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What We Must CD


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Jaga Jazzist have become something of a musical phenomenon in Norway since they started 15 years ago. Not only is this 9 piece instrumental band regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative in Norway, the members are all involved in other musical projects and have in one way or another contributed to almost every significant recording to come out of that part of the world in the last ... Read more in Amazon's Jaga Jazzist Store

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What We Must + Living Room Hush + One-Armed Bandit
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 April 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Ninja Tune
  • ASIN: B0007OC6TW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,567 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. All I Know Is Tonight
2. Stardust Hotel
3. For All You Happy People
4. Oslo Skyline
5. Swedenborgske Rom
6. Mikado
7. I Have A Ghost, Now What?

Product Description

Product Description

Jaga Jazzist has become something of a musical phenomenon in Norway since they started 9 years ago. Not only is this 10 piece instrumental band regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative in Norway, the members are all involved in other musical projects and have in one way or another contributed to almost every significant recording to come out of that part of the world in the last five years. With no boundaries and an arsenal that includes trumpets, trombone, electric guitar, bass, tuba, two bass clarinets, Fender Rhodes, vibraphone and a rack of electronics, Jaga Jazzist create timeless music. Melodic, hypnotizing, delicate and subtle.

Many comparisons have been made with Talk Talk, Soft Machine, Eric Satié, John Coltrane and Don Cherry to acts like Aphex Twin, Stereolab, Squarepusher, Isotope 217 and Tortoise. All versions are packaged by Kim Hiorthøy's wonderful drawings and design.

BBC Review

Like some hydra-headed Scandinavian juggernaut, Jaga have now completed a ten-year mission to seek out new musical life and new musical civilizations. Indeed, What We Must opens with a sample of the classic Star Trek transporter noise, so we're in no doubt that space is now the place for these plucky astronauts. However the space they've been exploring is the Norwegian countryside - in a remote forest hideout, searching for something closer to their live sound - and a radical re-think has resulted in their greatest leap for mankind yet.

In a typical perverse fashion these young Nordics started with Gil Evans' sophistication and then began adding the elements of music that young people were supposed to be listening to (even if they were working on word of mouth rather than actual experience)! Hence, by Livingroom Hush we got the wonderful Drum 'n' Jazz concoctions that blithely ignored convention and translated into such a visceral live experience. Fears that dropping the 'Jazzist' may indicate a lessening of the rigour of their earlier horn groupings and lead to more rockist statements prove to be both true and false. Yes, the big-band-in-a-spin-dryer intricacies have faded somewhat but in their place come sweeping arrangements that take in post-rock dynamics, dazzling guitar figures and the vaulting ambition of the best prog.

Take track two: ''Stardust Hotel''. From a deceptively naïve little guitar figure we're suddenly catapulted into the stratosphere by some soaring Steve Howe-like octave jumping (Howe seems to be a common touchstone throughout) and Martin Horntveth's typically octopoid drums. This is music that dares to contrast introspection with bombast but without the gloomy self-knowingness of, say, Tortoise.

A lot of this is obviously down to the fact that these guys are players of the first water. Like all truly great albums repeated listens endlessly repay the listener with more detail. About halfway through you realise that the brass and woodwinds are still as integral to their sound (especially in providing those wonderful yearning melody lines) but are just a little more retiring. ''Swedensborgske Rom'' takes a very Hatfield and The North-like meditation and then crosses it with vocal samples straight out of an early Prefab Sprout/Thomas Dolby production while steel guitar hovers, cosmically.

Of course all of this is meaningless when you come to realise that nothing else really sounds like this band any more. How many combine styles so effortlessly and still leave you humming melodies that are as warmly remembered as long-lost friends? Beam yourself up, you won't regret it... --Chris Jones

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A. D. Benn on 15 Jan 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Classic numbers that play on your mind.
You will need to play through the album a couple of times as certain tracks at first don't hit you - but once you have adjusted - you will marvel at the power, dexterity and mastership.
Highlights - Track 1 Fantastic powerful and epic - Track 4 likewise + lets not forget Track 5 let it roll over you in all it's majesty - an unbelievable piece - note the guitar (wonderous in it's simplicity). No more for me - just get it - especially if you are a fan of earlier Cinematic Orchestra & Skalpel.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For some, this album's departure from Jaga's acid jazz roots was confusing and worrying-but not for long. The introduction of rocky guitar riffs and a 'band mentality' has taken this talented bunch into new and sparkling waters. The stunning intro of 'All I Know Is Tonight' is worth the purchase price alone. Diehard fans will not be disappointed with the new sound. Tracks like 'Oslo Skyline', and 'Swedenborgske ROM' demonstrate the skills that got the band the respect they deserved in the jazz community. What is impressive is the way they combine deep jazz workouts with incredibly catchy melodies.

Quite simply, this album sounds like nothing else in the market. A joyous concoction of musical styles and influences that will appeal to a broad range of tastes. A must-have addition to any real music lover's collection.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Aug 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a marvellous album. I cannot recommend it too highly. Fabulous instrumentation, boundless energy and incredibly moving all at the same time. My favourite track is Swedenborgske Rom which just builds and builds and is impossible to get out of your head. They are also fabulous live.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T Dubya on 21 May 2009
Format: Audio CD
Got this after hearing a few tracks on Last.FM + reading reviews on here. I think its a great album end of. A must for anyone into Sigur Ros/Cinematic Orchestra/Contemporary Noise Quintet/etc...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Incredible band, stellar album! 12 May 2005
By T. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
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. Only Jaga could pull this off so well!

If you like their first two albums, definitely buy this. If you haven't heard Jaga and you're a fan of heavily textured jazz and electronic music that takes some digesting, I highly recommend this as well. And if you read this whole rambling review, kudos!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Extra Content Makes this the best version.... 27 April 2005
By fetish_2000 - Published on Amazon.com
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. What's so surprising about all of this is the fact that it is, just that....So Surprising!!, soundly virtually nothing like what the band have done before, it takes a mental readjust to comprehend what is being played here. Not that its inaccessible....it's very accessible, but also a departure from what you'll probably be expecting, yet stick with it, because repeated listens begin to unravel a subtle complexity & structure that although not the Jaga Jazzist we know, easily retains that non-conformist attitude to Jazz/Electronica that brought them to us, in the first place.

Although running at a length, just shy of 45 minutes, its certainly not a long album, to truly get lost in, but thankfully there are enough ideas and memorable arrangements to make-up for the relatively short running time, with more emphasis on desirable tracks, rather than a hours worth of mediocre content. Thoroughout the album, there are interesting diversions in approach, wether it is the pouring, reverb-drenched dream of flight coupled with the bright soaring melodies, and chiming acoustic guitars, keyboards, that make up tracks such as "Stardust Hotel". Or indeed on "For All You Happy People", which manages to completely impress by linking sections that almost contrast in structure, but yet are seamlessly linked between expertly utilising sections of bass clarinet and keyboards, with a sound that becomes a little more engaging with every listen, almost danceable rhythms, involving chiming acoustic guitars, and surprising almost this plethora of instruments, the tuba. With this all balanced out beautifully and although not delving deeper into jazz motifs, that earmarked the last two albums, still retains a hugely likable, yet original composition. Sure it's certainly not as freewheeling as their previous work, but shows an impressive ensemble willing to resist being pigeonholed by previous work, and the subtle innovations in electronic music previously, gently creep into this album..

With the leftfield improvisation of before, largely missing from this release, and the sound far more that, of a band working as a modern Big Jazz Band, there is much here that although may not immediately impress, the powerful set of rock dynamics, will be unfamiliar to all, that have heard Jaga's previous work, but the luscious sounds of rich guitar, bass & Horns & drums, with that keen ear on electronic percussion, with eventaually begin to take hold of you, it's not hard to eventually warm to (and hugely enjoy) the more FM Radio friendly sound, on this album. Those that are expecting (or indeed hoping) for an album that runs along similar lines to "The Stix" & "A Livingroom Hush", will probably be hugely disappointed, and should avoid this, as the more radio friendly / Rock inclusive sound may well repel purists. But this is also arguably their most melodic & accessible album. "The Stix" & "A Livingroom Hush" still remain arguably the more experimental, envelope pushing, creative jazz albums, that they have created, but this superb album still stands amongst such distinguished work, although it's charms really start to unfolded over several listens. It's a gorgeously likable instrumental album and take heed of the fact that it's unlike their previous work, and it's memorable arrangements will amply reward.

the accompanying second disk contains a second disk, that is almost half the length of the main disk, and it's a disk that is taken from the same 'Spydeberg Sessions', that spawned the first disk. What is contained here in alternate versions, Demos from the sessions and various rarities. which although don't replace the main disk in anyway, give a broader spectrum of the ideas and demos, that would go on to become the completed tracks. The idea is relatively similar to what goes on with certain classic Jazz albums (John Coltranes - A Love Supreme" for instance), where you get the complete sessions, in that the standalone disk makes up the main meat of the album, but for real fans, that extra / alternate tracks from the same session..(in this case the 'Bonus Disk'), are akin to the complete recordings. If you can stretch to the 2-Cd edition, then I strongly suggest you do, the cost isn't that much more that the single CD edition, and it interesting to hear the demo versions, and considering the the single disk edition is a fairly short album anyway, this bolsters the album into a far more substantial affair (and boosts the score rating up a notch).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The symphonic jazz of What We Must. One of years best CD's 5 July 2005
By Wickerlove - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
'What We Must' basically sounds like what Kevin Shields would dream-up if he was influenced by jazz and prog-rock. A 10 piece ensemble from Norway, Jaga Jazzist's fourth album strays from the jazz-electronica of their first three, creating for a cacophony of celestial sounds, orchestral and ambient, cinematic and lush. 'What We Must' is almost unclassifiable because it draws from so many influences, a symphonic soundtrack where jazz-meets-progressive rock-meets-New Age-meets-psychadelia. An ambitious album that's a melting-pot of musical styles; swirly shoegazers (as strange as it may seem) like The Pale Saints/Slowdive/MBV, the atmospheric New Age sounds of Terry Riley and Mike Oldfield, 70's prog-rockers Soft Machine, the jazz-fusion of Spyro Gyra, and a dash of Flaming Lips neo-psychadelia. Occasionally a recording will come along that's so beautiful, spiritual, and profoundly powerful, 'What We Must' gets my vote as one of the strongest, if not one of the best albums of 2005.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Jaga Jazzist grows its rock fangs.... 18 July 2005
By m:re reel - Published on Amazon.com
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. What will prove to set Jaga Jazzist apart from those many other bands is that they are constantly reshaping, and never becoming stagnant or satisfied with one particular sound. Ironically enough, that constant musical shift is what gives Jaga its distinctive identity. And with "What We Must", the band has proven that ideas can still be born and not just recycled.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
You'll Need to take your Time with this one..... 27 April 2005
By fetish_2000 - Published on Amazon.com
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. What's so surprising about all of this is the fact that it is, just that....So Surprising!!, soundly virtually nothing like what the band have done before, it takes a mental readjust to comprehend what is being played here. Not that its inaccessible....it's very accessible, but also a departure from what you'll probably be expecting, yet stick with it, because repeated listens begin to unravel a subtle complexity & structure that although not the Jaga Jazzist we know, easily retains that non-conformist attitude to Jazz/Electronica that brought them to us, in the first place.

Although running at a length, just shy of 45 minutes, its certainly not a long album, to truly get lost in, but thankfully there are enough ideas and memorable arrangements to make-up for the relatively short running time, with more emphasis on desirable tracks, rather than a hours worth of mediocre content. Thoroughout the album, there are interesting diversions in approach, wether it is the pouring, reverb-drenched dream of flight coupled with the bright soaring melodies, and chiming acoustic guitars, keyboards, that make up tracks such as "Stardust Hotel". Or indeed on "For All You Happy People", which manages to completely impress by linking sections that almost contrast in structure, but yet are seamlessly linked between expertly utilising sections of bass clarinet and keyboards, with a sound that becomes a little more engaging with every listen, almost danceable rhythms, involving chiming acoustic guitars, and surprising almost this plethora of instruments, the tuba. With this all balanced out beautifully and although not delving deeper into jazz motifs, that earmarked the last two albums, still retains a hugely likable, yet original composition. Sure it's certainly not as freewheeling as their previous work, but shows an impressive ensemble willing to resist being pigeonholed by previous work, and the subtle innovations in electronic music previously, gently creep into this album..

With the leftfield improvisation of before, largely missing from this release, and the sound far more that, of a band working as a modern Big Jazz Band, there is much here that although may not immediately impress, the powerful set of rock dynamics, will be unfamiliar to all, that have heard Jaga's previous work, but the luscious sounds of rich guitar, bass & Horns & drums, with that keen ear on electronic percussion, with eventaually begin to take hold of you, it's not hard to eventually warm to (and hugely enjoy) the more FM Radio friendly sound, on this album. Those that are expecting (or indeed hoping) for an album that runs along similar lines to "The Stix" & "A Livingroom Hush", will probably be hugely disappointed, and should avoid this, as the more radio friendly / Rock inclusive sound may well repel purists. But this is also arguably their most melodic & accessible album. "The Stix" & "A Livingroom Hush" still remain arguably the more experimental, envelope pushing, creative jazz albums, that they have created, but this superb album still stands amongst such distinguished work, although it's charms really start to unfolded over several listens. It's a gorgeously likable instrumental album and take heed of the fact that it's unlike their previous work, and it's memorable arrangements will amply reward.
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