Lalo Schifrin turned 75 on June 21, 2007. In anticipation of that milestone, he convened the recording session for this album a little less than three months earlier, on March 30, 2007, intending to return to his first love of acoustic jazz. The sextet making up the pianist/composer's friends here includes saxophonist James Moody, James Morrison on trumpet and trombone, guitarist Dennis Budimir, bass player Brian Bromberg, and Alex Acuña on drums and percussion. It's an accomplished lineup, and Schifrin wrote and arranged material to showcase the players, beginning with the standard "Besame Mucho," on which Morrison's trumpet takes the lion's share of space.
A movie as appealing and savory as the heaping piles of dinosaur sh*t that pass for its sight gags, 1980's Caveman ranks among the worst bombs Hollywood ever produced. Though a vehicle for Ringo Starr, the erstwhile Beatle did not record the film's soundtrack, with that, uh, "honor" going to the great screen composer Lalo Schifrin. Somehow Schifrin manages to rise above it all – especially given the circumstances, his Caveman score ain't half bad: though its epic sweep would have been far better suited for a movie worth watching, this is the kind of melodramatic score harking back to Hollywood's golden era, complete with eruptions of brass and strings. And in keeping with the prehistoric plot, there's even a tribal energy to the percussion – sounds silly, but it works.
Though it may seem unlikely that Frank Zappa had much of an influence on the work of Lalo Schifrin, one can detect some cultural crossover on There's a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' On. Schifrin was as much a jazz-pop genius as ever, but on this album rock rhythms, musical satire, sound effects, and exotica are all used as camp in a way that is eerily reminiscent of Zappa's more thoughtful efforts. Schifrin being Schifrin, every cut has a distinct and catchy melody, but there are whimsical and satirical themes embedded in the music. Nowhere is this more obvious than in "Hawks Vs. Doves," in which a cheery carnival-like theme is played in counterpoint to a martial air, each interfering with the other.
This release presents two albums by Johnny Hodges, recorded outside of the Ellington setting and both appearing here on CD for the first time ever. The first, which was originally released as PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED RECORDINGS, is in quintet format and marks Hodges only recorded encounter ever with Argentinean pianist and composer Lalo Schifrin, who contributes two compositions. While the second album, THE ELEVENTH HOUR, showcases the saxophonist soloing on standard tunes with a big band of winds & strings, conducted & arranged by Oliver Nelson.
Here's yet another composer-performer who abhors the idea of building walls and fences between musical cultures. He's been carrying on parallel activities in the jazz and classical worlds ever since he was a youth in his native Argentina. Schifrin has composed a series of suites putting such jazz greats as Ray Brown and Grady Tate together with the London Philharmonic in a mix of originals, arrangements of standards, and several 13-14 minute tributes to the giants of jazz.
With an iconic, Academy Award®-nominated lead performance by Paul Newman as the free spirit who refuses to be broken by cruel Southern justice, director Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke has rightly taken its place as a modern American classic. One of the key elements to the film's deft balance of drama and humor is also its most unlikely: the Oscar®-nominated score of Argentine-born composer Lalo Schifrin. As he's done throughout a career that's moved gracefully between jazz recordings, classical podiums, and scoring stages, Schifrin's music fuses seemingly disparate genres–bluegrass, symphonic, rhythmic jazz–into a soundtrack that evokes them all yet becomes distinctly more than the sum of its parts. Given that gratifying sensibility, it's a soundtrack full of surprising twists and turns, crackling with energy. Such is its dynamic nature that one reedited cut ("Tar Sequence") has taken on a second life as the ubiquitous "Eyewitness News" theme music at local TV stations across America.
Aleph Records is proud to release Lalo Schifrin: My Life in Music, a four-CD boxed set of music from the legendary composer's career in film, jazz, and classical music. The set features music from three-dozen films, jazz and symphonic pieces composed by Schifrin, and unreleased music from films including Charley Varrick, The Beguiled, Joe Kidd, and Coogan's Bluff. Along with over five hours worth of music, a forty-eight page book is included with archival photos and notes.
Recorded 1955, 1959, 1962. This set presents five complete albums from the initial years of Lalo Schifrin's career as a leader: "Lalo=Brilliance: The Piano of Lalo Schifrin" (Roulette SR 52088); "Bossa Nova: New Brazilian Jazz (Audio Fidelity AFLP-1981)"; "Insensatez [aka Piano, Strings & Bossa Nova] (MGM SE-4110); "Piano Español: The Magic Touch of Lalo Schifrin, His Piano & Orchestra" (Tico LP-1070), and "Rendez-Vous Dansant a Copacabana" (Vogue LD-236). Born in Argentina, Schifrin was gaining fame as a member and arranger of Dizzy Gillespie's Quintet and Big Band during these formative years. He is backed on these albums by such important guitarists as Jim Hall and Jimmy Raney, plus the brilliant saxophonist Leo Wright from Gillespie's formation.