Pierre Dørge & the New Jungle Orchestra seek to combine elements of many different jazz styles, along with their irrepressible humor, on this Stunt CD, succeeding most of the time. But their novel reworking of the famous version of "Cheek to Cheek" by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, featuring vocals by guests Josefine Cronholm and Ray Anderson (who also adds his trombone) comes across a bit too forced. They play it straight with the lovely standard "Body and Soul," although Dørge's intriguing arrangement breaks new ground, featuring soloists Anders Hagberg (on bass flute), Anders Banke (bass clarinet), and vibraphonist Bent Clausen backing Cronholm's warm vocals. All of Dørge's originals are striking, especially the enchanting African dance "Rosa Abe Dongola," the hard-edged Indian strut "Munzun Mun," the playful, dissonant "Dukish Mingus" (though it captures more of the flavor of Mingus than Ellington), and "Sun Ra Saluting Mars," a riotous blend of New Orleans rhythms with Irene Becker's spacy keyboards and spirited solos from various members of the brass and reed sections. Of special interest is the exotic, dreamy "Xing Xang," which has a meditative quality. This rewarding CD by Pierre Dørge & the New Jungle Orchestra will satisfy anyone with open ears who appreciates progressive music.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden