(Lalo Schifrin, piano & leader; Alex Acuna, drums/percussion; Brian Bromberg, bass; Dennis Budimir, guitar; James Moody, tenor sax; James Morrison, trumpet/trombone)
Argentine-born Lalo Schifrin has done just about everything in music. He’s a pianist, composer and conductor, conducts symphony orchestras, performs at jazz festivals, scores countless film and TV shows, and writes original works for such as the London Philharmonic and the LA Chamber Orchestra. He has frequently explored the interface between classical and jazz in his projects.
For his 75th birthday, Schifrin has gone back to his jazz roots. (He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Count Basie, Ell Fitzgerald, among others.) He created six new tracks for this CD, and added three others: the classic Besame Mucho, Gillespie’s Tin Tin Daeo, and Hymn to Freedom from Oscar Peterson. Brass player Morrison was part of Schifrin’s “Jazz Meets the Symphony” projects, and was brought back for this session. James Moody is a longtime jazz master; his solo on Night Walk is passionate. Dennis Budimir is a first-call session guitarist in LA; he was named for “Consistently Outstanding Performance as a Guitarist” for four years in a row by NARAS. And don’t forget Lalo’s swinging solos on many of the tracks. The imaginative instrumentation and turns of phrase of Schifrin’s original tunes are reflected in his arrangements of the three tunes from other sources. Even the overly-familiar opening Besame Mucho sounds fresh and swinging. Happy Birthday Lalo!
TrackList: Besame Mucho, Fast Forward, Old Friends, Free Parking, Night Walk, A Tribute to Bud, Winter Landscapes, Tin Tin Daeo, Hymn to Freedom.
– John Henry