As far as live bands are concerned, The Cinematic Orchestra have few equals. Of course many will argue for the virtuosity of more traditional jazz performers, but because J. Swinscoe and company do things a bit differently, they have significantly more appeal to jazz fans who may not be the most hardcore enthusiasts. Last Wednesday, at Webster Hall, The Cinematic Orchestra added to their reputation as consummate performers with another flawless set of new and old tunes, expertly executed and passionately played.

However, this post is not about The Cinematic Orchestra, but focused on their much lesser known opening act, Grey Reverend, the pseudonym of solo acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter L.D. Brown. The posse and I thought it an interesting contrast for a group known for such a rich, densely layered sound to host such a minimalist opening act. Yet Grey Reverend, with his melancholy, muted vocals, modest stage demeaner and emotive finger-picking guitar style instantly won over a crowd. Music lovers are music lovers. I hope you enjoy his stuff (there are 3 more songs on his MySpace) and spread the word because this is a performer I believe has the raw talent and internal emotions to be as equally affecting as the artists his music can readily be compared to. Mellow, honest and surprisingly optimistic for such a seemingly morose sound.

RIYL: Mark Kozelek, Jose Gonzalez, Nick Drake, Sam Prekop, Elliot Smith