May 27, 2024

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CD review: Chris Walden, LMR Jazz Orchestra & St. Dominic’s Schola Cantorum – Missa Iubileum Aureum: Golden Jubilee Jazz Mass 2022: Video, CD cover

“Chris Walden and his great band breathe vibrant new life into our beloved Big Band tradition. Bravo, Chris… and keep the fires burning! John Williams

From his own Big Band albums, to his Grammy-nominated Symphony No. 1, or his hundreds of credits in film, TV, and writing for some of the world’s biggest artists, composer/arranger Chris Walden has never shied away from monumental musical challenges. With Missa Iubileum Aurem, Walden was commissioned by trombonist & Napa Valley entrepreneur Ted Hall, in celebration of his 50th Wedding Anniversary, to find an original approach to melding jazz with the awe-inspiring tradition of the liturgical Mass. Recruiting “cantors” Kurt Elling and Tierney Sutton, along with the Los Angeles and Bay Area artists of the LMR Jazz Orchestra, and organist Simon Berry with St. Dominic’s Schola Cantorum choir, Walden has created a soaring masterpiece.

The work is unique as a jazz composition as it employs the five-part foundational structure of the classical liturgy (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) found in the works of Bach, Mozart, and Handel, among other classical composers. As an integrated single composition, this effort is differentiated from the jazz works of others (e.g., Ellington’s Sacred Works) which are collections of individually composed songs.

Ted Hall’s 55-year dedication to connecting 2000 years of liturgical music with jazz began as trombonist with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band at The Village Vanguard. Performing on the 1969 national PBS broadcast of The Requiem Mass for Robert Kennedy led to Hall’s first uncompleted work in 1970, followed by a Dmitri Matheny-penned New Millennium Mass, Spiritu Sancto – performed at San Francisco’s St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, midnight, December 31, 1999 – and ultimately, this Missa Iubileum Aurem, celebrating love and the promise of eternal spiritual life, as a singular, joyous Golden Jubilee experience.

1. Kyrie 3:45
2. Gloria 5:20
3. Alleluia 1:27
4. Credo 5:50
5. Offertory – The Passionate Shepherd to His Love 4:09
6. Sanctus 3:14
7. Memorial Acclamation 0:45
8. Great Amen 0:34
9. Agnus Dei 3:32
10. Communion 5:45
11. Thanks Be to God 3:08

All compositions and arrangements by Chris Walden in collaboration with Ted Hall.

Tierney Sutton – cantor
Kurt Elling – cantor
Chris Walden – conductor
Mary Fettig – woodwinds
Ben Torres – woodwinds
Tom Scott – woodwinds
Steve Steinberg – woodwinds
Aaron Lington – woodwinds
Wayne Bergeron – trumpet
Niel Levonius – trumpet
Marvin McFadden – trumpet
Larry Lunetta – trumpet
Michael Davis – trombone
Jon Brummel – trombone
Mark Lawrence – trombone
Dan Gordon – trombone
Brian Nova – guitar
Shelly Berg – piano
Carlitos del Puerto – bass
Gary Novak – drums
Curt Moore – vibraphone
Simon Berry – organist & choir director
St. Dominic’s Schola Cantorum – choir

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

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