Zig Zag Zimfoni is the 16th release from guitarist Pierre Dørge's longstanding, ten-piece New Jungle Orchestra. The group cultivates a subtle Middle Eastern flavor throughout the course of 11 compositions, all of which are by Dørge, save for pianist Irene Becker's "Night in Klung Kung" and saxophonist Jakob Mygind's "Kwandu Wedding." Several distinguishing colors stand out: the dual trombones of Mads Hyhne and Kenneth Agerholm, the ney flute of Morten Carlsen, the cornet of Kasper Tranberg, and the somewhat reticent guitar of Dørge himself. As always, the orchestra conveys a sense of fun and theatricality, particularly on wailing swing numbers like "Ellingtonian Space Is the Place" (a nod to both Duke and Sun Ra) and "The Hat Hut HotHouse," as well as the clamorous romp "Zig Zag Zalza." Dørge reaches for something darker and deeper on the rubato, cantorial "Once in a Blue Moon" and the synth-illuminated "Primus Amor." The grooving gets heavy and a bit more ethnic on "Bahrain," and vocalist Josefine Cronholm makes a haunting appearance on the highly abstract "In Aquis," sounding not unlike Björk at times.
Zig Zag Zimfoni Review
by David R. Adler