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Jaga Jazzist

Jaga Jazzist

The vibe from Jaga Jazzist began in the Oslo jazz underground about five years ago and went overground with the release of A Livingroom Hush in 2001 (reissued by Ninja Tune). In 2002, the CD was voted jazz album of the year by BBC.com listeners.

But if Jaga Jazzist’s first album made audiences across Europe perk up their ears, their live performances were something else. Now the group’s much anticipated follow-up, The Stix (Ninja Tune), is out, and when it debuted at this year’s Vossa Jazz Festival in Norway, there was a queue of three and four deep that stretched five hundred yards around the block. The audience in the big Voss Idrettshall was comprised of mostly under-30-somethings who jammed themselves around the bandstand like a rock concert and responded to every solo by waving their arms in the air. Jaga’s drummer, cheerleader and frontman Martin Horntveth said afterward that this kind of response to their blistering live performances was typical across Europe.

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