Exposé Online banner

Jaga Jazzist — What We Must / Spydeberg Sessions
(Ninja Tune ZEN103, 2005, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

What We Must / Spydeberg Sessions Cover artThis Norwegian band has been refining their particular brand of jazz (if that’s what you want to call it) for nearly ten years now, and while some things remain the same from their beginnings, others have progressed. They still play a music unmistakably rooted in jazz, though with electronic elements added, mallet instruments provide sonic variety, and guitar functions often as a melodic instrument mixed in with the horns. What We Must starts out with a short ramp up to a wall of sound, with a mass of keyboard and guitar backing a melody in the horns, with an insistent rhythm in the drums. When the backing drops out, we get the melody relatively unadorned, and it has a slight bossa nova feeling to it, showing what a difference an arrangement can make. The track ends with a bit of meditative distorted electric guitar. One thing this band is very good at is building intensity slowly over the course of several minutes – I’m reminded of Godspeed You Black Emperor (insert ! after random word) only with a jazz flavor. I find the combination of horns with pulsing marimbas and quirky guitar noises really fascinating. This is not a band prone to flashy solos, more a unit that works out interesting arrangements and textures. The Spydeberg Sessions is a short CD with demo versions (recorded “live in the same room and mixing on the go”) of four of the tracks from What We Must. The great qualities of the tunes are there, though with less of the studio sheen, and a little more whimsy. “Stardust Hotel” has some great goofball synth work on it that didn’t make the final cut, but is wonderful in its own way. This band should be making some inroads with the post-rock crowd as well as jazz buffs who aren’t stuck back in bebop.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Jaga Jazzist

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

vidnaObmana - The River of Appearance – In 1996 vidnaObmana recorded The River of Appearance, which was a high point of his early compositional style. Employing samples, loops, electronics, and sparse piano phrases, vidnaObmana crafted...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues