201

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

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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.

| Record Label: Aleph Records | Style: Big Band


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

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 The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Jojje Wadenius (70)" CD/LP/Track Review Jojje Wadenius (70)
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Another Day in Fucking Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Another Day in Fucking Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Nomade Orquestra" CD/LP/Track Review Nomade Orquestra
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Choice" CD/LP/Track Review Choice
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!