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ZOOX - Ups And Downs

ZOOX - Ups And Downs
Zoox Records  ZOOX2

Zoox are a three piece, multi instrumental group who boast members with an amazing pedigree. Jo May was in the amazing European outfit Freyja as well as Token Women; Linda Game, as well as being part of the Kitchen Girls and playing for Broken Ankles, an Appalachian dance group, is also fiddle player with The Fold; Becky Menday has played with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Glydebourne Touring Opera. What this means is there are lots of influences brought to the mix on Ups And Downs, from Celtic to classical, from jazz to Klezma and Appalachian.

The CD is made up of mostly instrumentals with a smattering of songs. Let’s get the songs out of the way first as I find these just a bit ordinary. For instance there is nothing new in their version of Little Beggar Girl and Old Smokey is not, in my opinion, the best way to end the album. However the tunes are something else!

Right from the start it was clear that their strength is in the fantastic arrangements on the instrumentals. I love the way the percussive instruments of Jo underpin most of the tracks, whilst magic and intrigue are created through the intertwining of fiddle, whistles and sax, not to mention the unusual contrabassoon - a deeper version of the bassoon. The sound is clear and tight which is hardly surprising when Oliver Knight is involved, and overall the CD is well packaged with good clear notes and photos.

I enjoyed Ups And Downs a lot, having found something new and interesting on each listen so far.
Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 91 of The Living Tradition magazine.