Pierre Dørge's New Jungle Orchestra Returned for second Australia tour
One the world's most internationally travelled jazz orchestras revisited Australia between 22 January and 2 February 1999 for 7 concerts and 4 Festivals: The Sydney Festival (22 Jan), The Age Melbourne International Jazz Festival (23, 24 and 26 Jan), (Tasmania): The Latrobe-Sorell Summer Festival (29 Jan), The Hobart Fringe Festival (30 Jan), (Far North Queensland): Kundara Rainforest Resort (2 Feb).
The NJO was presented by Henk van Leeuwen - Australia Northern Europe Liaisons - with the support from the Danish Music Council and the Danish Jazz Federation. The first NJO Australian tour was in February 1995.
The 'New Jungle Orchestra' (NJO) was formed in 1980 and named after the legendary growling "jungle" sound of the early Duke Ellington Orchestra. NJO plays high levelled world music rooted in jazz. The ensemble consists of 10 musicians and is unabashedly one of Europe's most sophisticated jazz bands. It has a penchant for transforming various 'world' music elements, particularly those from West Africa and the Middle East into a fascinating and pleasurable musical experience. Pierre Dorge's music is exotic, rhythmically vibrant, sophisticated, accessible, and it puts the fun back into jazz.
Pierre Dørge's NJO is a true 'world music' ensemble that straddles all genres of music. It was appointed as the official Danish State Ensemble between 1993 and 1996, and came to Australia for the 2nd time in 4 years. NJO appeared in Sydney on 22 January for the Sydney Festival, followed by 3 concerts for Melbourne International Jazz Festival, 2 Festival concerts in Tasmania, and 1 in Far North Queensland's rainforest of Kuranda.
Pierre Dørge is one of the most prolific and wide-ranging figures on the Danish jazz scene today. His has been interested in modern jazz almost from the beginning of his career in 1960. But through the years he has also shown curiosity about other cultures and genres. Thus elements from European, Asian, African and Afro-American music traditions have been assembled by Dørge into an original synthesis. He has been working in bands with John Tchicai, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Svend Asmussen, Johnny Dyani, Don Cherry, David Murray, Harry Beckett, Marilyn Mazur, o.a.
In its 18 year history the NJO has fascinated and inspired audiences around the world in at least 34 countries and given over 500 concerts. In 1995, audiences in Kiama, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, and FNQ raved about this group. Pierre Dørge has recorded more than 30 albums in his own name, and since 1982 the NJO has released 14 records.
"The Danish guitarist creates an exotically hued, rhythmically vibrant music that is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible. Piere Dørge's NJO has been one of jazz's most consistently engaging big bands of the last decade."
Bill Schoemaker, Down Beat Magazine
"...one of the most original, exuberant, and, dare I say, fun jazz concerts seen for some time, sentiments that seemed to have been shared by the capacity crowd that attended the centrepiece of the Kiama Jazz Festival"
Peter Jordan, Sydney Morning Herald,13/1/95
"..The NJO's message is that the American jazz tradition can be used as the basis for a contemporary style of music that incorporates stylistic ideas and attitudes borrowed from a variety of sources, from West African rhythms to Danish folk songs......Few do it with quite so much imagination, zest and humor as this ten-piece little big-band."
Adrian Jackson, The Age, 21/2/95
"Encores are rare at the Hyde Park but the audience requested and was rewarded. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening of superior musicianship in a style and conception rarely heard in Perth"
Garry Lee, West Australian, 22/2/95