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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo
Music by Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion & Lolita Ritmanis
La-La Land records LLLCD 1073 (US)
26 Tracks 53:33 mins

Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion and Lolita Ritmanis (otherwise knwon as Dynamic Music Partners) got their break assisting mentor Shirley Walker on Warner Bros animated Batman series, and have since gone on to become veterans of animation scoring. Included in their repertoire are the scores for Teen Titans, including music for the direct-to-video feature Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, released last year. Although their many fans would love all of their work to be available on CD, at least La-La Land's release of this score is a start.
In this film, in answer to an attack on their base in New York, Teen Titans Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy, travel to Tokyo to bring down the Japanese criminal behind the attack.
Given a larger budget than usual, the partners were able to use live musicians, guitars, strings, trumpets, trombones, French horns and woodwinds; whereas the budget for their scores for the TV shows only allow for one live musician per episode.
The score gets off to a guitars-driven, rocky start with "Meet Saico Tek," a dynamic (if you pardon the pun) action cue. Ominous synths underscore "The Interrogation," leading to an expanded arrangement of what is I imagine the Teen Titans theme over the "Main Title" (the show doesn't air here, so I haven't seen it). Pick of the tracks that follow include "Monster Attack," which gives a nod towards the traditional Japanese monster movie fare, driven at times by Taikos, and ending in a triumphal march, which also gives a nod towards Barry Gray's Thunderbirds. A much more laid back variation of the latter accompanies the "Troopers Tour." A very catchy, uptempo mix of Japanese rock/pop and Latin-styled brass accompany "Starfire Wins Videogame;" whilst "Moment Lost" provides a rare moment of pastoral beauty. More rocky action follows in "Tokyo Skyline+Robin Blots Out Saico Tek," with its somewhat elegiac ending; and then "All You Can Eat," with gentler fare following in "Boy Troubles."
Yet more guitars-driven action can be found in the likes of "Titans Attack;" "The Fight Continues;" "Bar Fight;" "Motorcycle Chase;" "Villians Makin' Copies;"with "Final Battle" being more synth-driven. More catchy action writing can be found in "Chasing Titans," which is much lighter fare, with strings to the fore.
"Brushogun Origin" starts off almost sympathetically, before turning big and menacing, and rocking out at the end; whilst there is brief, tender romance to be found in "The Kiss." A reprise of the main theme over the "End Credits" bring the album to a satisfying close.
As well as the sound of Taikos in some of the action cues, throughout the score subtle Oriental elements are added to give effective local colour
Accompanying the disc is a colourful booklet, featuring artwork from the film and behind the scenes photos, together with notes by the composers and Teen Titans producer Glen Murakami. Order your copy from

From: CineMedia

legendary composer, conductor, and PERFORMER lalo schifrin

celebrates his life with autobiography

Mission Impossible: My Life in Music Reflects On Life’s Work in Classical, Jazz, and Film

(August 19, 2008- Los Angeles, CA) – Scarecrow Press will release the autobiography of six-time Academy Award® nominated composer Lalo Schifrin this summer. Mission Impossible: My Life in Music, edited by Richard Palmer, is a journey from Schifrin's formative years in Argentina to the classical and jazz atmospheres in Paris in the 1950s; from his jazz career with Dizzy Gillespie to his development as a film composer.

Organized in eight parts, the book reflects on Schifrin's cosmopolitan experience providing impressions and vignettes of the extraordinary people with whom he worked. His music bridges three styles—jazz, classical, and film/TV—his autobiography offers insights on all three genres, as well as politics, literature, and travel. It includes over 30 photos, appendixes listing Schifrin's works, a discography, and an audio CD featuring some of Schifrin's greatest compositions.

As a young man in his native Argentina, Lalo Schifrin received classical training in music and studied law. He came from a musical family, and his father was the concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon.

After his studies at the Paris Conservatory, Schifrin returned to Argentina and formed his own big concert band. Dizzy Gillespie heard Schifrin perform and asked him to become his pianist, arranger, and composer. In 1958, Schifrin moved to the United States and began his remarkable career.

Since then Schifrin’s career has taken him in many directions. As a jazz musician he performed and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Count Basie, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and George Benson. His classical activities include Zubin Mehta, The Three Tenors, Rostropovich, Barenboim, and others.

His longtime involvement in both the jazz and symphonic worlds came together in 1993 as pianist and conductor for his on-going series of “Jazz Meets the Symphony” recordings, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and jazz stars like Ray Brown, Grady Tate, Jon Faddis, Paquito D’Rivera and James Morrison.

Schifrin has written over 100 film and television scores including Mission Impossible, Mannix, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, The Cincinnati Kid, Amityville Horror, four of the Dirty Harry films, and more recently Abominable and the Rush Hour trilogy. To date, Lalo Schifrin has won four Grammys® (twenty-one nominations), one Cable ACE Award, and six Academy Award® nominations.


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