JAZZPAR Artists - Pierre Dørge

   Pierre Dørge (DK), b. Feb. 28, 1946, concertmaster at the JAZZPAR Event 1991 with Prize Winner David Murray and The New Jungle Orchestra featuring Horace Parlan - Harry Beckett and Per Jörgensen (tp), Jörg Huke (tb), Jesper Zeuthen and Jacob Mygind (s), Horace Parlan (p), Irene Becker (keyb), Pierre Dørge (g), Jens Skov Olsen (b), and Audun Kleive(d).

   The guitarist, bassist, singer, composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, and bandleader is still one of the most prolific and wide-ranging figures on the Danish scene today. He has been interested in modern jazz almost from the beginning of his career in 1960. But through the years he has also shown a keen curiosity about other cultures and genres. Thus, Dørge has assembled elements from European, Asian, African and Afro-American music traditions into an original synthesis. He has played jazz-rock, and e.g. been heavily influenced by Arabic music and by folk music from the Balkans and from Gambia. To this combination of multiple and widespread traditions Dørge has added his own tongue in cheek eccentricity, the result being his special brand of world music.
   During his career Dørge has worked with and taken the initiative to form numerous groups. He has played free music (again and again with saxophonist John Tchicai), swing (with violinist Svend Asmussen), and fusion (with his own combos). He has toured most continents, chiefly with varying sizes of his New Jungle Orchestra (NJO) established around 1979. Via these travels, as well as his recordings, Dørge has been attracting considerable international attention in the 80s.
   Dørge draws on his extremely broad background, thereby creating strong and surprising music. Most of the repertoire played by The NJO is composed and arranged by Pierre Dørge, who stresses his use of contrasts, between simplicity and complexity, between lull and storm, etc. Among others he has listened a lot to Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus.
   The New Jungle Orchestra and David Murray have met at several international jazz festivals. The ten-piece version of the orchestra presented during The JAZZPAR 1991 Activities is pretty close to Dørge's dream band. The players, all chosen for their special abilities, stem from various countries, Parlan is from USA, Beckett from Barbados, Jörgensen and Kleive from Norway, and Huke from Germany. All the others are Danish.
   "Henry Threadgill, David Murray and Pierre Dørge are today's key neo-Ellingtonians. The sound of The NJO seems very African at first, a variation on South Africa's rhythmically compulsive "high life" music. But Dørge's choice of textures plus his ability to transform tone-color, rhythm and harmony into a single pulsating force, are as Ellingtonian as can be" (Larry Kart, Chicago Tribune).
   As a special addition to the group the audience met not only David Murray but also the American piano player HORACE PARLAN, who since 1973 has lived in Denmark, touring in many parts of the world. Parlan plays in a strong bluesy style. In the States he performed and recorded with Sonny Stitt, Charles Mingus, Booker Ervin, Lockjaw Davis/Johnny Griffin and Roland Kirk. Among his associates on the European scene is Archie Shepp, with whom Parlan has made some praised duo albums.

| Back to The Artists - Overview |