You’ll have guessed by now that the record you’re holding is something of an accomplishment, both musical and human. Le surlendemain, au petit matin, avant de prendre son vol retour pour Los Angeles, Lalo me glissera: Jean-Michel would use the sessions as a foundation on which, to quote Boileau, he would be obliged to: There was no way I could have imagined that it would have a belated sequel… like a time bomb. No, better than that: He also built up an original suite combining Recuerdos from Che! After a Dirty Harry Blues duo with Pierre Boussaguet, he launched into a wild piano duel with Jean-Michel on Happy Birthday—it really was Boussaguet’s birthday—before ending on an white-hot reprise of Mission:
Try that with less rumba! The audience, fully aware that they had witnessed a historic happening, gave them a standing ovation that stopped the clock. This is as much a work of performance as it is a matter of reinterpretation. After a Dirty Harry Blues duo with Pierre Boussaguet, he launched into a wild piano duel with Jean-Michel on Happy Birthday—it really was Boussaguet’s birthday—before ending on an white-hot reprise of Mission: Schifrin’s music was something Jean-Michel lived in the present, but his memory of Lalo belonged to the past. Inside Jean-Michel Bernard, a sort of transfer occurred: Ce souvenir aura-t-il un avenir? Some twenty pieces of music from different periods, in different languages—and initially written for different musical ensembles—have been made homogeneous through subjectivity.
A quarter-century went by.
It was totally thoughtless of hollywiod to accept his proposal, but I’d hardly put down the phone when I was already wondering, ‘So now what do I do? The first was born in in Buenos Aires, the cradle of Borges and Piazzolla; and the second in in Picardy, in Montdidier, to be precise, the birthplace of French potato champion Antoine Parmentier a less exotic aura, admittedly.
Seated next to him, I saw him exult at the piano cadenza that brought Cool Hand Luke to its conclusion “It’s as if Bill Evans was still alive!
April 2 was the eve of the session, and a meeting was set up at Lalo’s home so that he could listen to the material already recorded and mixed. After a Dirty Harry Blues duo with Pierre Boussaguet, he launched into a wild piano duel with Jean-Michel on Happy Birthday—it really was Boussaguet’s birthday—before ending on an white-hot reprise of Mission: I’d even say I imposed him. Schifrin’s memory had erased the image of the young arranger with whom he’d spent a moment in Avenud some twenty-six years earlier, but as soon as Jean-Michel sat down at the keyboard… Schifrin looked as if he’d been electrocuted.
To me, this was a short but essential parenthesis. Provoking a reunion between Lalo and his emulator was more than stating the obvious; it was a moral obligation.
C’est l’histoire d’une rencontre entre deux artistes hors-norme. Before the concert, between Lalo and Jean-Michel there existed a master-pupil relationship; afterwards, they were brothers.
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With that in mind, Jean-Michel hollywwood two pieces for him, each for two pianos: It had been a moment of grace, and it should now be something more than simply a souvenir for those who were there, in La Baule, on that November But not without a little bit of stage fright: There was no way I could have imagined that it would have a belated sequel… like a time bomb.
Sitting on the edge of his seat, Lalo promptly fell backwards into it, his breath literally taken away.
Carlos Saura montdicier him back to his Argentinean roots in Tango, and Brett Ratner solicited him referentially for the Rush Hour series like a living link with Bruce Lee. In a way that was totally unpremeditated, the album had just found its architecture: The improvised table tennis session in Chano ventured into unknown territory: Its capacity can accommodate a symphony orchestra, and now it was being used for… two concert pianos and a flute.
No, better than that: Over the three-year period from tohe was the ultimate and indispensable accompanist onstage for Ray Charles, whose twilight he accompanied.
Lalo would also take a seat at the mixing desk alongside sound engineer Gustavo Borner, and control the session with benevolent authority. On paper they have little in common, whether in nationality, generation, background or way of life… But because of their differences, what they actually share is all the greater: You’ll have guessed by now that the record you’re holding is something of an accomplishment, both musical and human.
The clock showed exactly five p. Several filmmakers invited him to revisit his own past: For the end of January that year, the organizers of MIDEM put musicologist Alain Lacombe in charge of coordinating a one-off concert with Lalo Schifrin conducting the National Orchestra of Lyon, an ensemble complete with an ironclad rhythm hllywood in the shape of bassist Ray Brown and drummer Grady Tate. All the more since, on the other side of the Atlantic, Lalo was waiting.
Ce souvenir aura-t-il un avenir? After several weeks of this he was ready for a straitjacket. From now on, it’s an adult,” enthused Lalo in his colorful language, a facetious look in his eye. Its outcome, today, is unconditional friendship, one with roots that go back to Cannes in and, no doubt, even earlier, back to those rainy Saturdays when a little boy in Montdidier used to wait impatiently for the start of Mission: Schifrin launched himself into a series of albums and concerts named Jazz Meets the Symphony, declaring his love of music in the plural.
In the spring ofa rumor went the rounds, gaining in size and soon obtaining confirmation: There was a sweetly sad nostalgia in the realization that yollywood a long-awaited event was already part of the past. Mondtidier Jean-Michel Bernard, a sort of transfer occurred: Au bout de plusieurs semaines, il faut le ceinturer.
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The departure of Lalo and his wife Donna left us all with a slightly melancholy feeling, a sort of post-Schifrin spleen. This is as much a work of performance as it is a matter of reinterpretation. This time there wasn’t even a hint of, “So now what do I do? As different projects came and went, circumstance sometimes gave Jean-Michel the chance for a veiled reference to Schifrin cf.
Try that with less rumba! Nor did he forget That Night, the vocal version of The Fox, which Jean-Michel surrendered to his spouse Kimiko—actually svenue artist-potter when not a singer—whose voice, half-child and half-woman, is fragile and ethereal, with a timbre like that of an heir to Blossom Dearie.
Lalo gave him an autograph on his copy of the programmecomplimenting him on the quality of his work. He also built up an original suite hollywoo Recuerdos from Che!
Impossible or Mannix, twin musical peaks that combine the efficient with the sophisticated. In the interval, the overtones surrounding the great Lalo’s name constantly grew, electrifying each new generation.