Bryan Jones, Ian Hesford, and Mike Kirby; former members of world fusion band Telesma; have come together to form the trio, Naked Jungle, who started performing in 2004, but was put on hold until 2015. The band has since hit the ground running, performing all over Baltimore and releasing a debut full length album, About Time, December 17, 2018. Naked Jungle is made unique by putting the rhythm section in the forefront of the musical focus. Much of Ian’s percussion is the focus of the music, highlighting his talents on such instruments as didgeridoo, kubing, tank drums, throat singing, and more.
The ten track album takes you on a musical journey through the naked jungle…all the while never taking themselves too seriously, as evidenced by the title of the first track “Did-Jah-Redo” highlighting the instrument of choice in the song but also making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “re-do” nature of the band’s revival. “Flute Loops” is another cute track name that helps clue you into the song’s star instrument and really sets the jungle atmosphere for the listener. “Groove Box” creates mesmerizing spacial soundscapes, while “Seven Suns” is dark and atmospheric. We are traveling deeper into the jungle, making it to the sixth and longest track, “Uprising,” which clocks in at nine minutes, much of it meditative didgeridoo, but also consisting of interesting beats and melodies. Naked Jungle makes sure to have a point to all of their songs and bring them back around to a point. “Lost Shoe,” is a slow and eerie instrumental ballad, followed by some funky bass slapping in “Singular Intention.” The album ends with “Far Away,” a song that gently sends you on your way to a far away place on a flying carpet.
I have a lot of respect for the arrangement of these songs and the thought put into the titles and music itself. The album title About Time really speaks to the sentiments that the members might be feeling, their initial passion for playing together in 2004 finally culminating into this collection not only identifying Naked Jungle’s sound but triumphing in it. I strongly recommend you listen and purchase to About Time as soon as possible.