CD Review: WorldService Project – Fire in a Pet Shop

WorldService Project – Fire in a Pet Shop
(Megasound MSM025. CD Review by Chris Parker)

Given its title, which (presumably) refers to the colloquial description of the sounds of freely improvised jazz, you might reasonably expect that this album, the second from Dave Morecroft‘s WorldService Project, would contain, among its many and multifarious musical reference points, copious helpings of said subgenre. Instead, the band’s music veers enjoyably and wittily between (to quote various reviews in no particular order) ‘brilliant post-prog funk’, ‘acid-fried funk’, ‘serious skronk-jazz’, ‘loungey swing’, ‘big swaggery jazz’ and – finally – ’bouts of squally freedom’.

Whatever the label, however, the most important thing is that Morecroft’s music is irresistibly exuberant (at its most restrained) and explosively, climactically rumbustious (when it really lets rip, as in the cataclysmic closer, ‘Cunha’).

At times, indeed, it is something of a mystery as to just how so few (saxophonist Tim Ower, trombonist Raphael Clarkson, bassist Conor Chaplin and drummer Neil Blandford in addition to Morecroft’s keyboards) make so much noise; the curious might like to experience WSP’s Zappaesque amalgam of passion and humour at the launch for this admirably vibrant album (Vortex Jazz Club, 9th July.

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