Jaga Jazzist One-Armed Bandit
If Fela Kuti recruited a nine-person band with modern electronics, fiery guitars, and a full horn section in Norway, Afrobeat might sound like One-Armed Bandit. Like Charles Mingus' big bands, Jaga Jazzist relies on well-schooled players to navigate multilayered song structures that practically demand 3-D pop-up charts to write out, then charge through them with an interlocking, untrammeled joy that transforms a potentially chin-beardy mix of instrumental jazz and post-rock into something closer to a cerebral-yet-gutbucket funk. Perhaps it's something in the Oslo water—like fellow Norwegians Röyksopp, Jaga Jazzist transforms potentially icy sonics into warm, clever outbursts with apparent ease.
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