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One Armed Bandit

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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One Armed Bandit
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Audio CD, February 23, 2010
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$17.26
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$17.26 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

NORWEGIAN 9 PIECE RETURN WITH AN ASTOUNDING RECORD - JAZZ, INDIE, MINIMALISM, FUNK & MORE! It's impossible to pin this Norwegian Nonet down in terms of one genre. There are elements of jazz, jazz-fusion, prog rock, electronics, widescreen rock, classical, PHILLIP GLASS / STEVE REICH minimalism, ISAAC HAYES chase scene cinematic funk - we could go on & on and still not sum them up accurately. Band leader Lars Horvath describes JAGA JAZZIST's their new album as "Wagner meets Fela Kuti"! But what comes out of this blend is a truly exciting roller coaster ride that is more about fun, melody & feel than showing off.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ninja Tune
  • ASIN: B002YY04JM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Overview:

Norwegian Band, Jaga Jazzist is probably the premier band when it comes to combining jazz and electronica. They have a progressive big jazz band sort of sound, while at the same time sounding like a postmodern surreal electronica outfit. This largely due to the wide variety of instruments each of the musicians can play. At times you can here things that remind you of Stereolab, Jean-Michel Jarre,Al DiMeola, Opsvik and Jennings, and even classical composer Shostakovich. Overall the sound is more electronica than jazz. There aren't really a whole lot of solos, but there is some nice horn play and the synthesizer, electric keyboard and organ play is out of this world. "One Arm Bandit" is as good as the other two Jaga Jazzist CDs I own ("A Living Room Hush", and "the Stix"). Probably overall this is their best CD as every track is strong (no weak links here). In this CD there is some slide guitar, which I love and don't remember hearing in previous Jaga Jazzist CDs.

Here is a brief/incomplete summary of the band and instruments:
Andrea Mjos: vibraphone, guitar, Korg MS10, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Crotales and percussion
Martin Horntveth: Drums, Drum machines, percussion & more
Lars Horntveth: guitars, clarinet, bass clarinet, Saxes, flutes, keyboards, steal guitar, & more
Line Horntveth: tuba, flute, glockenspiel, & more
Stian Westerhus, electric guitar, and other guitars
Even Ormestad: bass, keyboards, percussion
Mathias Eick, trumpet, bass, keyboards, piano, French horn
Erik Johannessen: trombone, Marxophone
Oystein Moen, synthesizers, piano, percussion

Song Highlights:
220 V/Spektral - This song opens with a duet on piano and keyboard. The keyboard line is a killer, catchy bubbly line.
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I knew it had been awhile, but until I went back and looked, I didn't realize it has been almost five full years since Jaga Jazzist released their last full length album, What We Must In the intervening years, the only peep that has been heard out of the band is last years 37-minute epic Kaleidoscope from band ringleader Lars Horntveth.

If there's one thing that I learned in the past five years, it's that the aforementioned album from the group has held up just as well as I originally gave it credit for, and possibly better. The flowing epics like "All I Know Is Tonight" and "Swedenborgske Rom" still sound huge and ambitious and pay off in spades, and the album as a whole doesn't sound nearly as dated as some of the same things that came out during the same time.

After spending quite a bit time now with "One-Armed Bandit," I have little doubt that it will do the same. Again, there are a vast amount of ideas and influences packed into the longer (but certainly not unwieldy) tracks, and the group manages to swirl together rock, jazz, fusion, prog, orchestral pop, and glints of lots of other styles into pieces that are ultimately catchy and re playable.

The album-titled "One Armed Bandit" kicks off the album in earnest and mingles harpsichord, synth washes, horns, and alternately baroque and kraut-inspired sections for seven minutes of widescreen sound that conjures up all kinds of imagery. By the end, lap steel is mingling with juicy bass, flutes, guitar, and electronics in a way that sounds like 5 different soundtracks all piled on top of one another and still coming out the better for it.
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I am a fan, but I gotta say this record is superb!! JJ are all over the place, mixing ideas and styles flawlessly and (most important) movingly. Lets face it folks; most of what's out there is just plain commercial trash. This disc/collection is pure delight. I first listened to it while visiting relatives in Florida. Loaded it up on my iphone and took a walk. I came back a changed man, smiling from ear to ear. JJ shift gears, slide through beautiful melodies, throw in some tempo shifts, electronics, funky horns, notes sliding gently along guitar strings, and full ensemble regalia. I even hear a bit of Frank Zappa's late-career synclavier compositions in there (thats a compliment!). Simply put, beautiful, complex music to sooth the savage soul. I love it
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Let me preface I'm a big jaga jazzist fan already...

This album is their best album since their debut album! Its so creative, compelling, and challenging all at the same time. I love these guys. They manage convey emotional connection into every sound and instrument in use here (and there are A LOT of sounds/instruments!)

Highly recommended!
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