Nu Jazz / Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop • Norway
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Jaga Jazzist is an experimental jazz band from Tønsberg, Norway, that rose to prominence when the BBC named their first official album, A Livingroom Hush (Smalltown Supersound/Ninja Tune), the best jazz album of 2002. The core of the band are brothers and main songwriters Lars Horntveth and Martin Horntveth. Martin formed Jaga Jazzist together with Ivar Christian Johansen in 1994 while they still were in their teens. Johansen later left the group to start other projects like Ravi (hip hop). The Horntveth brothers are also prominent figures of the Norwegian pop act The National Bank, besides solo projects.

The band feature trumpets, trombone, electric guitar, bass, tuba, bass clarinets, Fender Rhodes, vibraphone and a rack of electronics, as well as strong melodies and rhythms. Talk Talk, Soft Machine, John Coltrane, Don Cherry, Aphex Twin, Stereolab, Squarepusher and Tortoise are frequently mentioned as sources of inspiration. Jaga Jazzist is widely considered
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JAGA JAZZIST Discography

JAGA JAZZIST albums / top albums

JAGA JAZZIST Jævla Jazzist Grete Stitz album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Jævla Jazzist Grete Stitz
Nu Jazz 1996
JAGA JAZZIST A Livingroom Hush album cover 4.29 | 23 ratings
A Livingroom Hush
Nu Jazz 2001
JAGA JAZZIST The Stix album cover 3.28 | 9 ratings
The Stix
Nu Jazz 2002
JAGA JAZZIST What We Must album cover 4.05 | 12 ratings
What We Must
Nu Jazz 2005
JAGA JAZZIST One-Armed Bandit album cover 4.23 | 28 ratings
One-Armed Bandit
Nu Jazz 2010
JAGA JAZZIST Starfire album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2015


JAGA JAZZIST Magazine EP album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Magazine EP
Nu Jazz 1998
JAGA JAZZIST Airborne / Going Down EP album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Airborne / Going Down EP
Nu Jazz 2001
JAGA JAZZIST Days album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nu Jazz 2002
JAGA JAZZIST Animal Chin album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Animal Chin
Nu Jazz 2003
JAGA JAZZIST Day album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nu Jazz 2004
JAGA JAZZIST Bananfluer Overalt album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Bananfluer Overalt
Nu Jazz 2010
JAGA JAZZIST Oban (Apothek Remix) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Oban (Apothek Remix)
Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop 2016
JAGA JAZZIST Pyramid album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nu Jazz 2020

JAGA JAZZIST live albums

JAGA JAZZIST Jaga Jazzist Live with Britten Sinfonia album cover 4.86 | 2 ratings
Jaga Jazzist Live with Britten Sinfonia
Nu Jazz 2013

JAGA JAZZIST demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

JAGA JAZZIST re-issues & compilations

JAGA JAZZIST ’94 – ’14 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
’94 – ’14
Nu Jazz 2014

JAGA JAZZIST singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nu Jazz 2003

JAGA JAZZIST movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Cosmopolite
Nu Jazz 2010


JAGA JAZZIST One-Armed Bandit

Album · 2010 · Nu Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
One-Armed Bandit is the most recent album by the Norse group Jaga Jazzist. The group creates an unique sound, which I had never heard before I found these guys. The sound is very modern, blending electronics into jazz and creating a mood driven by ambience, catchy and uplifting melodies and a very rich and warm feel.

After the short introduction to the album, the title track burst loose with an uplifting clavinet driven melody. The piece proves to be one of the highlights of the albums, with a very notable, epic reprise of the main theme after the middle part. The group says the album to be (partly) inspired by fruit machines, hence the many a ascending melodies that can be noticed a lot in the title track. A thick drum fill takes the listener to "Bananfluer Overalt", which means fruit fly translated to English. The song feels more laid back than the previous track, being less uplifting and dynamic but rather a mellow, more ambient piece. Still, there are some very fine melodies to be heard. Same goes for the lengthy "Tocatto", that slowly builds towards its climax but never get over the top; "Music! Dance! Drama!" which I might call my favorite track of the album; and the album closer "Touch Of Evil". "220V/Spektral" is the only track on the album of which I have mixed feelings. It sounds good, but at the same time is feels a bit messy and perhaps out of place looking at the other songs. The two remaining songs, "Prognissekongen" and "Book Of Glass" both open in a way that could go anywhere, but fortunately they prove to be great tracks both sharing the dynamic feel of the title track.

One-Armed Bandit is a very molodic, uplifting and therefore likeable album. I must say that I not often feel like listening the entire album in one spin, perhaps because it's not all too diverse. Nevertheless, nearly all individual tracks are great and very enjoyable. The album features some very dynamic and energetic moments, like for instance the title track. A side note, when you find yourself liking the album and you have the chance to see these guys live, don't hesitate.

JAGA JAZZIST One-Armed Bandit

Album · 2010 · Nu Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
One of my favorite albums of 2010.

Combining electronic music, indie rock, Zappa-esque fusion and the post-rock spirit ever present in Jaga Jazzist's music, 'One-Armed Bandit' is a very catchy album, one of those records you'll play in its entirety every single day for a couple of months and then store it on your shelf until you feel you're in the mood to remember the great music you've heard.

'One-Armed Bandit' is a lot more complex (and groovier, even though that's a rare combination) than the previous Jaga albums. It's not as jazzier than the rest of the band's discography though; the synths are very proeminent and give this album a distinctive modern sound.

Pros: original music, amazing nusicianship, clear production, "Prognissekongen", the title track.

Cons: last 3 songs aren't as memorable as the others; "Toccata" is a bit too repetitive.

In resume, 4 well-earned stars, an excellent addition to any jazz fusion/nu jazz fan.


Album · 2005 · Nu Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
What We Must is a swirling smorgasbord of beat driven semi-ambience that draws on a wide variety of styles both past and futuristic. As one might expect from a European nu jazz band there are a lot of hazy orchestrations that recall loungey sophisticated jazz such as Herbie Hancock's late 60s small orchestral ensembles, Gil Evans and Don Ellis, as well as jazzy exotic lounge artists such as Les Baxter, Henry Mancini and Tartaglia. This record's use of wordless vocals definitely recalls the heyday of exotic background music in the late 60s. The big surprise on this record though is the post-rock influence and how well the jangly guitars and driving beats mix with the faux 60s lounge jazz sound. It is pointless to talk about individual tracks here, all the songs blend together to make one beautifully orchestrated post rock tone poem. There are other influences at work as well, almost too many to account for. Some of the repeating wordless vocal phrases sound like Philip Glass, and some of the woodwind passages recall early Soft Machine and Frank Zappa. Other tunes almost head into an abstract Detroit influenced ambient techno tip with wonderful percolating analog synthesizers and abstract beats. Some of the members of Jaga also work with ultra dramatic instrumental prog-rock meisters Shining, and it shows when some of the songs build up into heavy prog like choruses. The last influence that hits me is the vast history of film soundtrack music from the 60s till today.

If at least two of the influences mentioned above appeal to you than I would highly recommend this huge soundscape of a record that could have used just a few more memorable melodies to be a true masterpiece.

JAGA JAZZIST Movies Reviews

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