Cinematic Orchestra at Webster Hall


My wife and I finally had a chance to catch J. Swinscoe’s jazz/electronic outfit, the Cinematic Orchestra. We are very busy people and rarely go out during the workweek. But this was a show we did not want to miss, especially after missing them on more than one occasion.

This evening’s performance was at Webster Hall in the East Village, a large open space regularly used for dance parties. There were no seats and the crowd was a bit young. I generally don’t like general admission shows. Especially 18 and over events. I’m of the age where being smashed while listening to loud music lacks the appeal it once held. But this was a 4.8 out of five. Great sound, nice ambiance and all the rest. The band was seriously on point, playing a diverse selection of material from complex jazzy numbers to more soulful tunes. Check them out if they play in your neck of the woods. U.K. readers, the next show is at Royal Albert Hall on November 2.

Here is a video of “The Man with the Movie Camera,” a song from their second recording:

In late 1999, Swinscoe was asked by the organisers of the Porto European City of Culture 2000 if the band wanted to score a soundtrack to a silent movie to open the celebrations. It seemed a perfect opportunity to expand the ideas of TCO into the world which had given them their name. But the difference was this was for a one off live performance. The film was Dziga Vertov’s ‘Man With A Movie Camera,’ a 1929 early documentary cinema film from the Soviet Union. The performance in a old theatre space in Porto ended with a standing ovation of 3,500 people. Since that evening TCO have performed the score live at film festivals from Turkey to Scotland.

You can find more audio and video files here.

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