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LIVE REVIEWS

Big Ears Festival 2018

Read "Big Ears Festival 2018" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN March 22-25, 2018 Knoxville's Big Ears Festival has traditionally kicked things off with a big piece by a high-visibility headliner. This year was to have featured a live performance of guitarist Nels Cline's Lovers project, an ambitious re-imagination of romantic “mood music" which was to be performed with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and guest soloists. But the Spring snowstorms across the Northeast had other ideas, making travel too difficult to allow ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Lars Horntveth of Jaga Jazzist

Read "Take Five with Lars Horntveth of Jaga Jazzist" reviewed by Lars Horntveth

About Jaga Jazzist If Jaga has any rules, there's really just one: every album must sound like nothing that preceded it. With Starfire, the group that has confounded categorization from inception has delivered yet another album unlike any they've ever done before. Yet, at the end of the day--despite touchstones ranging from Gil Evans to Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine to Tortoise, Oslo 13 to Motorpsycho and Fela Kuti to Steve Reich--Starfire still sounds absolutely like nobody but Jaga ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jaga Jazzist: Starfire

Read "Starfire" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

First things first: let's leave the definition of Jaga Jazzist music for last. Or, better, let's not even consider using labels. Let's not rush to conclusions, let's not fall in the sweet traps of music criticism where one plunges in forced by adjectives, hyperboles, comparisons, clever rhetoric and assorted namedropping. First things first, we said, as if it were easy to define an ensemble which has rewritten the history of European contemporary jazz by adding progressive, noise, classical and electronic ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaga Jazzist: Live with Britten Sinfonia

Read "Jaga Jazzist: Live with Britten Sinfonia" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Norwegian collective Jaga Jazzist don't sit comfortably within genre boundaries. Their earlier UK Ninja Tune releases like A Livingroom Hush (2001) and The Stix (2003) suggested a marriage of jazz texture with glitchy, breakbeat driven electronica in a way that was both diverting and interesting, if likely to incite the wrath of the more traditional jazz fan were it to be described as more than “jazz influenced." Later records such as 2005's What We Must and 2008's One Armed Bandit ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jaga Jazzist: Live with Britten Sinfonia

Read "Jaga Jazzist: Live with Britten Sinfonia" reviewed by John Kelman

Norway's Jaga Jazzist has always been difficult to pigeonhole. Despite the word “jazz" in the nonet's moniker, its principle writer, multi-instrumentalist Lars Horntveth, has cited everyone from Steve Reich, Rick Wakeman, Dungen and Spirit to Fela Kuti, King Crimson, MGMT and Air as influences on the group's last studio record, One-Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune, 2010). Horntveth is also a fan of jazz arrangers/composers like Gil Evans, so it's not that Jaga Jazzist doesn't have jazz in its DNA; it's just ...

PROFILES

Jaga Jazzist: Maximalistic

Read "Jaga Jazzist: Maximalistic" reviewed by Angela Shawn-Chi Lu

A Norwegian nonet that rocks 35 instruments onstage and smashes Afrobeat, prog, film music, cheesy fanfares and Steve Reich arpeggios together against a backdrop of gigantic slot machine fruit? The odds of that happening are “No friggin way!" But as it turns out, one such nonet does exist. What's even more shocking is that Jaga Jazzist (pronounced “yaga yazzist") has made this demented formula supremely successful. Over its 17-year career, Jaga Jazzist has garnered international and critical ...

FILM REVIEWS

Jaga Jazzist: Live at Cosmopolite

Read "Jaga Jazzist: Live at Cosmopolite" reviewed by John Kelman

Jaga Jazzist Live at Cosmopolite Smalltown Supersound 2010 With 30 dates already performed in 2010 since the release of One-Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune, 2010)--its first studio record in five years--Jaga Jazzist is keeping the momentum of its comeback rolling, with a variety of free download tracks and a vinyl-only remix EP, Bananfluer Overalt (Ninja Tune, 2010). While the current nonet incarnation of this true Norwegian curiosity--a large, multi-instrumentalist ensemble featuring some of the country's most ...


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