Image by Arthur Lol
Any millennials musically cognisant at the turn of the century will be aware of the nu-jazz revolution, partly instigated by the Ninja Tunes label and led by people like Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin, Coldcut and Jaga Jazzist, which provided the platform for young jazz musicians to update the genre.
The Cinematic Orchestra do this by combining jazz with electronica, using samples recorded during the performance in combination with existing samples to create an engrossing, multi-layered soundscape. Played completely live, with the usual drums, bass (double), guitar and piano, they add turntables and a synthesizer as well as live programming, to create a very (you could say über) cool and heavily improvised set.
Sadly, we were robbed of our chance to hear the magnificent Fontella Bass when she died prematurely on Boxing Day 2012, but given that someone of her stature was prepared to work with a band formed only three years previously speaks volumes. TCO are about art without limits, they don’t try to be anything in particular, and leave the categorisation of their music to others. So here goes…their gig at Sage Gateshead on Thursday 3rd November will be a down-tempo, fully immersive and absolutely spell-binding night of jazzy licks and cool beats.