My Flame Burns Blue - vinyl debut on BLUE VINYL , June 2016

Pretty self-explanatory
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pophead2k
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Postby pophead2k » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:52 pm

Just picked it up.... first impressions are great. Hearing "That's How You Got Killed Before" (a song he originally recorded on a Dirty Dozen Brass Band album) on Mardi Gras day made me feel great!

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Postby wardo68 » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:27 pm

One more thing -- I like the cartoon of Steve on page 9. Might make a nice avatar.

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:02 am

http://www.avclub.com/content/node/45870
The Onion

Reviewed by Noel Murray
February 28th, 2006

Other People's Lives
Ray Davies
(V2)

My Flame Burns Blue
Elvis Costello
(Deutsche Grammophon)

In his brash young punk years, Elvis Costello probably would've loved being mentioned in the same breath as Ray Davies, because Davies was one of the few grizzled old Britpoppers that the punks didn't want to evict. But that was all 30 years ago. Since then, generational lines have been redrawn, and Costello and Davies have both been sorted into the file for distinguished veterans who now only occasionally stumble into relevance.

Davies attempts one of those stumbles on Other People's Lives, his first collection of new material in more than a decade, but like a lot of Davies' post-'70s work—with The Kinks and on his own—the new album sounds too much like a man chasing trends. There are flashes of vintage Davies early in the record, on "Next Door Neighbour," "All She Wrote," and "Creatures Of Little Faith," all of which rely on the music-hall melodies and class-conscious character sketches that made The Kinks more than just another shaggy-haired '60s cash-in. But elsewhere, Davies holds to an indistinct, overly tasteful modern-rock sound that could've been slapped underneath any old rocker—that is, when he's not knocking out embarrassingly glib ditties like "Run Away From Time" and "Is There Life After Breakfast?" The gap between Davies' talent and his effort is never wider than in the difference between the easygoing, poignantly soulful "Thanksgiving Day" and the silly social commentary "Stand Up Comic," which warns us that "the clown does a fart and we all fart back."

Costello, meanwhile, follows up his excellent 2004 country-rock album The Delivery Man with another of his confounding retreats from the genre he does best. My Flame Burns Blue—the title is a play on Costello's first album, My Aim Is True—employs The Metropole Orkest to give a jazzy big-band spin to a set of covers and Costello obscurities, with a few hits like "Clubland" and "Watching The Detectives" thrown in. It's hardly going to re-introduce Costello to a new generation, but on its own terms, My Flame Burns Blue is pretty winning, and worthwhile for the way it rescues songs like "Almost Ideal Eyes" and "Episode Of Blonde" from the archives and fits them back into the Costello story. By the time the record wraps with a gorgeous rendition of "God Give Me Strength," the younger angry young man is sounding more comfortable with middle age than his progenitor.

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http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandfork ... 984307.htm

Review: Rare cuts shine on Costello album

JIM BESSMAN
Associated Press

Elvis Costello, "My Flame Burns Blue" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Genre-crossing Elvis Costello here succeeds in mixing his serrated rock, sophisticated pop, jazz and classical pursuits on his latest album, "My Flame Burns Blue."

The multidimensional outing was recorded in concert at The Hague in 2004 with the Metropole Orkest, Holland's famed jazz orchestra (a bonus disc excerpts "Il Sogno," the 2004 ballet score Costello wrote and recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra). Upping the appeal to Costellophiles, most performances are songs heretofore unreleased by the prolific singer-songwriter, or infrequently performed odds and ends.

Lead cut "Hora Decubitis" merits special note, as it involves Costello's post-9/11, life-affirming words to music by late jazz great Charles Mingus. The title track likewise features his lyrics for Duke Ellington collaborator Billy Strayhorn's final composition.

Costello's music, meanwhile, ranges from the intriguingly arty "Speak Darkly, My Angel," which he penned originally for opera singer Anne Sofie von Otter, to the sparing ballad "Upon a Veil of Midnight Blue." He wrote the latter song for blues stylist Charles Brown and showcases his own pop/jazz vocal mastery.

And if all this is too challenging for fans of his traditional rock quartet format, longtime keyboard accompanist Steve Nieve is there to help reinvent a few Costello classics, including a horn-fueled "Watching the Detectives."

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http://www.salon.com/ent/audiofile/index.html

Salon.com

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006


Elvis Costello with the Metropole Orkest, "My Flame Burns Blue"

Elvis Costello is nothing if not consistent in his inconsistency: Ever since the mid-'80s, when he first began moving away from the intelligent new wave that made his name, the singer-songwriter has kept returning to his classical- and jazz-influenced side projects. "Songs for voice and orchestra are the core of 'My Flame Burns Blue,'" explains the New York Post (three stars out of four) in a minimalist review, while Newsday (grade B+) describes the effort as "a stunning collaboration with The Metropole Orkest, recorded live in The Hague in 2004."

Billboard notes that "While this release might not please 'angry young Elvis' rock traditionalists, it rewards those willing to follow the artist with his ongoing exploration of popular music," whereas the Orlando Sentinel (four stars out of five) speaks for the "rock traditionalists" when it says that the album "won't make you want to toss 'My Aim Is True,' but if a guy has to grow older, this is a graceful way to do it." For all the curiosities -- like the jazzy, show-tune version of "Watching the Detectives" -- All Music (four out of five) insists that "what really makes it a good record is that the performance is lively, energetic, and, yes, joyous, which means that even if this may be an art project, it's flat-out more entertaining than any album he's released since [1998's Burt Bacharach collaboration] 'Painted from Memory.'"

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http://www.nypost.com/music/64206.htm

NEW YORK POST

February 26, 2006 -- ELVIS COSTELLO

3 STARS

"My Flame Burns Blue" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Songs for voice and orchestra are the core of "My Flame Burns Blue." Recording live, Elvis moves into a jazzy place, rejiggering favorites "Clubland" and "Almost Blue." Plus, you get Costello's classical gas, the "Il Sogno" suite.

Download: A swinging "Watching the Detectives"

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:07 am

( scanned from print edition )

Mojo , April 2006

Elvis Costello With The Metropole Orkest ,

****

"My Flame Burns Blue" (Deutsche Grammophon)



Old Four Eyes is back with 14 songs for swinging lovers

With big band no less his birthright than beat music, Elvis Costello fronts with aplomb this swinging and spirited Dutch 52-piece, live in July 2004. Though the most eclectic musician alive, Elvis the songwriter is constrained by the limits of his voice to a familiar set of keys and melodic shapes. But he will push it: the faster and higher, the more strangled he sounds, as on Dave Bartholomew’s That’s How You Got Killed Before. Fortunately, he can rely on The Metropole Orkest to swagger over the cracks with the exotic splashiness of Duke Ellington’s Anatomy Of A Murder soundtrack. The murderous monologue Speak Darkly My Angel is the best of the new originals, while a lushly renuanced Almost Blue remains the most beautiful ballad never sung by Sinatra. Only Watching The Detectives misses an open goal: why Lalo Schifrin cop-show pastiche when it could have been none more noir?

Mat Snow

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:23 am

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/13987344.htm

Posted on Wed, Mar. 01, 2006


Costello fans his'flame' of talents on new album

By JONATHAN TAKIFF
takiffj@phillynews.com 215-854-5960

Pop musicians contemplating a long career would do well to consider the never-stand-still strategy laid down by Elvis Costello.

While an angry New Wave-era power pop and punk rocker in his youth, Costello has kept both himself and his listeners intrigued through radical phase shifts as a country singer, art pop composer, bluesy torch singer, operatic song-cycle composer, jazz collaborator and ballet scorer.

On his new concert album, "My Flame Burns Blue" (Deutsche Grammophon, A-), we meet Elvis the big-band belter, fronting a huge orchestra on freshened versions of past pop-noir glories (like "Episode of Blonde," "Watching the Detectives" and "God Give Me Strength"), a few newbies, plus Costello-ized versions of jazz classics by the likes of Charles Mingus (the challenging "Hora Decubitus") and Billy Strayhorn ("Blood Count")

Hey, why should Michael Buble, Rod Stewart and Harry Connick Jr. enjoy a monopoly on big-band cool?

Holland's huge Metropole Orkest is the group of the hour, recorded with Elvis at the North Sea Jazz Festival. But it's the hip and artful arrangements - by the likes of Orkest leader Vince Mendoza, Bill Frissell and Willem Friede and the legendary Sy Johnson - who really get this party swinging and swaying.

And will make the show portable.

Costello is about to embark on a short series of U.S. concerts, guesting with local pop orchestras - though no Philly show has been booked, drat.

You can detect some of the influences at play here. Pulled from the deep catalog of Dave Bartholomew (best known for his work with Fats Domino), Elvis stomps through "That's How You Got Me Killed Before" like Van Morrison on a very good night.

At the other extreme, the dressy, brass- and woodwinds-laced ballad chart for Costello's "Upon a Veil of Midnight Blue" and strings-laced "Almost Blue" would surely please a perfectionist Frank Sinatra.

El's "Clubland" now jumps with loopy Latin and liquor-laced exuberance, while the set's other Sy Johnson-charted masterpiece, "Almost Ideal Eyes," evokes the gravity-free flying of jazz vocalese original King Pleasure.

Buyer's warning: As crooners go, Costello ain't always pitch perfect. Yet in the context of his oft bitter blue material, that warble gives him an edge and keeps him honest and interesting.

Also take note: This package boasts a bonus disc with highlights from Costello's "Il Sogno" ballet. Thematically inspired by Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and musically by the likes of George Gershwin, Claude Debussy and Leonard Bernstein, it's pretty damned glorious, too.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01694.html


Quick Spins

Wednesday, March 1, 2006; Page C05

MY FLAME BURNS BLUE

Elvis Costello




Oops, he's done it again.

A mere 18 months after the simultaneous release of a fine rock record, "The Delivery Man," and a full-blown orchestral piece, "Il Sogno," Elvis Costello is back with "My Flame Burns Blue." The bespectacled one claims his new live album "may explain what I've been doing during the last 12 years when I haven't had an electric guitar in my hands." And that, of course, can mean only one thing: buyer beware.

Though the guy is supremely talented, Costello's non-rock output tends to be, shall we say, smug, humorless, oversung and pedantic. And as anyone who's ever heard "The Juliet Letters" -- his 1993 collaboration with the Brodsky Quartet -- knows, that's putting it charitably.

The good news is that this "Flame" -- which Costello recorded with jazz collective the Metropole Orkest and his longtime keyboard companion Steve Nieve -- really does burn. Fueled by ambitious reinterpretations of classics such as "Almost Blue," "Watching the Detectives" and "Clubland" -- whose bitterly punning lyrics remain required reading for all would-be rock wordsmiths -- the album is a rare find: a concert disc that isn't superfluous.

Indeed, replete with swaggering, big band rhythms ("That's How You Got Killed Before"), sweet 'n' melancholy strings ("Speak Darkly My Angel") and effortlessly impressive crooning ("My Flame Burns Blue"), it's easily one of Costello's most likable albums since, well . . .

Actually, there's nothing comparable in the man's canon -- which means that for newcomers and acolytes alike, "My Flame Burns Blue" is essential listening.

-- Shannon Zimmerman

Elvis Costello is scheduled to perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on April 20 at Strathmore.

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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:37 pm

'My Flame Burns Blue—the title is a play on Costello's first album, My Aim Is True.' That idea never occurred to me. You?

Agree with Mat Snow and making WTD more 'noir'.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Postby wardo68 » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:18 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:'My Flame Burns Blue—the title is a play on Costello's first album, My Aim Is True.' That idea never occurred to me. You?


I only noticed that a month ago. I thought I came late to the party.

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:41 pm

Exclaim!, Canada have a pretty good Elvis bio. to promote 'Flame -

http://www.exclaim.ca/index.asp?layid=22&csid1=4950

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:49 pm

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/issues/2 ... efault_rss

Riverfront Times , St. Louis 2006-03-01


Elvis Costello
My Flame Burns Blue (Deutsche Grammophon)
By Christian Schaeffer

These are trying times for Elvis Costello fans. For every return-to-rock record, Costello seems contractually obligated to go soft. We convince ourselves that his forays into lite-jazz and soft rock are temporary (and they usually are), but this is something far darker: the artist accompanied by an orchestra. This live document, recorded in 2004 with jazz orchestra Metropole Orkest, finds Elvis in fine voice but hampered by a somewhat plodding set list. Costello dusts off B-sides (a genuinely swinging "Almost Ideal Eyes") and a few fan favorites ("Almost Blue"), but too many times he falters on long, drawn-out notes when his spitfire delivery works much better. The orchestra may have chops (but the less said about the Mancini-fied "Watching the Detectives," the better). This record is almost a total wash, but stay strong, Costellophiles — we're still a few years away from Costello's Christmas Classics.

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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:00 pm

Interesting how divided people seem to be over WTD.
There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more

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Postby wardo68 » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:06 pm

Otis Westinghouse wrote:Interesting how divided people seem to be over WTD.


I was just happy that the arrangement was different from most of the other versions. My new question is: do we really need another version of "That's How You Got Killed Before"?

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Postby pophead2k » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:06 pm

I always look forward to EC releases, and this one no less, but being a live album my expectations were not as high as normal. I have to say, after a half dozen spins, I am finding this to be one of the most enjoyable albums I've picked up in a long while. I think every track is strong, but do agree with some of the quibbles over the Clubland chorus. Still, this is just another reason to continue digging the man. He is absolutely fearless, IMHO. I bet I play this one more often than the Delivery Man or When I Was Cruel.

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:12 am

http://www.clevescene.com/issues/2006-0 ... efault_rss

From clevescene.com
Originally published by Cleveland Scene 2006-03-01
©2005 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

Elvis Costello
Live With the Metropole Orkest -- My Flame Burns Blue (Deutsche Grammophon)

By Mark Keresman


If North was Elvis Costello's complement to Frank Sinatra's Sings for Only the Lonely, My Flame Burns Blue is a counterpart to the Chairman's Songs for Swingin' Lovers. Recorded live, accompanied by longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve and a full orchestra, Costello reworks and reinvents songs from his voluminous catalog in a kitsch-free, hard-swinging, jazz-oriented context.

The New Orleans R&B of "That's How You Got Killed Before" becomes a limber, punchy Count Basie-style swinger with buoyant, snappy horn solos and plenty of ring-a-ding-ding swagger. The sardonic "Clubland" is reinvented as a surreal Desi Arnaz/Tito Puente cha-cha, while "Watching the Detectives" is transformed from ominous roots reggae to a cosmopolitan Stan Kenton/ Leonard Bernstein-type panorama. The poignant ballad "Almost Blue" finally gets the grandiose treatment it deserves (shame Sinatra never covered this), with swelling, end-of-the-world strings and tenderly soulful trumpet and harmonica soloing.

This set concludes, appropriately enough, with Costello's collaboration with Burt Bacharach, "God Give Me Strength," wherein he gets a tad overly melodramatic, just as that other Elvis became in his later Vegas years. While no Chairman, Costello is most assuredly a senior board member.

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:14 am

' Elvis Costello's homage to Saul Bass' -

see

Basshttp://roundheadedboy.blogspot.com/ ... ge-to.html

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Postby martinfoyle » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:46 am

Uncut, April 2006

Chameleon troubadour gets big band refit
2/5 Stars

Recorded in July 2004 at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, this release is another puzzling addition to Costello’s campaign for highbrow respectability. There are lavishly arranged versions of his torch songs, "Watching The Detectives" given a ludicrous 50’s-noir remake, Mingus and Strayborn covers and a bonus CD with selections from his ballet based on A Midsummer Night'sDream. Perhaps it’s all by way of a tribute to his late bandleader father Ross McManus*, but EC and trusted pianist Steve Nieve appear dwarfed by the over-ripe accompaniments. A document of his recent, electrifying live rock sets would be far moee welcome.
Gavin Martin

*One hopes this is either appalling factchecking on the reviewers part, or just as bad sub-editing.

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Postby Mr. Average » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:14 pm

I think this record is a perfect complement to Elvis' catalog. Great packaging, interesting song selection, fascinating relationship with Mingus widow, conferring the honor to write words to selected Mingus songs, informative and to-the-point liner notes.

Highlight for me is the Metropole Orkest. Reminiscient of the Toshika Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band sound. Toshika and Lew were husband and wife at the time: she a skilled pianist and he a talented flutist and sax player. If you like the orchestral jazz sounds (horns augmented by strings) then I highly recommend an album by Akiyoshi/Tabackin called "Tales of a Coutesan". One of my all time favorites...

I thoroughly enjoy this record, and since I have enjoyed Il Sogno since its original release, I like to hear another interpretation of it. I think it is more than just fodder for the Elvis Costello completist. It opens new audiences. If Elvis were a marketing guy, he would be considered brilliant, because he continues to expose his strengths to entirely different audiences, with entirely different demographics. As he hooks one (with Sophie, or Paul, or Bill, or Emmylou, or Burt, or Michael TT, etc etc,) he generates a pullthrough effect on his vast panoply of recorded arts.

Instead, I don't for a second believe that this is about creative marketing. It is about creative genius that cannot be confined to one or two musical genres, or spaces. Elvis is indeed the Gershwin, Porter, even the Lennon/McCartney of our time, and more. His creative mind is like a can of soda pop that has been furiously shaken, then immediately 'zipped' open, only to have the effervescence spew in every direction.

I think he might have a future in this business.

And I liked the subtle reference to his wife. In my way of thinking, you don't mention your spouse in the liner notes unless things are good and you intend to keep the relationship strong. More power to him and her.
I just hope he never signs her PR/image guy...
"The smarter mysteries are hidden in the light" - Jean Giono (1895-1970)

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:46 pm

Translation , please!

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http://www.jp.dk/login?url=kultur/artikel:aid=3587900

Jyllands-Posten

Offentliggjort 2. marts 2006

Elvis synger jazz

Af JAKOB LEVINSEN

Elvis Costello leger med et big band.

Elvis Costello: My flame burns blue + Il Sogno
2cd, Universal

CROSSOVER Ret beset er det plademærket, Elvis Costellos nye album er mest grænseoverskridende for. Det turde nemlig være første gang, at det ærværdige tyske Deutsche Grammophon udgiver en fuldfed bigband-plade komplet med croonende forsanger.

For Costello er samarbejdet med det hollandske Metropole Orkest knap så eksotisk. Selv i hans hidsigste unge år var der en del swingfornemmelse i ham, og på f.eks. 1989-albummet "Spike" var han i et par numre tæt på noget, der vitterlig lignede jazz.

Men det bliver de 14 numre, optaget 2004 ved North Sea Jazz-festivalen i Haag, ikke ringere af. De spænder fra overraskende versioner af helt gamle Elvis-klassikere som "Clubland" og "Watching the Detectives" til hans egne bud på jazznumre af giganter som Billy Strayhorn og Charles Mingus.

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Postby pophead2k » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:39 pm

Mr. Average wrote:
And I liked the subtle reference to his wife. In my way of thinking, you don't mention your spouse in the liner notes unless things are good and you intend to keep the relationship strong. More power to him and her.
I just hope he never signs her PR/image guy...


Unfortunately, he dedicated most of his albums to Cait while they were married ........ not necessarily a great omen for the future!

I'm also amazed to say that I think 'Can You Be True' is my initial fave of this album!

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:35 am

johnfoyle wrote:Look at what I've just spotted-

ImageImage


I think that this...

Image

is also a rip-off from the title sequence of one of Hitchcock's films, but I can't put my finger on it.
Mother, Moose-Hunter, Maverick

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Postby Turquoise Pajamas Pt Deux » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:39 am

Who Shot Sam? wrote:
johnfoyle wrote:Look at what I've just spotted-

ImageImage


I think that this...

Image

is also a rip-off from the title sequence of one of Hitchcock's films, but I can't put my finger on it.

Looks like the Man With The Golden Arm (or whatever it is) from John Foyle's link to "Homage to Saul Bass."

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Postby noiseradio » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:38 pm

It reminds me of the opening titles to Psycho.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--William Shakespeare

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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:48 pm

I think those were by Saul Bass as well. Definitely more than a bit of borrowing from his style.
Mother, Moose-Hunter, Maverick

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:19 pm

http://www.calendarlive.com/music/revie ... bumreviews

Los Angeles Times

RECORD RACK

Costello bounds past boundaries
Josh Kun

March 5, 2006


Elvis Costello with the Metropole Orkest

"My Flame Burns Blue" (Deutsche Grammophon)* * *

WHEN the ever-mercurial Costello joined up with the Metropole Orkest for a series of concerts in 2004, he didn't have a set list. He had a repertoire. "My Flame Burns Blue," a live recording from one of their Hague performances, shows just how wide and variable Costello's repertoire has grown from his bygone days as a scrappy rock upstart.

Once his tempo-hopping arrangement of Charles Mingus' "Hora Decubitus" hurls the Orkest into an angular blues, the night elegantly winds everywhere from the gripping, maudlin soap opera of "Speak Darkly, My Angel" (written for mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and the innovative Brodsky Quartet) and the growling big-band Latin shuffle of "Episode of Blonde" to the torchy title track, Costello's drowsy adaptation of Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count."

More familiar Costello compositions are also here, but completely reinvented: "Clubland" is a dizzying waltz; "Watching the Detectives" is cleverly made over as a TV crime show theme; and the once hushed tear-jerk of "Almost Blue" gets wrapped in lush melodrama.

While "My Flame" highlights Costello's experimental tendencies as an arranger, its bonus disc — an often stunning symphonic suite excerpted from his first purely instrumental work, "Il Sogno" — foregrounds his ambitions as a composer. Both are executed with the finesse and enthusiasm that, after nearly 30 years, still make Costello essential listening.

— Josh Kun

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:59 pm

http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/C/Cos ... 0-sun.html

MY FLAME BURNS BLUE

'Flame' burns bright
By DARRYL STERDAN -- Winnipeg Sun Mar 03 '06

Elvis Costello
My Flame Burns Blue
(Deutsche Grammophon/Universal)

"During the last 12 years," writes Elvis Costello in the liner notes to My Flame Burns Blue, "I've had the opportunity to work with a number of contrasting ensembles, from chamber group and jazz big band to symphony orchestra."

On this adventurously sophisticated live disc recorded at a 2004 jazz festival, he splits the difference, teaming up with the legendary Dutch Metropole Orkest -- a jazz orchestra with a string section -- to revisit and revamp 14 cuts from throughout his career.

Highlights include a swellegantly lush version of Almost Blue; a wild update of Trust's Clubland that careens from samba to swing to circus waltz; a jump-blues cover of Dave Bartholomew's That's How You Got Killed Before; a swinging version of Mingus's Hora Decubitus with lyrics by Costello; a soundtrack-sized upgrade of When I Was Cruel's Episode of Blonde; and a snazzy finger-popping reinvention of Watching the Detectives. Granted, it doesn't rock. But it sure is a cut above the usual live-album predictability.

Of course, what else would you expect from the most unpredictable artist in contemporary music?

As a bonus, Costello supplies lengthy anecdotes on all the songs, along with full lyrics.


Also included, for no apparent reason, is a bonus disc with excerpts from his 2004 orchestral offering Il Sogno.

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Postby sweetest punch » Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:18 am

http://dailycal.org/sharticle.php?id=21358

Elvis Costello Live With the Metropole Orkest - MY FLAME BURNS BLUE

For nearly three decades, Elvis Costello has been an unrelentingly eclectic force in popular music, exploring a number of styles including new wave, blue-eyed soul and old time rock. My Flame Burns Blue, an inclusive live album, ties in a sampling of the singer-songwriter’s canonized pop songs with his recent ventures in sophisticated compositional works to create a suitably diverse listening experience.

Recorded at the Hague’s North Sea Jazz Festival 2004, My Flame Burns Blue blends bits of miscellany with jazzy rearrangements of old favorites like “Watching the Detectives.” The accomplished musicianship of the Metropole Orkest and the dazzling piano playing of long-time Costello collaborator Steve Nieve give cohesion and warmth to an otherwise mismatched grab bag of songs.

The set opens with the positively swinging “Hora Decubitis,” a Charles Mingus composition with lyrics Costello penned shortly after September 11. “Life is a beautiful thing,” he affirms over a flourish of brass and strings, setting the tone for a heartfelt performance.

Costello also finds inspiration in New Orleans composer Dave Bartholomew’s “That’s How You Got Killed Before,” which has the band sounding like the in-house entertainment to a Jay Gatsby-hosted summer evening bash.

While the genre exercises provide many small delights, this set truly soars when Costello struts his classics in their stylish makeovers. “Clubland” gets a Latin twist, while strings and a lonely trumpet solo turn “Almost Blue” into a melancholy show tune.

The recent “Episode of Blonde,” though a dark horse amongst these time-tested songs, becomes an unexpected show stealer. The stylish tango romp sounds like it was pulled straight from a French film noir and Costello sounds inspired spitting its venomous lyrics.

As a bonus, My Flame Burns Blue includes a second disc featuring Costello’s first foray into classical music, 2004’s Il Sogno, in its entirety. While this helps to bridge the extremities of Costello’s career into one singularly entertaining experience, the result may be a disorienting listen for newcomers and the casually interested. For the dedicated, the album presents an enticing showcase for what could have been an ordinary odds and ends collection.



http://www.heraldnewsdaily.com/stories/ ... 52407.html


Elvis Costello burns "Bright" with jazz set


NEW YORK (Billboard) - With his latest CD, "Live With the Metropole Orkest: My Flame Burns Blue," Elvis Costello builds another strong case for his prowess as a vibrant jazz vocal stylist.

Previously Costello, best-known as a wistful yet raucous rocker with a multiple musical personality, exhibited this on his 2003 piano-based "North" (like "Flame," released on Deutsche Grammophon), as well as on the Mingus Big Band‘s 2002 CD, "Tonight at Noon: Three of Four Shades of Love" (Dreyfus), on which he wrote lyrics to Charles Mingus‘ "Invisible Lady" and performed the tune with exuberant perfection.

"My Flame Burns Blue" was recorded live at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, Netherlands. Costello gives jazz spins to some of his own compositions (such as "Almost Blue"), while adding newly crafted lyrics to such jazz standards as Billy Strayhorn‘s "Blood Count" (retitled "My Flame Burns Blue") and another Mingus gem, "Hora Decubitis." The latter tune opens the CD with string-swelled intrigue and solo trumpet, saxophone and guitar jolts.

"It‘s not straight jazz," Costello says, chatting in a suite at New York‘s W hotel in Union Square the day of his Joe‘s Pub showcase with Allen Toussaint for their dynamic "River in Reverse" collaboration (to be released in May on Verve Forecast). "But I am playing with a great jazz orchestra. I‘m not trying to prove anything. This captures the freedom to just go up there and sing a song. It was a terrific experience."

As for his jazz-orchestral rendition of his pop hit "Watching the Detectives," Costello says, "It was fun realizing the song in the kind of idiom that I dreamed of when I wrote it. Back then I didn‘t have the access to all those sounds."

Reuters/Billboard
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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