Every once in a while it feels nice to sit back and enjoy some music that takes you out of your comfort zone. It’s even better when that music includes jazz fused with some upbeat electronica, cinematic undertones, and a live show that is a guaranteed to be a show you’ll want to write home about. Enter Jaga Jazzist.
This Norwegian experimental jazz collective was formed by brothers Lars and Martin Horntveth in 1994. Their debut album, Jævla Jazzist Grete Stitz, took the world by storm, fusing hip-hop with jazz, with a touch of cinematic elements. Since then, they’ve developed a rotating cast of brilliant musicians, each adding a new flavor to the already delicious musical stew.
The band itself features trumpets, trombone, electric guitar, bass, tuba, bass clarinets, vibraphone, and a rack of electronics. Their live shows are to be known as some of the most colorful, energetic live sets in all of Scandinavia. If you’ve ever wondered about the gifted few who were blessed with synesthesia, this could be your only chance to experience the sensation yourselves.
Jaga Jazzist is the band you wish would hang out in a cloud above your head as your perusing through your everyday life. The emotions that are triggered by their albums could score the film of your life, hitting every temperament square on the nose. They’re a wide set, eclectic amalgam of sonic (and visual) experience. So if you have the chance to see them, jump on it.
Also, the group’s description of themselves on Facebook might also be the best explanation of any band around:
Jaga Jazzist is:
(a) A jazz band;
(b) A rock band;
(c) A progressive rock band;
(d) A hip hop group;
(e) A rap group;
(f) A reggae group;
(g) A polka band;
(h) A comedy band;
(i) An electronica group;
(j) A classical ensemble;
(k) A choral ensemble;
(l) All of the above;
(m) None of the above.
The answer is, indeed, both (l) and (m) because across two decades Jaga has been all of these things but, at the end of the day, is really none of them.
Find out where they’re playing next here.