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Pierre Dorge and New Jungle Orchestra: Zig Zag Zimfoni

More Danish, but less tasty, is Pierre Dorge and New Jungle Music, a 10-piece band (plus four guests) from Copenhagen described as “serious musical pranksters.” On Zig Zag Zimfoni (Stunt STUCD-01022; 54:53) Dorge and company cannot agree on what they want to say; whatever the message, the medium covers many cultures and is generally tongue in cheek. When they decide to stop clowning (they’ve been together 20 years), this band can produce some interesting sounds: “Ellingtonian Space Is the Place,” “Hat Hut Hothouse” and “Kwandu Wedding” are merry romps; “Primus Amor” is tender and introspective; “In Aquis” is mysterioso, with a singer, Josefine Cronholm, who can negotiate Middle Eastern quarter tones, though I’d rather hear her negotiate straightahead blues. But oh, those interminable drones. While attempts at pure belly dancing occasionally succeed, there are too many anarchic detours. The bazaar becomes bizarre; Zig Zag Zimfoni too zeldom zwings.

Originally Published