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Elvis Costello presents old and new songs in a unique "big-band orchestra" setting – recorded live at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival with Steve Nieve and the 52-piece Metropole Orkest – here is his first rock 'n' jazz album. Originally issued by Deutsche Grammophon in 2006, Costello explains, "This record may explain what I have been doing for the last twelve years when I haven't had an electric guitar in my hands. In that time, I've had the opportunity to work with a number of contrasting ensembles, from chamber group and jazz big band symphony orchestra. Consequently, I had plenty of charts to consider for my concerts with the Metropole Orkest in the summer of 2004. The Metropole are the world's only full time jazz orchestra with a string section. This recording captures a very joyful evening at the North Sea Jazz Festival and collects together songs and arrangements that have been developed over the last decade."
"The latest and most interesting addition to the small club of crossover rockers...a true breakthrough recording...a fascinating melange of jazz, Latin pop and modernist tonal essays that at times approach the edginess of Bela Bartók or the noirish qualities of hard-boiled detective movies. Indeed, what's striking about this collection is how well it works as an album, like a formal program of art songs wafting in the alcoholic haze of a smoky, pre-tobaccolawsuit club...Indeed, this collection is an almost eerie re-creation of the kind of 1950s nonrock music that seems lost in the mists of time...If you're sick of the same old, 'My Flame Burns Blue' is a pretty good way to break out of your rut." - T.L. Ponick, The Washington Times