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Oranj Symphonette
The Oranj Album
Ryko

The jazz parodists of Oranj Symphonette have their work cut out for them. This eclectic troupe performs oddball renditions of Henry Mancini film scores, tongue-in-cheek versions of revered jazz standards, and even a deadpan take on the absurd pop hit “Up, Up, and Away.” The opening track of The Oranj Album, a cover of Quincy Jones’s “Call Me Mr. Tibbs,” combines the cheesy Farfisa organ of a B-movie surf band with disco funk. The second tune resembles the background music at the Olive Garden, and Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll” is blasphemed with banjo, Mellotron, and fuzz bass. The Oranj Album puts the concept of elevator music to very good use. But do we really need to hear “A Man and a Woman” twisted into a cruise-ship classic or a forty-second breeze through the theme from Woody Allen’s Bananas? As entertaining as this CD is, I hope these versatile, talented players rise above novelty status.

Originally published in the Orlando Weekly on January 21, 1999.


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