“Jungle Paw” by Ty Showers


On the album Just One Last…, the buzz is mostly about “A Wild Time” and “See Me”—two short, funky tracks that set a high bar for listenability— and an extended (nine minutes-plus) Afro-Brazilianesque fusion tune, “Jazz I Think.” There was also some excitement about the cover art: a provocative, recumbent, black & white nude, suggesting that the album might provide more than one kind of tasty lick.

It would be easy to overlook “Jungle Paw,” sitting quietly in the middle of the playlist, its marimba-and-strings textures growing like ayahuasca vine around a two-chord intro and insistent drum-machine patterns that suggest handclaps, log thumpings, and a very talented woodpecker. Don’t miss this tune. It’s got a great feel.

“Jungle Paw” is shaking-the-tree music. Ty Showers digs down to the roots of propulsive rhythm, while dropping a few choice melodic fruits on our heads. The intro almost begs for a vocal, and over the course of several listenings, I’ve developed a couple of verses to sing in that first minute before the Jean-Luc Pontyesque synth-violin takes over. Like to try it? Hit play. After four bars, invent your own tune for this:

who you wanna do
who can lay a paw on you
rip off every stitch
of pretty cloth they ever saw on you

who can set you free
who can really shake your tree
climb up there and do
a thing or three, i’ll tell you who, it’s me

Well, it ain’t Peaches & Herb, but if you time it right, it works. And it’s all in keeping, of course, with what the cover art establishes as a theme of the album. I’ve written before about Ty Showers and his knack for the sexual soundtrack. “Jungle Paw” is firmly in that tradition. Not interested in singing along? Bring a friend, and try moaning instead.

Jim Howard