Feature: Jack Foley
JAGA Jazzist release their latest single, Day, through
the hopelessly hip Ninja Tunes label on Monday, February 16, and
have set tongues wagging with the sheer coolness surrounding them
at the moment.
So just who are they? Jaga Jazzist have become something of a
musical phenomenon in Norway, since they started nine years ago.
Not only is this 10-piece instrumental band regarded as one
of the most exciting and innovative in that country, but the members
are all involved in other musical projects and have, in one way
or another, contributed to almost every significant recording
to come out of that part of the world in the past few years.
It has been this strong involvement with different projects,
and different musical styles and sounds, which is the key to the
unique sound of the outfit.
With no boundaries and an arsenal that includes trumpets, trombone,
electric guitar, bass, tuba, two bass clarinets, Fender Rhodes,
vibraphone and a rack of electronics, Jaga Jazzist create truly
To describe it as 'melodic, hypnotizing, delicate and subtle',
as their biography states, is not much of an exaggeration.
Jaga Jazzist started out in Tonsberg, a small town outside Oslo,
in 1994, at which time Lars Horntveth, the main songwriter, was
In 2001, they released their debut album, A Livingroom Hush,
on Warner, in Scandinavia, to massive critical acclaim and great
sales (the album sold over 15000 copies in Norway alone..).
The band then signed a deal for the rest of the world through
Oslo's Smalltown Supersound.
Throughout 2002, the band shocked fans and critics alike with
their blistering live shows and the buzz resulted in sold out
dates all over Europe, so much so that they quickly came to the
attention of Ninja Tune, who did a license/collaboration deal
with Smalltown Supersound.
The rest, as they say, is history, and Ninja has subsequently
helped to ensure that singles such as Day, from the album, Stix,
have, well, seen the light of...