JAGA JAZZIST — One-Armed Bandit

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JAGA JAZZIST - One-Armed Bandit cover
4.23 | 28 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2010

Filed under Nu Jazz


1. The Thing Introduces...
2. One-Armed Bandit
3. Bananfluer overalt
4. 220 V/Spektral
5. Toccata
6. Prognissekongen
7. Book of Glass
8. Music! Dance! Drama!
9. Touch of Evil
10. Endless Galaxy


Mathias Eick /Bass (Upright), French Horn, Keyboards, Piano, Trumpet
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Bass (Upright)
Mats Gustafsson / Sax (Baritone)
Lars Horntveth / Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass),Flute, Guitar, Keyboards, Lap Steel Guitar, Piano, Programming, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Line Horntveth / Flute, Glockenspiel, Percussion, Tuba, Vocals
Martin Horntveth / Bells, Drum Machine, Drums, Mandolin Harp, Marxophone, Percussion, Programming, Psaltery, Temple Blocks
Erik Johannessen / Marxophone, Trombone
Andreas Mjøs / Glockenspiel,Guitar, Marimba, Percussion, Vibraphone
Øystein Moen / Organ, Percussion, Piano, Synthesizer
Paal Nilssen-Love / Drums
Even Ormestad / Bass, Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Percussion
Stian Westerhus / Effects, Guitar

About this release

Ninja Tune – ZENCD152 (UK)/Universal Music Norway 2726084 / Beat Records – BRC-248 (Japan)

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Members reviews

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.
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.

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