Record label: Ninja Tune (UK)
Format: 2xLP/CD
Release date: 13 May 2002

I've been hearing great things about Cinematic Orchestra since last summer, but never got around to hearing their music until now. It was fate that brought an advanced copy of their new album my way, and I can't stop playing it. Everyday is a five-star affair by a frighteningly on-point jazz sextet. This album is overflowing with hairpin turns and hidden surprises. More straight ahead jazz than anything I've heard before from the Ninja Tune roster, but fits perfectly in their discography.

Bandleader J. Swincoe sets a free-floating tone that allows the musical possibilities to be endless. There are gorgeous solos throughout this album, particularly by keyboardist John Fullis on "Burnout" and "Evolution" and saxophonist Tom Chant on the part spy/part blaxploitation-fueled "Man With The Movie Camera." A wonderful addition to this album is the legendary vocalist Fontella Bass. (Ask your parents about a classic soul single called "Rescue Me.") She effortlessly switches moods on "Evolution" and passionately belts out the first single, "All That You Give," an emotional ballad dedicated to the memory of her late husband, Lester Bowie (an accomplished jazz musician who spearheaded the Art Ensemble of Chicago). Everyday also features the distinguished voice of British MC Roots Manuva on "All Things To All Men." It's an understated yet potent performance, one of his finest moments on the mic yet.

Rounding out the band are Luke Flowers on drums, Phil France on bass, and P.C. (affiliated with DJ Food) on turntables and effects. There is little that this ensemble can't accomplish. Everyday is the album that you didn't even know you were waiting for...and that you feel privileged to have heard.

{downtempo don}

back to reviews page