ZZEBRA — TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT (review)

ZZEBRA — TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT album cover Album · 1976 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Sean Trane
Strangely enough, Zzebra never released their third album, recorded in late 75, and it’s never mentioned why either. The group seemed to finally reach stability with an unchanged line-up. Anyway, apparently it received its first legit issue at the same time the German label Disconforme reissued the other two historic albums.

This album is the logical continuity of Panic, with its ever softer jazz tracks, and the vocals, courtesy of Alan Marshall are not helping, sending Zzebra more mainstream jazz-funk. Most of what would’ve been the album’s first side is relatively boring, soft, sometimes veering at sometimes at crooner tunes out of which the African themed Bai La Jo is probably the most remarkable. The second part of the album is a bit more alive with more upbeat tunes. The slow starting Word Trips might have been a highlight, especially in the middle section, but the chorus gives it some MOR feel and the title track bears some ZZ Top riff over a light funk jazz. The hilariously titled Evacuate My Sack fails to enthuse (probably exhaust problems > always delicate in the sack) and the closing society sounds like Chris Farlowe is at the mike.

Not as good as the debut or Panic, this third (and now finally released) album remain good, but hardly essential, this is more for completists if you are into, Zzebra. This album also came out with a different cover and some bonus live tracks, but it doesn’t make it anymore essential.

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