If you remain unfamiliar with the notable indie band, the Jigsaw Seen, REBEAT spoke with guitarist Jonathan Lea in 2014 about their then-new album, Old Man Reverb.
You may also be familiar with members of the band if you’ve seen Kink Dave Davies touring the past few years, as Lea and bassist Tom Currier make up Davies’ band; drummer Teddy Freese also toured with Davies in 2013.
Now, The Jigsaw Seen for the Discriminating Completist, a collection of rarities, alternate recordings, and singles from the band is on its way at the end of January.
Spanning their 25-plus-year career, this remastered collection includes early singles such as “Jim is the Devil,” to more recent work like “Have a Wonderful Day,” released just last year on Burger Records.
This collection is a tantalizing mix of original material and expertly crafted covers; the covers especially show off not only their musicianship, but their versatility, as they completely transform the tracks and make them their own. The rocking “The Best is Yet to Come” leads the album and would likely have Frank Sinatra baffled by the lack of crooning; it’s fast-paced, loud, and buzzing.
Their psychedelic rendition of Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk” stands out as a particularly fun inclusion; this version differs from the one originally on the band’s covers album, Songs Mama Used to Sing. A personal favorite in this collection is a cover of the Bee Gees’ “Melody Fair” from the soundtrack for the film Melody.
As for original compositions, “My Name is Tom” is always a fan favorite, bringing listeners on an exotic, drum-powered journey through searing guitar work and mysterious lyrics by singer Dennis Davison.
“Have a Wonderful Day,” their latest single, is ominously heavy despite its otherwise optimistically bright title, featuring guitar work reminiscent of Brian May. “We Women” is another track popular with TJS fans, an empowering feminist appeal to men that they’re not the only ones who wield power; this track has been re-recorded several times throughout the band’s career and another version can be found on Old Man Reverb.
Although “Another Predictable Song” is featured on the track listing, this album is anything but predictable. It’s perfect for established fans who are looking to collect as much of the band’s material as possible. But it also works as a great introductory album for new listeners, as it covers the breadth of the group’s career and gives the listener great examples of TJS’s many talents.
The Jigsaw Seen just finished a West Coast holiday tour, having previously toured on the East Coast in August. They will return to the East Coast this coming spring as well as playing SXSW. Last December, Lea and Currier were playing with Dave Davies when Ray Davies briefly joined his brother onstage in a historic rock performance.
The Jigsaw Seen for the Discriminating Completist releases on Burger Records January 27, 2017. The tracks were remastered by Pete Maher (Rolling Stones, Oasis, U2). Pre-order your copy now.