Penguin Cafe Orchestra was the second album by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and was recorded at the Penguin Cafe between 1977 and 1980. By this time the line-up for the band had expanded greatly, with contribution including Simon Jeffes, Helen Leibmann, Steve Nye, Gavyn Wright of the original quartet, as well as Geoff Richardson, Peter Veitch, Braco, Giles Leamna, Julio Segovia and Neil Rennie. All pieces were composed by Simon Jeffes except for “Paul’s Dance” (Jeffes and Nye), “Cutting Branches” (traditional), and “Walk Don’t Run” (by Johnny Smith).
“Cutting Branches for a Temporary Shelter” is based on the traditional Zimbabwean song “Nhemamusasa”, a field recording of which can be heard played on mbira on the Nonesuch Records album The Soul of the Mbira.
The cover painting is by Emily Young.