Monday, November 17, 2008

J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo - 'Take Off The Monacle'

It pleases me to note that, at long last, the infamous J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo album has become available for download from the music archive site This crazed work caused a minor skirmish on a Perth internet idiot board resulting in demands for suicide, name-calling, declarations of musical worthlessness, mass confusion and related turmoil. I wish I could print the hilarious contents of the ‘discussion’ but alas it seems to have been buried deep in the digital graveyard.

‘Take Off The Monacle’ is the J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo’s sole release. It is an 8 and a half minute free-for-all fire fight between insanity and delusion which throws away the concepts of rhythm, harmony, melody, jazz and pop in favour of a surreal flight of fancy into a land where jazz doesn’t suck, cybernetic creatures inhale vaginal dust and cat soup is always for dinner. It is J.A.Z.Z not jazz, certainly not jazz as you know it, rather, Jazz Accelerated by Zionist Zest. It is free jazz stripped of its overblown gestures and ego, compacted and split through a kaleidoscope into both violent and serene colour streams.

The recording was made on a summer’s afternoon in 2007 in Perth. It was conceptualised by David West (of various acts such as Frank A.T.C.I.S, Whalehammer, Orgy of the Undead, ESS, Burning Sensation etc) and realised by the J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo, some of Perth’s best and most avant-guarde musicians. One cannot cite precedents for such a wildly original work but fans of such disparate acts as James Chance and the Contortions, Sun Ra, Ruins, John Coltrane, The Boredoms, Moondog, Devo and Stravinsky, and adventurous music listeners in general will find plenty to appreciate.

The songs are short, fractured and intense. The lyrics reveal the truth in dementia. The performances are twisted and inspired. This is J.A.Z.Z!

An insightful review of the album by Evan Davies (of Budlust, Sonny Malibu and the Shorebreak Kings, Camel etc) ran thusly;

'Berets will burn and goatees will be singed upon contact with the megaton blasts of free-form psyche-jazz contained in this set. Depending on your viewpoint, this set is either meticulously arranged or a shambolic, churning mess. Like a household tabby gone feral, at no stage do the arpeggiated piano lines threaten to come back ‘inside’. Horn lines fall in on one another amidst skittering and seemingly arbitrary percussion. Rest assured that there will be no resolving ii-V-i progressions here, ladies and gentleman. A word of warning: the lyrics cover highly irregular subject matter that would frankly make most jazz enthusiasts blush. ‘Take Off That Monacle’ is certainly a purist’s worst nightmare, but if one were to shed their tired preconceptions about what jazz should be and embrace the challenges posed by this wild, neo-experimental freak-out, one would be richly rewarded indeed...Best tracks: Northern Girl, Cat Soup...Score: 8/10'

To immerse yourself in the parallel universe of J.A.Z.Z, head to to download the album as a zip file.

Myspace link –

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