Jaga Jazzist | The Scala London | 30 March 2011

Multi-member Norwegian Nu Jazz stalwarts, Jaga Jazzist have been bringing their distinct brand of jazzy prog across Europe this year, capitalising on the success of their Ninja Tune LP, One-Armed Bandit, one of the most potent, explosive albums of last year.

Their music has jazz at its heart, but incorporates hints of electronica, hard rock and classical. Thankfully with none of the musical self-indulgence that characterises Prog.

A Jaga Jazzist show is certainly always a spectacle.

Jaga’s incredible level of musicianship is what sets them apart from the pack, and this really invigorates their live show; incorporating a full horn section, keyboards, guitars, basses, vibraphones, the ferocious drumming of Martin Horntveth, as well as a whole host of electronic gizmos, A Jaga Jazzist show is certainly always a spectacle.

Powering through their recent singles, Bananfluer Overalt, and the aforementioned One-Armed Bandit, Jaga started the show off with a bang. With the band exhibiting a rawer, more rock-lead show than the previous tour, having slimmed down to 6 members (from the original 10). The members swap instruments between songs utilising everything from tubas to triangles, creating a wall of sound that is both fragile and at times almost overwhelming.

Rich layers of sound pulsed around the packed Scala as Jaga ripped through their extensive back-catalogue, with classics such as All I Know is Tonight and Toccata. With their star in definite ascendancy there has never been a better time to acquaint yourself with Jaga Jazzist.

Whoever said Jazz was boring?

5 Stars

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