

Filed under World Fusion
By PIGBAG

Tracklist

Dr Heckle
A1 Getting Up
A2 Big Bag
A3 Dozo Don
A4 Brian The Snail
Mr Jive
B1 Wiggling
B2 Brazil Nuts
B3 Orangutango
B4 As It Will Be

Line-up/Musicians

Bass, Cello, Violin – Simon Underwood
Drums, Percussion – Chip Carpenter
Guitar, Alto Saxophone, Percussion – James Johnstone
Percussion, Trombone, Keyboards, Piano – Rodger Freeman
Tenor Saxophone, Alto Clarinet, Mbira [Sanza] – Ollie Moore
Trumpet, Percussion – Chris Lee

About this release

Y Records ‎– Y 17 (UK)

Recorded at Berry Street 1981

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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PIGBAG DR HECKLE AND MR JIVE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
If you have been keeping up with current sounds from England, then possibly you are familiar with today’s youthful streetwise high energy music that features a charged up punky approach to Afrobeat, often with some hip hop, spiritual jazz and other urban flavors thrown into the mix as well. Likewise, if you have followed UK’s popular music for many decades then possibly your initial introduction to today’s sound might have carried some reminders from the past, if so, then its possible you are recalling a short lived early 80s outfit known as Pigbag. Its hard to believe that Pigbag happened almost 40 years ago, but back then they turned a lot of heads with their hyperactive and free wheeling approach to current African dance music. There are some big differences between today’s scene and Pigbag. The scene today is driven by those of African descent who are bound together in political and cultural struggle and their music reflects that. Pigbag, on the other hand, was predominantly (if not entirely) Caucasian and not particularly political. Another difference is that today's players are more sophisticated and technically developed than Pigbag. At this point it should be pointed out that the originator of street level politically charged African dance music is of course Fela Kuti and his Afrobeat bands. Pigbag was merely an approximation of what Fela was all about.

The band was started by Chris Hamlin and Roger Freeman, but when Chris Lee and James Johnston joined, the ability to move beyond just jamming with friends to more professional level aspirations became possible. In the early 80s they were the right thing at the right time. The English youth had burned out on punk rock and a more biracial music scene was building around the 2-tone ska movement. It was during this initial heady success that Pigbag released their first long player, “Dr Heckle and Mr Jive”. Within these grooves you can hear their recipe for success as they play hyper African dance beats topped with electronic sounds and screeching horns. Pigbag was not a particularly technical band, their rhythms were solid and the horn charts were tight, but no one in the band could really build a solo, no big deal, this was dance music, not jazz. To this day this is still a fun album, not great for deep listening, but perfect for a party, and given what is happening today, it still sounds somewhat contemporary.

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