Jaga Jazzist2010 Bananfluer Overalt
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At a time when the amount of new music being released each and every month is at an all-time high, it's hard enough for artists to get their music heard, let alone maintain momentum between releases. For many, gigging is the only way to ensure their names remain on the radar, but for bands like Jaga Jazzist, that's no small challenge. Hovering between a nonet and dectet, and featuring some of Norway's busiest young players, the cost of touring—and finding times when everyone in the group can commit to hitting the road—makes it all the more remarkable that Jaga Jazzist has been gigging so much since the release of One-Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune, 2010), playing over thirty dates so far in support of its first release since What We Must (Ninja Tune, 2005), and with more dates in the schedule for later in the year. Jaga also has a strong fan base that's grown over the years, since the Horntveth siblings—drummer/mult-instrumentalist Martin, multi-instrumentalist/composer Lars and tubaist/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Line—first formed the group while still in their teens, creating a complex musical mélange that, in addition to its skewed jazz-centricity, features touchstones in the music of artists including Frank Zappa, minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass, progressive rockers like Gentle Giant and post-rock instrumental group Tortoise. But Jaga knows that it's easy to become irrelevant, though its 2010 comeback, after a near-five-year break, has been very successful indeed, as critics and fans alike rave about One-Armed Bandit and performances like the group's closing concert at the 2010 Kongsberg Jazz Festival.