Review Summary: A skillful jazz album that helps you relax, lets your imagination run wild, and helps you enjoy the simple things in life.
Jungle by Night is a nine member Dutch band from Amsterdam that use an array of instruments from the trumpet, saxophone, trombone, guitar, keyboard, bass and percussion instruments: conga, djembe and drum. Their music is entirely instrumental, and combines a mix of jazz and rock, with jazz being the most dominant style.
The trumpet and/or keyboard usually plays the most noticeable part in the first two tracks “Empire” and “The Move”, with the other instruments combining to be a suitable background sound. You imagine yourself to be in a jazz bar while hearing these tunes. The music is very upbeat and face paced, and gives off emotions of simple happiness through the skilled playing of enjoyable melodies. Tracks like “Desdemona” takes your imagination into an exotic Arabic land, but for some reason they are still playing music in a jazz style with the background playing of the keyboard and trumpet. “Jakten” takes you to Africa with its rhythm, and creates a song worth dancing to. In fact I couldn’t fight the urge to jump out of my computer chair and start dancing like Carleton from Fresh Prince of Bel Aire. The beat and instrumental combos are simply infectious and would be a great song to play at any party.
“Tastmatica” is very mellow and soothing, low keyboard notes and the soft playing of the trumpet successfully create a relaxing atmosphere. This song is so sexy I had to start jerkin my gherkin, and no less than four minutes later when the last trumpet sounded, boom went the dynamite. For this reason, this would be a great song to play on a date, but the last one you would want to play while you mate. “Piranha” features the most skillful guitar playing on the entire album, reminiscent of the style of Carlos Santana. The trumpet blends in effortlessly, and the keyboard notes match up perfectly to create a well-crafted and enjoyable tune. At times the guitar playing goes ‘wowowowowwwwwwwwwoaaaaaaa’ giving the feel of a piranha trying to speak to the listener. He seems to be telling you to lighten up and enjoy the skillful music, for this is what it takes to enjoy this album.
“Weapon” is a misleading title, because this song instills the opposite feeling of danger or violence. Instead you feel at peace as the song sounds like a smooth blues song that manages to not be depressing but instead spacey and danceable. It’s the type of song that you can lose yourself to in the music and zone out while you bust a 50s swing move. This is the longest, and also best, song on the album.
“Atilla” flings you into orbit and leaves you helplessly in outer space. It gives you a feeling of missing the tiny dot you see to be earth, and reminds you of all the things you took for granted in your life. As you look back and reflect on the beauty of the planet you took for granted, then look in the opposite direction and see nothing but darkness and a universe spotty gas-lights, you wonder why astronomy ever fascinated you and beg God to be placed back on earth so you can enjoy the finer points of life, life jerkin your gherkin. This space suit has made such a feat impossible, and you wonder what you will do for an eternity living in nothingness without the simple pleasure of self gratification. Three minutes into the song, out of nowhere a small basketball-sized asteroid hits you in the balls, and sends you hurling back toward the earth, you then begin to wonder why you wanted to go back to earth in the first place, and start to realize you are a hopeless pessimist who will never be happy. You crash into the ocean and are fished out by Indonesian fisherman who mistake you as a seal and begin gutting you. Yet when they see your horrendously ugly penis they realize you are no seal, but a sea monster, and they throw you back into the sea where you can enjoy the next track “ Hannomen”.
“Hannomen” gives a sort of underwater vibe, although you are bleeding at a critical rate out of your stomach and are slightly concerned with the oncoming sharks, your lightheadedness and the beauty of a school of fish is too much to ignore, and you enjoy this site as you are being devoured. “Cherokee” begins playing, and you realize you are still conscious. Apparently there is life after death, and it consists of a catchy slow keyboard playing and little else. This track makes you wonder where is God? Where is Jesus? Where is your dog? Where is grandpa? While you don’t see them next to you, you are absolutely confident they are also in your presence listening to this song, and that gives you great comfort. You become euphoric as you ponder yourself being one with the universe, and realize you don’t miss the real world at all. It was nothing but stress, and you are happy here listening to these simple melodies playing among your lost family and friends that you are able to communicate with and unable to communicate with at once.
But then “Sugar a Dream” starts playing, and you wonder if it was all just a dream. You wake up in the ocean and discover a group of helpful starfish have stitched up your stomach and tossed you onto a deserted island. After all you have been through, you would expect to be upset, but for some reason the jazzy melody of this song gives you great comfort in being alone on a tropical island with nothing but your starfish friends. You look back at the stars and take a deep breath, and for once in your life you are truly happy. That is until you get hungry and have to eat your poor starfish friends in the second minute of the song. You then become hopelessly depressed and wish you could start this album over again. If you could, you would realize the album flows together as a whole very well, not leaving a moment of boredom or a single awkward transition into the next track. The only downside to The Hunt
is many of the tracks sound somewhat similar to one another because of the skillful, although repetitive, use of the trumpet. Yet when you compare this to the misery you are experiencing, this point seems like pointless nagging. The music is more about having fun and listening to some enjoyable jams that let your mind relax and create an enlightening message through music, you wish you had realized that from the onset and enjoyed the album for what it is. The album is great uplifting background music, and you take pride in knowing that while you can’t even play the recorder, musicians will likely enjoy this music because they can relate to the skill which these instruments are played.
You begin pondering if this album changed your life? Yes and no, you decide. It didn’t enlighten you quite as much as some of the great jazz musicians of the past have accomplished with nothing more than instrumentals, yet it changed your life by helping your uptight mind wind down. The Hunt
helps you forget about all the garbage in the world, and relax into a trance where you can just enjoy the sounds of the universe and be thankful you are alive and not deaf.