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Original Cinema Enhanced


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Audio CD, Enhanced, February 25, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Saxophonist and bandleader Jay Beckenstein was a master of the smooth jazz sound before the genre had a name. He hasn't lost his touch on this outing, but it's clear that his bandmates--guitarist Julio Fernandez and bassist Scott Ambush--are also learning the art of crafting a pop instrumental hook. Compositions by the former, "Bump It Up" and "Close-Up," and the latter's "Handheld" highlight this 13-song outing that finds the group firmly back in the smooth jazz pocket after being a bit more adventurous on their last album. Songs from perhaps the band's best writer, Tom Schuman, are conspicuously absent, but he makes up for it with a couple of stunning piano solos, particularly on the not too dark, "Film Noir." The vibraphones of former permanent recording member, David Samuels, used to define the sound of Spyro Gyra, and whenever he makes a guest shot the old '80s Spyro Gyra comes out. But with other voices emerging, Spyro Gyra is becoming a less predictable unit, and they're headed in a good direction, which is important for a group with a quarter century of history behind them. --Mark Ruffin

1. Bump It Up
2. Extrovertical
3. Dream Sequence
4. Party Of Seven
5. Big Dance Number
6. Close-Up
7. Film Noir
8. Cape Town Love
9. Handheld
10. Funky Tina
11. Getaway
12. Calle Ocho
13. Flashback

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Heads Up
  • ASIN: B000088EAF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,206 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Crawford on April 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Change is inevitable; Growth is OPTIONAL."
Those were the words of my favorite College professor. They immediately came to mind after reading some of the reviews of this CD.
All things MUST change. Everything. ESPECIALLY the music industry. The question is, will that change br good or bad? Well, "Original Cinema" by Smooth Jazz super group Spyro Gyra perfectly illustrates positive growth in my opinion. A change for the better. This is in keeping with their trend over the last few studio albums starting with "Got The Magic".
Prior to "Got The Magic" each album was an expression of a formula that was getting fairly dated and predictible. Face it; Spyro Gyra had gotton into a rut and their music sounded the same for years. Predictably the same. And while it was still entertaining, it definitely needed new life and a new direction. "Original Cinema" is a continuation of the change that started with "Got The Magic" and "In Modern Times" and each and every song on this new album is a winner.
On this CD all of the members of the band contribute to the whole, not only in their performances, but in the composition and arrangements as well. The end result is a collection of songs that still have that Spyro Gyra feel but with a new flavor... one that true Spyro Gyra fans can appreciate and enjoy.
This is a REALLY good CD; in my opinion their best. It has quiclky become my favorite from one of my favorite groups and if you listen in with an open mind you'll love it too. It really does represent POSITIVE growth for the band and I only hope they continue down this path for future recordings.
P.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shorty J on March 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've owned the newest Spyro Gyra CD for about a week now, and it is truly excellent. I knew that a couple of the songs sounded familiar, and they are pretty familiar to any TWC viewer. The Weather Channel (TWC) uses 3 of the album's songs in its local updates! They are 3. "Dream Sequence", 9. "Handheld" (I love this song) and 11. "Getaway". I must admit that I was track-shifting the first couple of days (to the TWC songs, haha!), but when you go through the whole CD, it REALLY grows on you; and fast! The *jazziness* of all the tracks make you want to get up and dance, it's amazing. But that is Spyro Gyra all of the time, isn't it? It's impossible for me to describe each song, but they each have their own flair. All are well-organized with great piano, guitar and drum assitance. Spyro Gyra is truly a band effort, not a single person with some "backups". Everything just meshes well together. I must say, the ending track, abtly entitled, "Flashback" is a sort of retrospective song, nice and slow. Like a cooling-down period! This is DEFINITELY a great buy!! Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
13 songs and 62:30 worth of contemporary jazz from one of the genre's best! I disagree with Amazon's music editor - there is no way I would call this "smooth".
I have to admit that the first couple of times I played through this CD, I wasn't blown away. However, after playing it several more times, and really listening to it, I liked it. In fact, I like it better each time I play it. This is truly a group effort and these guys understand that and know how to work it. I think the individual players do their best solo work on track #2 - "Extrovertical" and track #7 - "Film Noir". Tom Schuman even does a synthesizer solo on track two. There are several other tracks which have become my favorites: #1 - Bump It Up, #5 - Big Dance Number, #8 - Cape Town Love (Andy Narrell's steel drums sound great!), #12 - Calle Ocho (a Spyrogyra CD would not be complete without a latin infused song), and #13 - Flashback (just Tom and Jay). These songs are played so well, and with such passion on CD, that I can hardly wait to hear them performed live.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bronxer on January 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What makes SACD music special? Well, surround sound, of course. Also, amazingly high fidelity. Highs are crisper and bass is tighter. But no matter how good sonically an album sounds, if the music stinks, then you've wasted your money.

Well, that's not the case with Real Cinema. Besides being the best recorded SACD album I've heard, it's also the most enjoyable musically. I've listened to this album almost every day for the past 6 months. I know every note and yet, on a regular basis, I hear things I've never heard before. The stocatta of the guitar, the xylophone moving around the room, the bass riffs. And of course the sax.

If you own an SACD system, then you MUST own this album, as well as all the Spyro Gyra's available on SACD. You won't be sorry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Wenda on January 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Original Cinema has shown the bold culture of Spyro Gyra. This is an album that must not be missed. In addition, I would like to recommend another Spyro Gyra album "In Modern Times". The most amazing track on this CD is Extrovertical. Again, SACD is superior here. Multichannel has added an extra joy in music listening experience.
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By T. Lanik on September 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Greetings all- I am a long term (from their start) Spiro Gyra fan. After buying this one I was listening to it at first casually in my vehicle and felt it was "good" but not my favorite SG disc. I was listening to it again yesterday (09/22) in my home while doing other work on my computer. As the disc moved from song to song I was making mental notes as well as comments on a pad. Like most of us (and other recordings) I liked some tunes more than others. Having said that I put the disc on yet again this AM and was just "letting it flow". I still feel that there are cuts on this disc that I appreciate more than some others. As with so many SG discs and tunes I am reminded that I truely love what they do within a piece. Always. The arrangements, solos and individual performance is ear candy to me. I cannot go further without making mention of the recording and mixing aspect of this and their other projects. One measurement of well recorded music is when the recording "falls away". When you stop looking at a piece of art together with it's frame, museum lighting or the color of the wall behind it. It's not even the Massenburg control room electronics or microphones. It is the players and the recordists together with the mix. SG has always been careful not to ignore this, or conversely, they are sure to make it so good that you forget about the packaging. I will stop here and just say that this disc has some very good selections and then there are my favorites. Enjoy it and pass it on. Good work! Yer' best? no. Very, very good YES!
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