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What We Must

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 19, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 19, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ninja Tune
  • ASIN: B00080EU3K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Cook on May 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Whoever dismissed this album as new age crap in one of the earlier reviews obviously knows NOTHING about good music. Jaga Jazzist is one of the few bands out there keeping the spirit of jazz fusion alive while still creating music that is unique and progressive. If you've never heard of Jaga before, they are a 10-piece band from Norway consisting of guitars, bass, drums, horns, electronics and practically everything else under the sun. The music is heavily textured with weaving melodies, solid beats(for the most part) and amazing transitions & crescendos. Their three albums showcase different styles that make up their unique sound. "A Livingroom Hush" has a heavy jazz sound, "The Stix" is more glitchy and electronic, and this new one "What We Must" has more of a modern rock edge. All three albums are stellar, but since I am reviewing this one, let me finally get to it.

The first track "All I Know Is Tonight" steadily builds while horn and subtle vocal melodies swirl about until all ends triumphantly. "Hotel Stardust" has a definite progressive rock feel to it, with an eerie electronic wind instrument melody that always catches my ear. "For All You Happy People" is short and beautiful and transitions into the next track "Oslo Skyline," which is another driving rock-meets-orchestral fusion tune that is so unique to this band and this album. "Swedenborgske Rom" has an interesting acapella vocal chorus section where the Jagas debut their amazingly angelic voices. The last two tracks are probably my favorite. "Mikado" has the heaviest jazz-fusion influence of the songs on this album and has a crazy distorted guitar melody that I can't get out of my head. The final track "I have a ghost, now what?" speaks for itself. Evil crescendos followed by a spacey jazz house middle section.
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Format: Audio CD
When I heard that Jaga Jazzist would be releasing the aptly titled "What We Must" earlier this year, I have to admit that I thought it would probably be a disappointment. Honestly, I thought that Jaga's idea factory could not possibly churn out another IDM/ Jazz masterpiece, yet, as I sit here writing this review I have to say that the ten- piece collective from Norway has proven once again that new real estate is still available in the instrumental music community.

Like fellow instrumental outfits such as Tortoise, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and Do Make Say Think, Jaga Jazzist set themselves apart by moving forward from albums past and exploring not only new soundscapes and textures, but thematic elements and internal band dynamics as well. As most instrumental bands stay the course with one defined sound, Jaga uses its multi-horn, guitars, vibraphones, lap steel, bass, drums and electronics, to alter its environment. Coming from previous efforts such as the kinetic, "A Living Room Hush", to the electronic-infused "Stix", Jaga Jazzist is a band reinventing itself as fast as it can put out albums. On "What We Must", Jaga Jazzist strips away some of the over-produced haze that may have disguised the band from showing what they truly are- a great live band. While many styles still pervade the album, "What We Must" shows the band baring their teeth with straight-forward drumming and grand, arena-rock sized themes.

While most of the cut-up drums and digitized doodlings of albums past are gone, the jazz voicings, taught and sturdy drums, and filtered horns still remain intact proving that Jaga Jazzist can reinvent itself without reinventing the instrumental- rock wheel.
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Format: Audio CD
Jaga Jazzist (consisting of central linchpins, Multi-instrumentalist's "Lars & Martin Horntveth") have only a (small) handful of albums to their name, but although not fully able to break through to the mainstream with the canopy of 'Progressive Jazz, Nu-Breaks, Jazz-House & Electronica that they are largely known for. They remain a hugely likable act, that have amassed a small and devoted following for their leftfield interpretations of Jazz/Electronica.

From the ambitious creative jazz with electronic exploration of "A Livingroom Hush", through to the futuristic Modern Big Band Jazz/Electronica hybrid of "The Stix", Jaga Jazzist have seemingly always comfonded people expectations of what to expect, and the limitless possibilities that Jazz (and its various sub-genres) throws up to them. This their most recent release find the band changing tack and side-stepping expectations by creating an album that although elaborate and Dynamic in its deconstruction of jazz, also largely retains elements of European jazz, and creatively is still a highly individualistic one, this time around...its a fusion of subtly amplified rock with Jazz that makes up a large part of this album.

Followers of Jaga's previous albums may well baulk at the introduction of rock instrumentation and the decided 'Progressive Rock' sensibilities that run throughout this album, in fact the first track "All I Know is Tonight", arguments insistent guitars, muted horns, textured keyboard sounds and the most slight of Jazz percussion underpinning the whole thing. It's sounds as if a more jazz-minded "Pink Floyd" had decided to scale back on the excess, make the track wholly instrumental and fuse the quicktime percussion of Jazz with the immediacy of Rock.
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