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Latin Jazz Suite

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 14, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Featuring the Cologne-based WDR Big Band with guests trumpeter Jon Faddis, saxophonist David Sanchez, and three superb percussionists--Alex Acuna, Alphonso Garrido, and Marcio Doctor--Schifrin's Latin Jazz Suite makes notable use of motifs, structures, and resonances from his previous compositions. Do not infer an exercise in shabby cannibalism, however. This is a nobly ambitious work. The geographical sweep is formidable. In addition to commemorating jazz's African roots, Schifrin takes us from Cuba and the Caribbean to Brazil and his native Argentina. All six movements have much to savor, but in the end, the Latin Jazz Suite is greater than the considerable sum of its parts; it is the varied sonorousness of the charts and the composer's matchless rhythmic feel that one most thrills to and remembers. Any enthusiast of orchestral jazz or world music ought to find Schifrin's latest triumph irresistible. --Richard Palmer

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Montuno
  2. Martinique
  3. Pampas
  4. Fiesta
  5. Ritual
  6. Manaos


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Aleph Records
  • ASIN: B00000K1JH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,719 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is the best big band latin album that I have heard in years. The compositions and arrangements are reminiscent of Kentons'Cuban Fire,Dizzys'Manteca, and Maynards' Si Si MF.But pure Lalo Schifrin Gillespiana. The solos by the statospheric Jon Faddis and firery David Sanchez are outstanding.The WDR Big Band plays with great precision and really swings.This is a "MUST BUY" CD.
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This is going to be as much testimonial as review. I hope you will indulge me for a few moments. In reviewing Cuban Fire, an awesome album featuring Richardson's classic by the same name, I began the review with almost the same comments as what follows in the first paragraph. Several years ago, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra gave a concert of Latin music. On the program were Cuban Fire by Johnny Richardson, who had been Stan Kenton’s orchestrator, and Latin Jazz Suite by Lalo Schifrin. I’ve attended more concerts than I can ever count, and I’ve been playing, singing, and listening to classical music all of my life, but this was the single most enjoyable concert I had ever experienced. I was largely unfamiliar with Latin music at the time. Since that concert, however, I have been in love with the rhythms and sounds of the genre. On this disc, Lalo Schifrin conducts the 17-member WDR Big Band and 7 additional soloists including Schifrin on piano in a performance of his Latin Jazz Suite. This was recorded live at a concert and includes audience applause.

I cannot say enough about the strength of this performance. It and Cuban Fire opened my eyes to a whole new world of serious music - Latin music. I was raised and trained to be a pianist but turned course while in music school at Indiana University to medicine. I tried to like jazz and bought all the classic jazz albums. I never was taken by Latin music either. But that single concert 7 or 8 years ago was pivotal. Now, I love Latin music including Latin jazz! The albums of serious Latin music now proudly sit alongside my Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, and others. For you jazz lovers, if you haven't listened to the non-jazz Latin music, you have another world of music you might enjoy.
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I bought this CD about a year ago and have listened to it many times since, trying to understand it in the context of Latin music and trying to decide what I like and don't like about it.
I like Montuno, with its horns, piano and a definite salsa flavor. Martinique did not inspire, but I found the mellow Pampas to be an interesting composition. Fiesta is very percussive, rambling, and somewhat suggestive of the work of Chuck Mangione on his Bellavia album.
I find Ritual, the longest piece, to be also the most dynamic. It starts out gently, gradually builds musical tension, and develops a coherent theme that is interspersed with a variety of musically interesting interludes.
The final cut, Manaos, is evocative of Brazil, but is one that doesn't really ever speak to me although I am a fan of many Brazilian musical forms.
Overall, Latin Jazz Suite is an enjoyable big band style musical tour of Latin America and will continue to enjoy an occasional spot in my CD rotation.
Notes from April 2009: I pulled this out of mothballs and took it with me on a recent trip forgetting that I had already reviewed it. When comparing notes I made on the trip with the original review, I find that my opinion remains almost exactly the same, even down to the Chuck Mangione Bellavia reference.
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This is another winner from the incomparable Lalo Schifrin. It contains a number of high energy pieces which are a delight. Now I don't know too much about Latin music per se, but if Latin Jazz doesn't sound like this, them maybe it should! Whether sylistically accurate or not (and I suspect it is) I recommend this offering to all who are interested in this genre and even to those who are not.
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