Lalo Schifrin

Mission Impossible...And More!: The Best of Lalo Schifrin 1962-1972

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This ambitious compilation covers ten years in the career of Lalo Schifrin, a prolific composer whose prodigious output straddles the worlds of jazz and soundtracks. Although Mission Impossible...And More!: The Best Of Lalo Schifrin 1962-1972 boasts several classic cuts (including the always-thrilling "Mission Impossible"), it suffers from some questionable choices of material. The biggest problems fall in the first half of the album, which relies too heavily on lesser material from Schifrin's jazz albums. For instance, there is an overabundance of cuts from the Insensatez album (all of which have the same bossa nova beat) and a pleasant but inessential cover of "The In-Crowd." However, things get better later in the album as the compilers start to concentrate on Schifrin's jazzy soundtracks; good examples include "Bullitt (Main Title)," a hard-grooving delight that layers swinging horns over a funky, forceful bassline, and "Theme From Medical Center," a hyperactive slice of jazz-funk built on wild wah-wah guitar and whooping synthesizer lines. However, the second half makes some odd choices despite its overall quality -- the only other cut that appears from the Bullitt soundtrack (one of Schifrin's finest achievements) is "On the Way to San Mateo," which basically is a rearrangement of the also-included "Bullitt (Main Title)." It also ignores important Schifrin film scores, like The Cincinatti Kid and Cool Hand Luke. Ultimately, Mission Impossible...And More!: The Best Of Lalo Schifrin 1962-1972 fails to be the definitive anthology promised by its title, but offers up enough solid tunes to make it a decent start for novices and enough rarities to make it worthwhile for the Schifrin diehards.

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