Jaga Jazzist with Sinfonia Rotterdam

Motel Mozaïque (http://www.motelmozaique.nl/)
Rotterdamse Schouwburg
The Netherlands

5th April 2013 (2013-04-05)


Type: Audience master, recorded directly in front of the mixer desk, about 12
metres back from the suspended PA.

Source: Factory-matched pair of Schoeps CCM 41V microphones (DINa mounted) ->
Marantz PMD661 recorder with Oade Concert Mod
(-18 dB gain/44.1 kHz/24 bit WAV)

Lineage: Audacity 2.0.3
* Applied variable amplification across recording for consistent
listening experience.
* Attenuated applause.
* Added fades.
* Split tracks.
* Converted to 16 bit.
-> FLAC (compression level 8) [libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917]

Taper: Ian Macdonald (ianmacd)


01. [07:59] The Thing Introduces...
02. [07:36] One-Armed Bandit
03. [00:32] [banter]
04. [07:29] [unknown]
05. [11:10] Bananfluer Overalt
06. [00:20] [banter]
07. [06:53] For All You Happy People
08. [09:44] Toccata
09. [06:54] Music! Dance! Drama!
10. [00:13] [banter]
11. [06:22] Oslo Skyline

Total running time: 65:12


The drive to Rotterdam takes two hours in Friday afternoon rush-hour traffic.
I arrive with just enough time to park, pick up my festival wristband and
wolf down an organic hamburger before the main auditorium of the Rotterdamse
Schouwburg opens for business.

Given the name, look and feel of the building, I'm expecting the venue to be
seated, but it's not. The PA is also awkwardly positioned, so I elect to stand
just in front of the soundboard. It's a nice place, very modern, but not
without ambience. Hopefully, the sound will be good.

There are three artists I want to see on tonight's festival bill, but I've
really drawn the short straw this time: all three of them are playing at the
same time.

That's at 22:00, though. For the 20:00 slot, I'm at a bit of a loose end.
Rather than opt for something half-known that I'm indifferent about, I decide
instead to go for a total unknown, Norway's Jaga Jazzist.

They'll be performing tonight with Sinfonia Rotterdam, a local orchestra. As
such, the gig is a one-off and I'm a sucker for these unique pairings. It's
now or never, so this is the one I've decided to attend.

I'm not going in totally unprepared, however. The festival organisers have
been forward-thinking enough to provide a Spotify playlist featuring the many
artists who will perform over the next two days. Having listened to a couple
of Jaga Jazzist numbers during the interminable drive down here, it seemed
that I couldn't go too far wrong with this bunch; and there really isn't that
much else I fancy at this hour.

It turns out to be a good decision. There's no way I would ordinarily buy a
ticket for a gig of this nature, but precisely because it falls outside my
usual domain (which I like to think is pretty wide in scope, anyway), it's
that much more interesting to witness.

There's not much else I can tell you about it, to be honest. The band are a
big hit tonight, their energetic blend of jazz influences very naturally
augmented by Sinfornia Rotterdam's strings. The two were made for each other.

The overall effect is somewhere between film soundtracks and incidental 70s TV
drama music, the kind of thing that might have found its way into 'The Streets
Of San Francisco' or 'Kojak'. That might sound like a backhanded slur, but
it's not intended as such. It simply reminds me of the television programmes
of my youth, probably because I don't listen to much jazz and, when I do, it's
not this variety.

Anyway, I enjoyed myself and I suspect many of you would, too, if you went to
see this band.

The recording has turned out excellent. Samples are provided to help you
determine whether this is one for you.

One last thing: track 4 is a new piece. It was introduced, but the title is
obviously Norwegian and no amount of searching for it on the Internet
according to my scant knowledge of Scandinavian languages yielded anything. If
you can understand the title when the drummer introduces it, please let me