Negra Tigra sports five renditions, plus a false start, of the title track, and all but one clock in at exactly one minute, eight seconds. Guitarist Pierre Dorge and his crew start the tune sounding like Spike Jones attempting "Salt Peanuts," then immediately take a sharp left turn into some fast swing that channels "Hold That Tiger" before signing off. The different versions make up the odd-numbered tracks of the 11-tune disc, and each has slight arrangement variations: less squawking trumpet here; woodblock intro versus snare drum intro; tighter horn charts; added vocals. They also bring the Orchestra back down between the exotic journeys on the other cuts.
Trumpeter Herb Robertson is the nine-piece Orchestra's guest this time out, and his blasts and smears fit in well on pieces like "Streets of Ha Noi," which implies that said streets have a good number of cars these days, and "Vietnam Xong," which in contrast sounds more tranquil and dreamlike. "Ushama" is built on a slow drone, with horns locking into a dissonant groove during the solos.
To get a raw, unvarnished sound, the group recorded Negra Tigra with just two microphones. The approach adds a sense of immediacy, but it also buries Dorge, who doesn't solo and can be detected only during some fierce strumming passages.