Sunday, 14 April 2019

The Cinematic Orchestra ‎– To Believe (2019)

Style: Contemporary Jazz, Downtempo, Soul-Jazz
GFormat: CD, Vinyl
Label: Ninja Tune

Tracklist:
1.   To Believe
2.   A Caged Bird / Imitations Of Life
3.   Lessons
4.   Wait For Now / Leave The World
5.   The Workers Of Art
6.   Zero One / This Fantasy
7.   A Promise

Credits:
Bass – Kaveh Rastager, Sam Vicary
Double Bass – Kevin Abdella
Drums – Luke Flowers
Guitar – Kevin Abdella, L D Brown
Keyboards – Dominic J Marshall
Orchestra – Metropole Orchestra
Organ – Dennis Hamm
Percussion – João Parahyba
Piano – Aleks Podraza, Dennis Hamm
Saxophone – Tom Chant
Strings – Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
Synthesizer – Dennis Hamm
Vocals – Dominic Smith
Backing Vocals – L D Brown
Performer, Producer, Arranged By, Written-By – Dominic Smith, Jason Swinscoe

I’ve always found the Cinematic Orchestra too pretentious, too austere, a band whose ambitions outran their abilities. With this fourth album, 12 years after their last, that austerity is over. To Believe is heartbreakingly brilliant: a collection of exquisitely assembled songs that appear delicate from a distance before revealing a close-quarters core strength. Band leaders Jason Swinscoe and Dominic Smith have loosely arranged seven lightly jazzy tracks around the themes of belief and what it means to believe. Much as the pair attempt to make movies with their music, the best song has no dialogue: the meandering instrumental Lessons is a glorious balm, nine minutes of murmuring conversation between the players, dominated by Luke Flowers’ gently military drums. It has depth and meaning without context, the ideal soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist. The sweeping grandeur of A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life is another cinematic collaboration with the always articulate and engaging Roots Manuva, a sort-of sequel to the epic All Things to All Men, and just as good. Every song here could easily be five or 10 minutes longer. A triumph. 
Damien Morris / The Guardian

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