JJ 12/82: Pierre Dørge & New Jungle Orchestra

Forty years ago Mark Gilbert enjoyed the jazz soloing from Dørge's band but thought some of the jungle representations off-topic. First published in Jazz Journal December 1982

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Readers expecting South African style jazz (like that of Dudu Pukwana’s Zila) may not be wholly satisfied by this album. The title is not totally spurious, since the record includes a couple of tracks with a township flavour – Bo Bo and Jungle Rituals, but the jungle con­nection is only tenuous on 254, Bowery (hard swinging dissonant bop with refreshingly abrasive guitar) and Wobra Zebra, which melds James ‘Blood’ Ulmer type riffs with funk and rock rhythms and an unlikely but effective medieval-flavoured theme. The latter track has excellent solos by guitar and soprano.

Elsewhere, the experimental banging and droning of Fullmoon could be interpreted as atmospheric tribal rhythm, and of its kind, it seems a reasonable example, but I still suspect some kind of joke is being perpetrated here. The burl­esque New Tiger Rag and Round As A Pancake sound as if played by schizophrenic traddies, while Mister Suso restores something of the jungle theme – this time a Caribbean jungle, the music a calypso.

Two tracks, Wobra Zebra and 254, Bowery are in a style that merits further investigation. The rest seems rather academic.

Discography
Wobra Zebra; Jungle Rituals; Mister Suso (19.47) – 254, Bowery; Fullmoon In Brikama (Africa); Bo Bo Sanneh; New Tiger Rag; Round As A Pancake (20.45)
Pierre Dorge (elg/ballophon/v); John Tchicai (as/ss/cl/v); Simon Spang-Hanssen (ts/ss); Morten Carlsen (ts/bss/cl/taragot); Uffe Markussen (as/ss); Jesper Zeuthen (as); Niels Neergaard (tb); Kenneth Agerholm (tb); Irene Becker (org/p/caxixi/v); Bent Clausen (vib/pc/ballophon); Peter Danstrup (b); Marilyn Mazur (d/ballophon/pc/v); Ole Romer (d/pc/v). Recorded March 7 & 8, 1982, Copenhagen.
(Steeplechase SCS-1162)