Lalo Schifrin

In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrae his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance.

With:
Band: Lalo Schifrin, Dick Oatts, Jon Faddis, Grady Tate, Ray Drummond.

In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a boldly defined sense of texture and melodic form.

An opening set was dominated by Schifrin’s own richly varied suite, commonly known as “Gillespiana.” The composer was a protege of Dizzy Gillespie, imported from Argentina to play with him and write charts for the band, several of which became milestones in Dizzy’s expansive career. The five-part suite is a colorful twist on concerto grosso, which leaves plenty of room for the guys to wail. Originally written for a big band and a hot Latin rhythm section, the 40-year-old suite has been pared down for a quintet setting, and the joys abound.

It’s a chamber piece now, whipped into the starting gate by Jon Faddis — also a Diz protege — playing an aggressively colorful trumpet line, and followed by an expressive saxophone interlude from Dick Oatts. Schifrin supplied bold block chords runs. Especially notable were his low-register designs.

“Blues” was the funky highlight of the hour, with a beautiful muted solo by Faddis and Oatts adding a lyrical flute line. The changes were familiar, setting the pace for an infectious mood. Grady Tate on drums and the pulsating bass of Ray Drummond framed the action with bold, firm support. The racing tempo of “Pan Americana” provided Schifrin with an eloquent moment to dig into Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Faddis was high and wide, and colorfully wide open, on “Africana,” the fourth movement, which was designed for its musical origins with its loping, lumbering tempo. The exotic finale, “Toccota,” served as a flashy frame for Tate’s explosive drum solo.

The suite demonstrated the subtle skill of Schifrin’s talent in dealing with varied time signatures and for remodeling a sprawling orchestral suite for the more intimate demands of a quintet.

Schifrin also offered a tribute to the late bassist Ray Brown, who is featured on the composer’s latest Aleph CD, “Return of the Marquis de Sade.” Drummond soloed with Brown’s “Blues in the Bass-Ment,” skillfully toying with tempo changes and employing supple rhythmic strength.

Lalo Schifrin

Blue Note; 250 capacity; $25

Production: Presented inhouse. Opened July 23, 2002. Reviewed July 24. Closes July 28.

Cast: Band: Lalo Schifrin, Dick Oatts, Jon Faddis, Grady Tate, Ray Drummond.

More Music

  • TaylorSwiftVEVO - YouTube

    YouTube Will Merge Vevo Channel Subscribers Into Unified 'Official' Music Artist Accounts

    In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a […]

  • Hugh Masekela

    Hugh Masekela, South African Jazz Musician and Activist, Dies at 78

    In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a […]

  • Controversial Radio Host Don Imus Stepping

    Controversial Radio Host Don Imus Stepping Down

    In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a […]

  • Zeke Lewis

    Epic Records Names Ezekiel Lewis EVP of A&R

    In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a […]

  • Patricia Flores Joins Live Nation Latin

    Patricia Flores Joins Live Nation Latin as VP of Marketing

    In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a […]

  • Oscar Nominations: Original Score and Song

    Oscar Nominations: Score and Song Surprises Include Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey Snubs

    In a rare Gotham club turn, versatile composer, conductor, arranger and pianist Lalo Schifrin helmed an all-star lineup for a weeklong Blue Note stand to celebrate his 70th birthday. The bursting collective spirit of the quintet resonated with a rare sense of form and balance. Schifrin plays with exceptional imagination, and he adheres to a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content