I have to confess that I wasn’t that familiar with Norwegian collective Jaga Jazzist until the release of their most recent album Starfire on June 2 via Ninja Tune.
As their name implies, Jaga Jazzist is all about rather progressive jazz. They have embarked on a North American tour in support of their new album, and they come to the Black Cat on Sunday, June 21.
Jaga Jazzist has eight members, but its core is a trio of siblings — Lars, Martin and Line Horntveth. They started the band in 1994, when Lars was 14-years old. As the main songwriter for the group, Lars recently sought inspiration outside of Norway. In December 2012, he moved to Los Angeles.
“Inspired by the space around him, the size of the sky above him, the endless light flashing past as he drove round the city at night, he began composing the new suite of works, which would become Starfire,” according to a press release on the album.
The other members of Jaga Jazzist would visit him to record in his home studio. Once the rough album was complete, Lars took it back to Oslo to finish it.
The result is ornate, intricate pieces like “Oban.” Watch Jaga Jazzist perform “Oban” in a recent Oslo session:
Tickets are available online and at the door. Nashville musician Peter Barbee, aka Among Savages, opens for Jaga Jazzist.