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Cross-Posted at THE DAILY MUSIC BREAK, the site that features good music regardless of era or genre. Visit for the music -- and a free daily or weekly email of links.

I was aware that Lalo Schifrin was a big deal in television theme songs. I did a post a while back in which it became apparent that he also was a serious jazz composer. This Blog Critics CD review posted at The Seattle PI, however, puts into context just how important and prolific Schifrin was:

Lalo Schifrin has had an amazing career in the fields of symphonic music, jazz, and especially soundtracks. Although his name may be more familiar to those of us who pore over soundtrack credits, I guarantee you have heard at least something by Lalo Schifrin. He has composed over 100 television and film scores, and a few of these include Mission Impossible, Mannix, Cool Hand Luke, Bullit, The Cincinnati Kid, The Amityville Horror, Enter the Dragon, four of the Dirty Harry films, and the recent Rush Hour trilogy. Believe it or not, even at over five hours of music, the new four-CD box-set Lalo Schifrin: My Life in Music barely scratches the surface of the composer's incredible 50-year career.
While its true that films such as Enter the Dragon and The Amityville Horror were not known for their soundtracks, it is an incredibly impressive resume. Later on in the review, the writer discusses the respect Schifrin had in the jazz community, including several collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie.

Originally posted to cweinsch on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:30 AM PST.

Also republished by An Ear for Music.

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Comment Preferences

  •  5 beats to the measure! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rashaverak, JKTownsend, themank

    A unique rhythm shared by Jethro Tull's Living in the Past:

  •  Ah, too bad that Mission Impossible theme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, JKTownsend

    was a soundtrack and not a standalone recording. I would love to hear 60 different versions by various jazz groups over the years. It leaves such a great space for ripping loose.

    Being the soundtrack on an iconic TV show really becomes a tight set of knickers.

    Here is another 5/4. Lalo playing a Dizzy song Con Alma from a live show in Buenos Aires in 1970.

  •  I've played my vinyl copy to death ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    themank, wilderness voice

    ... of "Marquis de Sade", which at the time of release in the 1960s was quite innovative. It's a mash-up of baroque instruments and jazz stylings. In fact, I last enjoyed this recording on Thanksgiving Day while roasting the turkey. Here's the title track, while representative, doesn't fully capture the variety and depth of arrangements on the album:

    Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me, "how good, how good does it feel to be free? " And I answer them most mysteriously, "are birds free from the chains of the skyway? " (Bob Dylan)

    by JKTownsend on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:33:07 AM PST

  •  I lived in a boarding house for a year. (3+ / 0-)

    back in the early 80's.

    Interesting cast of characters that reside in boarding houses.

    A guy in another room used to listen to theme songs. Over. And Over. And Over. Hill Street Blues, Greatest American Hero, etc.

    Mike Post was huge at the time in TV themes. Jan Hammer (Miami Vice) too. That other boarder probably had 2 theme song tapes. They were on all day.

    I see The Daily Music Break recently covered Dave Brubeck (and Luther Allison).

    While at the boarding house I discovered George Benson's awesome version of Take Five, from Live at Carnegie Hall, 1975. I remember the moment I heard it on the radio for the first time. From the first notes to the end, I had my socks knocked off.

    So after that, my fellow boarder then had to put up with hearing that album once a day (lucky him). (Octane, another great from that album.) I was a obsessive guitarist myself, progressing from intermediate through advanced intermediate at the time. I spent many, many hours on Take Five in the next years.

    This was in Minneapolis. Luther Allison was nearby and played in town frequently.

    Anyway, back to Lalo!

    I stumbled upon this just now. The theme from Medical Center. Haven't heard it in years. Would love to hear it live, with proper volume it would really rock. I love that drummer and bass player. The whole band is great.


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