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Jaga Jazzist - Magazine EP CD (album) cover


Jaga Jazzist


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 7 ratings

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4 stars Jaga Jazzist is an experimental jazz outfit from Norway that mixes familiar jazz soundscapes with avant-garde electronica. That's the shortest description that I can give regarding this quite versatile outfit that ever since their 1996-debut album have spawned a total of five full length and and four EP releases. Jaga Jazzist Magazine EP wasn't actually the band's debut release but considering that the studio album Jævla Jazzist Grete Stitz was originally released in a limited edition, meaning that it's been out of print for many years and is now considered somewhat of a collector item, it seems like a good place to start exploring this band.

I have come by Jaga Jazzist quite recently, while being exposed to What We Must, and I've since then been literally hooked on the creativeness of their music. In a genre like Jazz, where even the slightest changes to the basic formula are considered unorthodox by most devoted fans of the genre, it's always nice to see somebody pushing the envelope to a level that is in time with our technological progress of the last few decades. This is definitely something worth highlighting with this EP. Even if the opening track Jaga Ist Zu Hause starts with a very atmospheric Pink Floyd sounding guitar sound there is already an underlying digital drum beat which is then mixed in with the distinct jazz sounds of Saxophone, Trombone and Trumpet. Very soon it becomes clear that Jaga Jazzist have pulled off something quite original with their style.

The next two tracks are much more traditional in there delivery even though there are a few hits of the rebellious nature of their fluctuating music. Swedish Take Away is also notable for being performed in a live setting taking the already exciting definition of the band's sound to a new level. Next is Seems To Me which is a short acoustic guitar driven melodic piece with a few barely audible vocals added into the mix. This piece doesn't really fit in all that well with the rest of the material but seeing that this is an EP one might just expect a few surprises along the way.

The 16 minute album closing Serafin Jungelen (Jomba Vs. K-Mart & Ravi Mix) is roughly divided into two parts where the first part features a prominent electronic drum beat that completely mutes all the other instruments making this section acquired taste for most jazz enthusiasts. Luckily the beat fades out 7 minutes into the track, following a lengthy moment of silence, and the remaining minutes of the track are devoted to a pleasant jam between the instruments, supported by a groovy rhythmic section.

Jaga Jazzist might not be for the more conservative fans of Jazz Rock/Fusion that don't like their music to change all that much. Still, if there actually was such a thing as Progressive Jazz music this band would easily be on top of that list with this 44 minute EP to show for it!

***** star songs: Jaga Ist Zu Hause (7:17)

**** star songs: Plym (7:46) Swedish Take Away (9:21) Serafin Jungelen (Jomba Vs. K-Mart & Ravi Mix) (16:13)

*** star songs: Seems To Me (3:22)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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