Pierre Dorge Quartet | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Pierre Dorge Quartet

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Pierre Dorge is the answer to the often asked musical question: what happens when you take a Danish electric guitarist full of hereditary Scandinavian melancholy, add Arabic and Balkan musical influences, the compositional ethos of Frank Zappa, an enduring respect for Thelonious Monk, and then simmer the whole stew during a few extended stays in the Gambia in Africa? (OK, so it's not asked that often.) As an improviser, Dorge is almost sui generis. His lines seem like knotted silk, smooth but gnarled, and free of any of the guitar licks you've learned to fear. In addition, the innate dark complexity of his style is balanced by his study of African music and specifically of the kora (a 21-string Gambian lute), which brings a seductive lilt to the music. Dorge's New Jungle Orchestra proved a delightful surprise for many at the '87 Chicago Jazz Fest; this weekend, he appears with two charter members of that troupe--his wife Irene Becker on keyboards and multireed man Morten Carlsen--as well as frequent sideman Chicagoan Hamid Drake on drums. Saturday, 8:30 PM, Southend Musicworks, 224 N. Desplaines; 283-0351.

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