The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Press The Jazz Butcher - March, 2022
Published: Mojo (UK) March, 2022 Credit: ;;
Album Review: Highest in the Land Item added: 2023-11-28

The Jazz Butcher
The Highest In The Land

Underrated songwriter supplies his own effortlessly swinging epitaph. Intimations of mortality run rife through Pat Fish's fourteenth and final Jazz Butcher LP. But whether "screaming at the ambulance" with his name on it on Goodnight Sweetheart, watching "existential threats pile up like mashed potato snow" on Hammond-laced singalong Running On Fumes or catching a "one-way ticket to a pit of council lime" amid the wry, semi-rapped ruminations of Time, they're far from mawkish or selfpitying. Fish was clear from extensive cancer treatment when producer Lee Russell captured the most natural sounding album of his career. From the jangly jazz fusion of Melanie Hargreaves' Father's Jaguar to the carefree guitar pop of Sea Madness and shimmering lap-steel lamentation of Never Give Up — a heartbreaker, up with his very best – fresh triumphs override metatextual nods to glories past.

4 Stars

The Highest in the Land
It's not often that an artist gets to do a Bowie by consciously carving their personal epitaph into the grooves of their final LP. The Highest in the Land is that rarity of an album, and it could not have been made by a more brilliantly poetic and fearlessly sarcastic writer than Pat Fish, also known as The Jazz Butcher.
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Tapete Records CD/LP/digital