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Dr. Dopo Jam - Entree CD (album) cover

ENTREE

Dr. Dopo Jam

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.94 | 29 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The 1970s produced a wealth of progressive rock bands on both sides of the Atlantic and while it may seem like only a few countries churned out the lion's share of the best known acts (yeah, talking about you England, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden), the fact is that even the smaller countries were getting in on the act. Denmark may not come to mind amidst a fertile progressive rock scene but nevertheless was home to a few well known acts such as Culpeper's Orchard, Secret Oyster, Alrune Rod and Ivanhoe. One less known band that emerged from Roskilde not to far from Copenhagen was the obscure rarity in the form of DR. DOPO JAM which hosted a large number of musicians and engaged in a very jazzy style of rock with an emphasis on a huge brass section that included trumpet, tenor sax, soprano sax alongside the flute, sort of like the Danish version of Chicago only infinitely more zany and adventurous.

Formed all the way back in 1968 by Kristian Pommer with the original moniker "Dr. Dopo & His Khana Bees," this strange band emulated many of the greats of the day with an extra emphasis on the goofy rock cabaret antics of Frank Zappa married with a rather schizoid meandering approach best carried out by Supersister. Accordingly the band's debut album ENTREE wends and winds through unpredictable passages that exhibit a very Mothers of Invention sort of humor and overall jocularity while hop, skipping and jumping all around musical genres in no predictable fashion. The band formed in the 60s therefore this eight piece band also exhibited a very 60s psychedelic hippie sound (reminds me a bit of Brainchild) as well with lengthy jamming sessions augmented by the progressive rock regalia of the day, therefore there are meanderings through Canterbury tinged jazz-rock pastiches as well as more festive runs through traditional Scandinavian sounds similar to Samla Mamas Manna Pastiche. There are even moments when the guitar parts and percussion emulate jump into Santana turf.

The band only released three albums in their career. This first one ENTREE in 1973, a sophomore release "Fat Dogs And Danishmen" in 1974 and then broke up. A couple members would reunite and release the 1981 album "Cruisin' At Midnite" under the DR. DOPO JAM band name and tried to regain the magic of these early days but was unsuccessful and retired the band for all time. Pommer, himself, would eventually create a funk rock band named Tequila but that funky beat presents itself on ENTREE which makes this album an easy listening experience despite the genre skipping antics. Like many unsuccessful bands of the day, DR DOPO JAM had many lineup changes as can be imagined with such a huge roster of musicians however despite its brevity, DR DOPO JAM cranked out some incredibly original music even within the fertile and creative times from whence it emerged.

While ENTREE may prove to erratic for many as it seems like it has no rhyme or reason to its labyrinthine layout, i have to say that despite this musical maze, these guys really played tight together with one seemingly endless melody after another never missing a beat and retaining a catchy jazzified melodic march throughout especially on the multi-suite 25 minute opener aptly titled "Opening.". Pommer's vocals often remind me of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown accompanied by the big brass of early Chicago laid out in a Supersister meets Zappa format. There are bursts of super progified time signature outbursts as well as luscious vibraphone runs. While schizoid in nature, ENTREE is never boring for a second and captures the adventurous zeitgeist of the early 70s to a T and certainly the most adventurous music i've heard to have emerged from Denmark from the period. One for the more adventurous prog addicts out there who don't mind an supreme serving of brass.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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