240

Lalo Schifrin / WDR Big Band: Gillespiana

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Lalo Schifrin / WDR Big Band: Gillespiana Those who know Lalo Shifrin only from film scores and studio work may be surprised to learn that he once played piano in Dizzy Gillespie’s quintet. In 1960, Gillespie introduced Schifrin’s “Gillespiana,” a five–movement sound–portrait of Dizzy’s life and music that was completed only a few days after Gillespie asked him, “When are you going to write something for us?” To say that Schifrin took the suggestion to heart would be an understatement. “Gillespiana” is a major work by any measure, and in this concert performance by Germany’s spit–polished WDR Big Band and guests — the first recording of the suite since its premiere in 1960 — it sounds as fresh and alive as if it had been written only yesterday. As noted, the work depicts various aspects of Gillespie’s persona, and who better to stand in for Diz than his one–time protégé and heir–apparent, the stratospheric Jon Faddis, whose lightning–like sorties reanimate Dizzy’s insuperable spirit better than anyone else on earth. Faddis, who is no less than spectacular throughout, is one of a number of soloists who lend weight to the proceedings including alto saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera (who now leads Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra), percussionists Alex Acuña and Marcio Doctor, and several members of the WDR Band — trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, saxophonist Heiner Wiberny, drummer John Riley and bassist John Goldsby. The movements are as follows: “Prelude,” which raises the curtain on Dizzy’s life; “Blues,” an homage to his hometown of Cheraw, South Carolina, where he first heard gospel, blues and other forms of music that he later absorbed into the Jazz idiom; “Panamerica,” which reflects Dizzy’s love of Latin American rhythms; “Africana,” which pays tribute to his ancestry; and “Tocata,” a synthesis of the four previous movements. Following the suite, whose playing time is more than 52 minutes, is Schifrin’s superb arrangement for big band of “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” by Hector Villalobos. Also recorded in concert, it shares with “Gillespiana” a few minor flaws such as thrusting the soloists (especially Schifrin) too far forward in the mix and amplifying the sound of applause to the point of aggravation. These, however, are the lone drawbacks in an otherwise exemplary performance that is highly recommended.

Track listing: Gillespiana Suite (Prelude, Blues, Panamericana, Africana, Tocata); Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (62:04).


Personnel: Jon Faddis, Markus Stockhausen: trumpet solos; Paquito D'Rivera: alto sax solos; Heiner Wiberny: alto sax, flute solos; Lalo Schifrin: piano, conductor, arranger; John Riley: drums; Alex Acuna, Marcio Doctor: Latin percussion; with the WDR Big Band: Andy Haderer, Rob Bruynen, Klaus Osterloh, John Marshall (trumpet); Dave Horler, Ludwig Nuss, Bernt Laukamp (trombone); Dietmar Florin (bass trombone); Olivier Peters, Rolf Romer (tenor sax); Harald Rosenstein (alto sax); Jens Neufang (baritone sax); Milan Lulic (guitar); John Goldsby (bass) and guests Andrew Joy, Charles Putnam, Kathleen Putnam, Mark Putnam (French horn); Ed Partyka (tuba).

Title: Gillespiana | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Aleph Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Best of / Year End
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Jazz Meets The...
Aleph Records, Inc
2011
buy
The Dead Pool (The...
Aleph Records, Inc
2009
buy
Mission: Impossible...
Aleph Records, Inc
2008
buy
Enter The Dragon...
Aleph Records, Inc
2008
buy
Sudden Impact (The...
Aleph Records, Inc
2008
buy
Piano Strings And...
Aleph Records, Inc
2008
buy

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Live at the Blue Whale" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Blue Whale
by Phillip Woolever
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Life. Love. Flesh. Blood." CD/LP/Track Review Life. Love. Flesh. Blood.
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.