Exercises in Style – No. 92: Modern Style. Music Video

92 – Modern Style

performed by The Ett Fett Big Band.

Live at «The Concordia», October 2004.

This variation, written by Jarle back in 2004, takes its inspiration from the 1960s third-stream jazz in general, and Charles Mingus in particular. He set it out for a proper big band (5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, guitar, bass, drums), but the problem was finding a band that would be willing to rehearse and record it without any kind of monetary compensation 🙂

Through his long-time friend and bandmate in the jazz quartet Made in Corea, Erik Jøkling, Jarle was connected with Eirik Gaaseide, founder and leader of the Ett Fett Big Band, one of the top semi-professional bands in Norway. They wanted to give it a shot, so on a rainy October day in 2004, Jarle got on a train to Lillestrøm, armed with a full set of parts and a score, an expensive Shure stereo microphone and a portable DAT-recorder.

In three hours, the band rehearsed the piece and recorded four takes. The released version is an edit with the best segments from each of the takes. 

The sound quality is a bit raw, but the performance is great, and on a personal level for Jarle, this particular recording is so special that it just HAD to be a part of the Stiløvingar-project. The reason being that this very session was the start of a long and fruitful collaboration. In the 17 years since this inaugural meeting, Jarle has arranged and conducted several projects with the Ett Fett Big Band – great examples would be: The music of Steely Dan, Gino Vanelli, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Tribal Tech and, in October this year, a project dedicated to the music of Allan Holdsworth. 

Exercises in Style – No. 5: Precision. Music Video.

When arranging the piece, we wanted to create a nagging feeling – almost like the musical variety of putting the finger repeatedly in someone’s chest to make them get the point. We imagined the musical equivalent of insisting, as having no embellishments or expression of musical feeling, only the raw rhythm, melody, and harmony.

Every instrument is electronic – soft synths or hardware synths – and there is almost no dynamic variation. There is also a very dry ambiance so that nothing distracts from the actual sound.


The Stiløvingar [Exercises in Style] album is a work in progress and will continue to grow as we compose and record tracks. If you buy the album now you will be informed when new tracks are added to the album as long as you follow us on Bandcamp. We will add a handful of new tracks every now and then.

By 2025 the album will contain 99 tracks, one for each of the exercises in the book Exercises in Style (1947) by Raymond Queneau. In other words, the price you pay is for the full digital album with all 99 tracks.