Schifrin Comes Home
Charles A. Haynes | Chico, CA USA | 10/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once again, thanks to the Jazz-loving Japanese, we have our own prodigal son (by way of Argentina) returning to American soil. And, once again, it takes the wisdom of an older culture to preserve the best of the USA, because music industry managers (read: "damagers")seem intent on combining greed and ignorance while refusing to properly showcase the best that America has ever offered the world. Case in point: Lalo Schifrin, perhaps one of the most influential editorial forces in Jazz and soundtrack production in American history. His discography and cinematic credits easily rival anything - and I realize that's a pretty sweeping statement - to come out of Hollywood or the entire legacy of Jazz, except for perhaps Duke Ellington. Lalo's accomplishments and level of creative force still continue to astonish and amaze succeeding generations of music lovers, those who still listen with their ears, and not their eyes. His by-now-forgotten tour-de-force, New Fantasy, recorded back in 1964, like all great music, deserves a re-evaluation with the passage of time, and this LP still stands out as one of Lalo's best-conceived and least-acknowledged works in the genre of experimental Big Band arranging. Lalo uses as his basic material the "classics" of Europe and the Americas, treating the composed music of such luminaries as George Gershwin, Aram Khatchaturian, Duke Ellington, Moises Simon, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Richard Rodgers and Aaron Copland with equal ease and ferocious originality. And all this with some of the best Jazz players of the 1960's, including Clark Terry on trumpet, J. J. Johnson on trombone, Jerome Richardson on flue and sax, with the unusual twist of an entire 4-piece French Horn section, rather than the normal phalanx of alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. The results are by turns, serene, complex, unexpected yet masterfully executed, ranging from the inspired responses of the soloists as much as from the arranging pen of Schifrin himself, who is destined, despite the harsh light of the many trendy 20th Century retrospectives in our early millenium, to become finally celebrated in his chosen homeland, the USA, as the master he truly is. But as one might expect, it would fall to a much older world culture to bring us to our senses, and set us straight on who really deserves the recognition of a CD reissue. Once again, thank you Japan for taking the trouble to give us back our own heritage. Arigato!"
Rich Onaitis | Cincinnati, Ohio | 03/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally!!! It's been released in CD!! I have waited years for the world to rediscover Lalo Schifrin. I knew when Mission Impossible was made into a movie it was only a matter of time. Together with the Marquis de Sade album, New Fantasy expanded jazz for me in the 1960's and 70's. If you like straight ahead, jazz big band jazz with a unique twist you will enjoy New Fantasy."