201

Lalo Schifrin: Metamorphosis -- Jazz Meets the Symphony, Vol. 4

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Lalo Schifrin: Metamorphosis -- Jazz Meets the Symphony, Vol. 4
The fourth in pianist Lalo Schifrin’s series of “classical/Jazz” encounters is perhaps the most rewarding to date, thanks in large measure to Lalo’s unflagging imagination, his superb compositions and arrangements, and the inspiriting presence of several renowned guest artists including bassist Ray Brown, drummer Jeff Hamilton, Australian trumpet master James Morrison, conga drummer Francisco Aguabella and violinist/guitarist Markus Weinstroer. Together with the London Symphony Orchestra, they have fashioned a recording that is at once regal and venturesome. Its showpiece is the nearly–24–minute “Rhapsody for Bix,” commissioned by the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, dedicated to Mr. Beiderbecke, introduced by Morrison’s haunting flugelhorn, and incorporating themes from one of Jazz’s golden eras, the late ’20s, when Bix’s magic horn reigned supreme until his early death at age 28. Morrison, who captures perfectly the spirit of the times, interprets the pivotal Beiderbecke theme, while Schifrin’s piano sets the tone in midstream before Morrison returns for some Jazzier licks on “Jazz Band Ball” and “Jazz Me Blues” and Hamilton’s extended solo gives way to Morrison’s unaccompanied trumpet, which shapes the lovely closing theme. “Theme for Bix” is one of two extended works on the program. The other, “Miraculous Monk,” blends a number of the iconoclastic pianist’s well–known compositions (“Evidence,” “Epistrophy,” “Four in One,” “Criss Cross,” “Straight No Chaser,” “Well You Needn’t,” “Misterioso,” “’Round Midnight,” “Rhythm–a–ning”) with Schifrin’s lyrical piano striding easily from one memorable tune to the next. Brown, whose sonorous bass introduces “Monk,” states the melody on Schifrin’s atmospheric “Invisible City.” Preceding these works are three savory appetizers — Schifrin’s luminous arrangement of Gil Evans’ “La Nevada” (spotlighting some dexterous fiddling by Wienstroer), his Latin–centered composition “Sanctuary” (with Morrison’s swaying flugel again in the foreground) and the “Tosca Variations,” based on themes from the Puccini opera (with a brief nod toward Beethoven’s piano sonata No. 14 in C# minor, some Kentonesque passages for brass, and more cogent keyboard explorations by Schifrin). This isn’t “big–band Jazz” in the usual sense, and may take some getting used to. But any effort that is expended will be amply repaid.

Track listing: La Nevada; Sanctuary; Tosca Variations; Miraculous Monk (medley); Invisible City; Rhapsody for Bix (60:17).

Personnel

Lalo Schifrin, conductor, piano; Ray Brown, bass; Jeff Hamilton, drums; James Morrison, trumpet, flugelhorn; Francisco Aguabella, conga drums; Markus Wienstroer, violin, guitar; with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Album information

Title: Metamorphosis -- Jazz Meets the Symphony, Vol. 4 | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Aleph Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

This Song Is New
Lorne Lofsky
Blue Lotus
The New Muse 4Tet
Garden Of Jewels
Ivo Perelman Trio
Virtual Birdland
Arturo O'Farrill

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.