Norway's the Shining specialize in a genre-hopping prog-jazz style that is part bop, part experimental composition, part rock, and might even be called jazz-metal, although specific labels have a hard time sticking firmly to this intriguing quartet.

The group morphed out of the ten-piece Jaga Jazzist ensemble, which the Shining's main man, multi-instrumentalist Jørgen Munkeby, joined when he was only 16 years old. With former Jaga keyboardist Morten Qvenild, the Shining recorded Sweet Shanghai Devil for Jazzland/Universal and Where the Ragged People Go for bp Records before moving to the newly formed label Rune Grammaphon for 2005's In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster. Qvenild left the group, largely to concentrate on new projects with Susanna & the Magical Orchestra (Qvenild pretty much being the entire magical orchestra) following the release of the Kingdom album, and was replaced by another former Jaga keyboard player, Andreas Schei. Session drummer Torstein Lofthus and bassist Morten Strøm joined Munkeby and Schei for 2007's Grindstone, which was also released by Rune Grammaphon. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi

Got Spotify?