Published Jan 06, 2010TRACK OF THE DAY: Ninja Tune kicks off the new decade with an ensemble that seemed to have run out of gas a few years ago. Norway's Jaga Jazzist's last full-length, What We Must, appeared in 2005. Though the band may have fallen victim to large-ensemble syndrome, where scheduling is devilish and members come and go, lead Jazzist Lars Horntveth wrote all the music and drilled it into the tentet over the summer and autumn of 2009. Quoted in Norwegian magazine MIC, Horntveth said, "I say with Stravinsky: Fuck inspiration, give me a deadline!"
The new album's title track, presented here in a truncated version, has all the little musical flourishes we've come to expect from the jazz-and-beyond group. It's accented by a swinging '60s harpsichord-like keyboard sound, along with a nod to West Africa, post-rock and a section that sounds like a "breaking news" alert on CNN. Their typically diverse influences were brought together by John McEntire, a last minute fill in at the mixing desk when the band's usual collaborator, Jørgen "Sir Duperman" Træen, fell ill.
The new album, One Armed Bandit, drops January 25.
Download "One Armed Bandit" by Jaga Jazzist here.