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Lalo Schifrin: Return of the Marquis de Sade

After working with Dizzy Gillespie in the early 1960s, pianist/composer Lalo Schifrin turned to composing full-time and wrote music for numerous Hollywood movies and television programs, including the hit theme “Mission: Impossible.” In 1966, as one of his occasional jazz projects, he recorded a collection of pieces wedding 17th- and 18th-century classical stylistic elements with jazz and named the record after a current hit play about the notorious Marquis de Sade. The play’s inordinately long title was colloquially shortened to Marat/Sade and Schifrin’s equally long title was abbreviated to Schifrin/Sade. That recording became something of a cult classic and Return of the Marquis de Sade (Aleph), made some 35 years later, is its sequel. This time, instead of a large orchestra, Schifrin employs a smaller group consisting of himself on piano and harpsichord, Tom Scott on saxes and flute, Brian Bromberg on bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums, and Dennis Budimir on guitar, plus an EWI, a harp, a vocalist and a string quartet. Schifrin’s consummate skill as both an eclectic composer and a jazzman enabled him to juxtapose the contrasting genres tastefully and interestingly. And the top-notch improvised solos, including the leader’s own, assure the music’s proper jazz credentials.

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