In the 1950’s and 60’s, many jazz musicians began to grow weary of playing the same old thing. And as a result, we began to see mavericks like John Coltrane and Charles Mingus start to experiment, throwing convention and structure pretty much out the damn window.
Something they probably couldn’t have predicted though, is that the musical experimentation of an orangutan would result in a recording that could legitimately be considered experimental jazz.
As ABC reports, a primate by the name of Kluet has recorded a 30-second single titled Give Me A Klue using a music-making app that producer/Adelaide Zoo primate keeper Pij Olijnyk thinks references real jazz music.
“There are certainly nods to a couple of classic jazz songs in there,” he told the public broadcaster. “He’s brilliant, [orangutans] in general are really the geniuses of the animal world. Kluet in particular is very playful and cheeky, very inquisitive, loves to try new things.”
The single has been released in celebration of World Orangutan Day, in an effort to raise awareness for the struggle that the animals often face in the wild.
“It’s an opportunity to just celebrate orangutans but also to raise a bit of awareness about the plight of wild orangs because they’re in a lot of trouble,” explains Olinjyk. “Sumatran orangutans like Kluet are critically endangered, there’s somewhere between 4,000 to 7,000 left in the wild and we’re probably losing about 1,000 a year at the moment due to habitat loss in particular.”
Purchasing the single before Friday, 26th August will put you in the draw to win one of five CDs signed by Kluet (AKA King of the Swingers IRL) and a chance to visit the orangutan at the zoo.
It’s available here and you can name your own price.