Varèse Sarabande wants fans to know that WE HEAR YOU! The label will be launching a new semi-monthly music series featuring CD releases of limited edition soundtracks that you - film music fans - have been requesting. Whether it’s a gem that has never seen the light of day, or a long sold-out title worthy of a reissue, if the demand is there, we’ll release it. Curated by fans, for fans, who have never given up hope that a label will release that overlooked or special soundtrack. Music you want, music you missed…We Hear You!
The first release in the series will be BOULEVARD NIGHTS, a gem from legendary composer Lalo Schifrin (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, COOL HAND LUKE, The RUSH HOUR film trilogy) – available directly from Varèse Sarabande on September 30, 2016.
One of the first major studio films to feature an all-Latino cast, "Everything happens on the boulevard...and the boulevard happens at night,” was the tagline of the film. As described by film music journalist Jim Lochner in these newly commissioned liner notes, “Produer Bill Benenson original wanted to make BOULEVARD NIGHTS (1979) as a documentary about Chicano car clubs in East Los Angeles until director Michael Pressman brought him Demond Nakano’s debut script about a former gang member trying to better his life and protect his brother from sinking deeper into the gang.”
Raymond Avila (Richard Yñiguez) is a young Mexican-American trying to resist the lure of street gangs in East Los Angeles. Raymond's brother, Chuco (Danny De La Paz), has been less successful; despite Raymond's attempts to steer him clear, Chuco finds a sense of belonging by being part of a gang. As Raymond's relationship with his girlfriend (Marta Du Bois) deepens, he takes steps toward building himself a future. But all that is thrown into jeopardy when tragedy strikes and a gang war erupts.
“The music had to be a mixture of rock, disco, salsa, and the 1950s oldies that were still popular in the barrio,” Lockner continued. They turned to Argentinian-born Lalo Schifrin. “We were thinking alike and we were on the same wavelength,” said Schifrin. “The movie – the images and the scenes – dictated the kind of music that had to be done.”
Lalo Schifrin is a true Renaissance man. As a pianist, composer and conductor, he is equally at home conducting a symphony orchestra, performing at an international jazz festival, scoring a film or television show, or creating works for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and even The Sultan of Oman.
As a young man in his native Argentina, Lalo Schifrin received classical training in music, and also studied law. He came from a musical family, and his father, Luis Schifrin, was the concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colon. Lalo Schifrin continued his formal music education at the Paris Conservatory during the early 1950’s. Simultaneously, he became a professional jazz pianist, composer and arranger, playing and recording in Europe.
When Schifrin returned to Buenos Aires in the mid 1950’s, he formed his own big concert band. It was during a performance of this band that Dizzy Gillespie heard Schifrin play and asked him to become his pianist and arranger. In 1958, Schifrin moved to the United States and thus began a remarkable career.
To date, Lalo Schifrin has written over 100 film and television scores including Mission Impossible, Mannix, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt, The Cincinnati Kid, Amityville Horror, four of theDirty Harry films, and more recently Abominable and the Rush Hour trilogy. Lalo Schifrin has now won five Grammys® (twenty-two nominations), one Cable ACE Award, and six Academy Award® nominations. 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.
In addition to Schifrin’s original score, the BOULEVARD NIGHTS album features the song “Street Tattoo” performed by George Benson. The song features music by Schifrin and lyrics by Gale Garnett. “She is very poetic and had a great imagination,” said Schifrin of Garnett, who he had previously collaborated with on the track “Down Here On The Ground” from COOL HAND LUKE.