For those who are yet to see The Cinematic Orchestra live then let this wet your appetite for what is truly a unique musical experience. Without belittling Jason Swinscoe's scintillating recordings this group were born to play live. This is where they truly live up to their name and what better place to convey this than in the Royal Albert Hall. On November 2nd 2007 Swinscoe brought with him an enhanced line up which featured the 24 piece Heritage Orchestra to this historic venue and dazzled an audience of more than 4000 people.
This recording aims to convey this extraordinary live event and really the only fault worth mentioning is that a recording can't possibly do justice to this night and though many of the original vocalists are not present this CD is a close second best.
Opening with Every Day's stand out song All That You Give, this night was all about using the original songs as platforms from which to launch the musical potential that lies within this group. Like any jazz ensemble the musicians here use the original structure of each song as a base to return to after their sonic journeys into the rafters of this great venue. Flite rolls along on the trademark drumbeat while guitar and organ dance playfully around it and great swathes of strings lift and lift. Last spring saw the release of Ma Fleur which featured the achingly beautiful song To Build A Home. Changing up on the vocalist here this live version has little of the magnitude of the original and is one of the few instances where the recording triumphs over the live. However this is all soon forgotten when we enter the opening phase of the epic and now classic Ode To The Big Sea. At over 14 minutes long we revisit in striking glory the jazz routs of this band. Though dazzling in their own right the last few albums have taken Swinscoe's outfit away from the free jazz sound and it really is special to see them return in such style. Skipping along to rain-drop-like piano we build to a frantic drum solo that just about marks the mid way point. A clarinet heralds the change up and with the hall silent the experimentation really begins. Accompanied by electronic bleeps this pair really use the space provided and receive rousing applause from the crowd for their courage when the drums finally rejoin them.
The whole night is concluded with Time And Space featuring Lou Rhodes of Lamb. A sedate yet beautiful end to a very special evening. After experiencing this live show you'd want a recording such as this to keep the memory alive.