LALO SCHIFRIN – My Life in Music [TrackList follows] – Aleph Records 4-CD Set ALEPH47 [5 hours+] (Distr. by Allegro) ****:

Another release that spans many of our categories: Lalo Schifrin has crammed an amazing variety of composing, arranging, conducting and performing in jazz, classical and film music into his 80 years of life. This 4-CD set  brings together a huge cross-section of original music by Schifrin, including previously unreleased music from several films.  There was a previous similar 4-CD boxed set on the Varese Sarabande label, but the selections on this one are different.

While Schifrin is mainly noted for his 50-second Mission Impossible theme, he also scored such films as Dirty Harry, Enter the Dragon, Cool Hand Luke, Mannix, and Bullitt. He composed more than 60 classical works and wrote over 100 film and TV scores. He performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Gillespie commissioned Gillespiana from him. He worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Placido Domingo, Zubin Mehta, Dianna Ross, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Brown,  His music often shows his early love of jazz and rhythm, and many of his works combine traditional and 20th-century techniques, such as his several Jazz Meets The Symphony recordings. Lalo Schifrin has won five Grammys and had 22 Grammy nominations, as well as six Academy Award nominations.

The set spans 50 years of musical accomplishment and is a collection of diverse tracks from various sources. Eight of the tracks are previously unreleased, though some do sound just a bit thrown together.  Most of the film and TV selections are the main title music or themes, and strictly instrumental, but a couple have vocals, such as one by Ray Charles on a tune from The Cincinnati Kid. Since Schifrin is a native of Argentina, there are selections that tie into that, such as a tango from Letters from Argentina. There are several excerpts from his seven albums titled Jazz Meets the Symphony (which was nominated for a Grammy). Various orchestras are heard in these CDs, including the Sydney Symphony and the Czech National Orchestra, and some notable jazz soloists such as Christian McBride. If the excerpts from Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 of this series whet your appetite for more, they are all available on his Aleph label.  No. 6 is subtitled “Kaleidoscope” and is ALEPH034; No. 7 is “Invocations” is is ALEPH045.


Disc: 1
1. Enter The Dragon Main Title
2. Samba Para Dos from Bossa Nova Groove
3. The Fox Main Title
4. The Eagle Has Landed Eagle Falls In Love
5. Rhino Transporting Rhino
6. Fast Walking Main Title
7. Burning Bridges from Kellys Heroes Vocals The Mike Curb Congregation
8. Invisible City from Metamorphosis Jazz Meets The Symphony #4
9. Dirty Harry Main Title
10. The Cincinnati Kid New Orleans Procession
11. Caveman End Title
12. Abominable There Is Something Out There
13. Cool Hand Luke Main Title
14. Telefon main Title
15. The Dead Pool The Pier, The Bridge, and The City
16. Love Poem For Donna from Ins and Outs
17. Charley Varrick Bank Robbery Previously Unreleased
18. Bullitt Main Title
19. Coogans Bluff Main Title Previously Unreleased
20. Rush Hour End Title
Disc: 2
1. Joe Kidd Main Title Previously Unreleased
2. Cool Hand Luke Tar Sequence
3. The Osterman Weekend The Face Of Love
4. Rollercoaster Calliope Of Death
5. Kellys Heroes All For The Love Of Sunshine
6. The Venetian Affair Venice After Dark
7. Dirty Harry Scorpios View
8. The Statue Of Liberty March from Those Fabulous Hollywood Marches
9. Brubaker Theme From Brubaker
10. The Cincinnati Kid Instrumental Version Lalo Schifrin, Piano
11. Something to Believe In The Miracle
12. The Beguiled Amputation Aftermath
13. Che Che!
14. El Dorado from Firebird Jazz Meets The Symphony #3
15. Sudden Impact Main Title
16. The Wrath Of God Pablito Guitarra Padre Van Horne
17. Magnum Force Magnum Force
18. The Amityville Horror Main Title
19. Coogans Bluff Take Me to Ringerman Previously Unreleased
20. Return Of The Marquis de Sade Justine
21. Mission Impossible The Plot
Disc: 3
1. The Cincinnati Kid Vocals Ray Charles
2. Cool Hand Luke Arlette Blues
3. Les Felins Main Title
4. The Fourth Protocol Main Title
5. Spooks The Forces Of Darkness
6. The Beguilded Finding McB Previously Unreleased
7. Mannix Theme from Mannix
8. Bulitt Ice Pick Mike
9. Return Of The Marquis de Sade Bach to the Blues
10. Magnum Force Main Title
11. Tango del Atardecer from Letters from Argentina
12. Joe Kidd Chama Previously Unreleased
13. Rollercoaster Movement From String Quartette
14. Summer Dance from Invocations Jazz Meets The Symphony #7
15. Don Quixote My Lord Don Quixote End Title
16. Rage Main Title Previously Unreleased
17. Let Us Leave Some Songs from Cantos Aztecas
18. La Pelle Tema DAmore
19. Charley Varrick Last Of The Independents Previously Unreleased
20. Sudden Impact Robbery Suspect
21. Rush Hour Main Title
Disc: 4
1. Concorde Airport 79 Suite
2. Paraphrase from Kaleidoscope Jazz Meets The Symphony #6
3. Panamericana from Gillespiana
4. Once a Thief from Jazz Goes To Hollywood
5. Resonances from Esperanto
6. Montuno from Latin Jazz Suite
7. People Alone The Competition from Jazz Goes to Hollywood
8. Intersections from Intersections Jazz Meets The Symphony #5
9. Agnus Dei from Jazz Mass
10. Toccata from Gillespiana
11. Mission Impossible from Jazz Goes to Hollywood

—John Sunier