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Lalo Schifrin: Jazz Mass In Concert

Douglas Payne By

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Composer Lalo Schifrin revisits the brilliant Grammy winning jazz mass he composed for Paul Horn in 1964. Paul Horn's 1964 study, Jazz Suite on the Mass Texts (RCA) was a meditative reflection on Schifrin's intentionally liturgical themes. But Schifrin's production, recorded live three and a half decades later, is quite a bit more energetic — ascending more toward what John Coltrane's music achieved. This is primarily due to the multi-varied and accomplished reedwork of former Coltrane disciple Tom Scott.

Schifrin revisits the same eight themes of the original piece and adds the New Orleans swagger of the traditional "Glory Glory Hallelujah," a celebration of Schifrin's piano interacting with Scott's bloozy sax. The Jazz Mass themes here also differ from the originals quite significantly. The music is scored for a slightly larger (and more warmly symphonic) orchestra, exploring longer passages and adding a substantial amount of solo space for the players, primarily Scott.

Several other soloists from the exceptional WDR Big Band, which also recently captured Schifrin's return to the landmark Gillespiana suite, make substantial statements as well: pianist Frank Chastenier (on "Kyrie" and "Gloria"), guitarist Markus Wienstroer on the provocative "Interludium" and vibraphonist Christopher Dell (in Lynn Blessing's original role) on "Interludium" and "The Offertory." The live concert atmosphere truly inspires the players — especially Scott — to bring Schifrin's bold vision to life — and a children's choir is a beautiful addition to five of the work's eight passages.

This is an unusual and commanding jazz statement that's deeply felt and marvelously executed. Well worth investigating.

Songs:Kyrie; Interludium; Gloria; Credo; Sanctus; Prayer; Offertory; Agnus Dei; Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.

Players:Andy Haderer, Rob Bruynen, Klaus Osterloh, Rick Kiefer, John Marshall: trumpet; Dave Horler, Ludwig Nuss, Bernt Laukamp: trombone; Achim Hartmann: bass trombone; Christine Chapman, Gustav Kedves, John Ratiu, Charles Putnam: French Horn; Ulli Haas: tuba; Tom Scott: alto flute, alto sax, clarinet, flute, bass flute; Olivier Peters, Rolf Romer: tenor sax; Heiner Wiberny, Harald Rosenstein: alto sax; Jens Neufang: baritone sax; Frank Chastenier: piano, organ; Lalo Schifrin: piano, composer, conductor, arranger; Markus Wienstroer: guitar, violin; John Goldsby: bass; Joe LaBarbera: drums; Christopher Dell: vibes, percussion; Marcio Doctor, Romanus Schottler, Egmont Kraus, Michael Schmidt: percussion; Ulla van Daelen, Sonja Jahn: harp; with the St. Stephan's Youth Choir of Cologne, Michael Kokott: choirmaster.

| Record Label: Aleph Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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