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Lalo Schifrin: Intersections: Jazz Meets the Symphony #5

Prophesies of the union of classical and jazz, termed “third stream” by Gunther Schuller and associated sympathetic persons have thus far inspired more hope for the future than results in the present. Two recent discs by musicians with expertise in both realms feature widely divergent approaches but similarly disappointing results.

Lalo Schifrin’s Intersections: Jazz Meets the Symphony #5 adds a big band to his usual mix of jazz soloists and symphony orchestra, with the result that the meeting between jazz and the symphony is on uneven terms. The WDR Rundfunkorchester (“radio symphony orchestra,” not “round funk orchestra”) mostly provides harmonic underpinnings, ornamentation and color for Schifrin’s jazz players. This is not a bad thing, as Schifrin has scored so many movies that he can probably come up with luminous orchestral textures and ear-tingling timbral effects in his sleep, and Intersections features plenty of both.

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