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Pierre Dørge & New Jungle Orchestra: Jazz Is Like a Banana

Talk about your pan-cultural jazz. What isn’t in here? Pierre Dørge admits all sorts of influences and styles into the music of his New Jungle Orchestra, which formed in 1980 and now has 19 albums to its credit.

The aesthetic varies widely from tune to tune, and yet it all feels part of the greater whole. “Taranaki” paints Arabic tonalities on a canvas of Afro-Caribbean big-band swing. “Café Central” is what Duke Ellington’s band might sound like after too much caffeine, and if it had been fronted by a European electric guitarist. “Blue Mask” could come from an Asian avant-garde big band. “A Minor Disturbance to Mr. Nielsen” puts a modern-jazz spin on what sounds like a Balkan folk form, and incorporates variations of Carl Nielsen’s organ music. With a meaty horn line accented by the thick, pulsating trombone of Kenneth Agerholm, it seems like something Charles Mingus might have done if he’d taken an interest in Eastern Europe.

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