Denmark’s love affair with jazz is one of Europe’s most intense. Besides offering a safe haven in the past to American jazz musicians such as Chet Baker, the country has always had a thriving jazz scene of its own. For the last quarter century, guitarist Pierre Dorge’s New Jungle Orchestra has been a regular workshop for cutting-edge Danish jazz, with 20-some recordings made all over the world, many of them live. Next month, Dorge brings his band to Tokyo.
A wild amalgam of musicians culled from the many eclectic groups in Copenhagen’s clubs, the 10-piece orchestra lays down a thick, meaty sound. They not only remold standards like “Cheek to Cheek” with sleek irony, but also mix in world-music touches. You’ll hear an African kora blending with a xylophone. A bass line throbbing below elephant-calls from the horn section. And it will all be embellished by Dorge’s ever-shifting guitar tones.
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