Pierre Dørge is one of the most prolific and wide-ranging figures on the Danish scene today.
He has been interested in modern jazz from as far back as the beginning of his career in 1960. Through the years, however, he has also displayed an unremitting curiosity about other cultures and genres.
Accordingly, elements from European, Asian, African and Afro-American music traditions have been assembled by Dørge into a most original synthesis. He has been working in bands with John Tchicai, Johnny Mbizo Dyani, Yusef Lateef, James "Blood" Ulmer, Hamid Drake, Yu Jun, Sainkho Namtchilak, Niels Henning Ørsted Petersen, Svend Asmussen, Don Cherry, Billy Hart, Jim Pepper, David Murray, Peter Brötzmann, Harry Beckett, Marilyn Mazur, Ray Anderson, Han Bennink and Hugh Masakela, among others.
New Jungle Orchestra was formed in 1980 and named after the legendary growling “jungle” sound of the early Duke Ellington Orchestra, some of whose compositions have appropriately been covered by NJO. Other major jazz influences that can be heard are Charles Mingus’ experiments with combining improvisation and large-scale forms with the mobility of a group that is sized somewhere between a traditional combo and a big band; the Gil Evans flux between forceful anarchy and carefully layered, complex structures; and the ironic cabaret touch of Carla Bley. The mere mention of names like these also indicate the level of innovation and artistry on which the NJO, in its 30-years of existence, has distinguished itself as one of the most original, intense and enjoyable groups to be heard on today’s global music scene. As things stand today, however, these are not the only jazz giants who – along with a large array of non-Western musics – have contributed to the New Jungle Orchestra’s sound.
What we have here is “World Music”, in the most literal sense of the term.
NJO has been touring in India, Romania, Macedonia, Lithaunia,Australia, Bali, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Syria, China, Korea, Thailand, Belgium, New Zealand, Vietnam, South Africa, England, Singapore, Java, Ghana, Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, Scotland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Faroe Islands, the Virgin Islands, Iceland, California, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Texas, New York, Canada, Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, Estonia, Latvia and Denmark.