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Cross Cultural. From the opening notes, the New Jungle Orchestra (NJO) goes up on two wheels and fearlessly spins through a novel collection of compositions by Pierre Dørge and his band members and associates. At first blush, one would read the composition titles and conclude what Louis Armstrong did after having head Bebop: that this was all Chinese Music. Nothing could be further from the truth. China Jungle is a densely composed collection that exhibits all that is good and progressive in big band music in the late 20th Century.
Scandanavian Supremacy. Europe, most particularly Scandinavia, has produced a legion of fine big bands. The Danish label dacapo has made a point of documenting the music of the bands from Denmark. In addition to the New Jungle Orchestra, dacapo also records the Danish Radio Big Band, The Copenhagen Art Ensemble, as well as smaller groups like the Svend Asmussen Quartet. Dacapo is distributed by the effectively ubiquitous Naxos International . The Stateside contingency, Naxos of America, the exclusive American distributor of dacapo titles, was recently named America’s Number One Independent Classical Music Distributor.
Sustained Excitement. China Jungle was conceived during a NJO trip to Shanghai as a part of the Beijing International Jazz Festival / 1996 Shanghai International when Chinese harpist Yu Jun asked and was granted a performance with the band. This questional collaboration, one that could have gone horribly wrong and would have never been committed to disc, turned out to be quite interesting and entertaining. Recommended for BB enthusiasts.
Track Listing: Peking Jungle; china Jungle; Dragon Dance; Feng Huang, Magic Mystery Moon; Fou Fou Zong; Yuyuan Garden; Lions of Shanghai; Kunninggong; Sunshine Highway; Clear as a Bell; Siberian Tiger; the Master Comes; Lang Tung Ting; Welcome to China Jungle. (Total Playing Time 62:39).
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.