Mission: Anthology (Music from

Mission: Anthology (Music from "Mission: Impossible")

by Lalo Schifrin



Of all the action show themes to hit the airwaves over the years, few have imprinted themselves on the public memory like "Mission: Impossible." This unforgettable, jazz-fueled instrumental started with pounding, staccato piano work and built into a fiery brass showcase whose intense, catchy riffing instantly imprinted itself on the memory of anyone who heard it. This theme and several others are collected on Mission: Anthology, an excellent compilation that repackages the contents of the original Mission: Impossible and More Mission: Impossible soundtrack records for the CD era. This collection shows that there was much more to this show's music than that unforgettable theme, thanks primarily to composer Lalo Schifrin's gift for fusing elements of different musical genres together to create sonically arresting musical hybrids. The remainder of the material from the first Mission: Impossible album follows the pop-jazz template of the show's theme, but pushes this concept in a number of interesting directions: For example, "Cinnamon (The Lady Was Made to Be Loved)" starts as a string-laden romantic piece before working in its jazz rhythm section, and "Jim on the Move" builds its snaky spy music groove over a sultry, bossa nova-style percussion hook. However, the biggest surprise in this arena is the dramatic yet catchy "The Sniper," which merges dark, Indian-style string riffs and frantic tabla beats with electric keyboards to create an arresting fusion of Arabic and jazz styles. The material from More Mission: Impossible continues in the same vein, spicing up its jazzy groove with elements of other genres: "Affair in Madrid" adds flamenco guitar and Tijuana Brass-style horns to flesh out its punchy rhythms, and "More Mission" is built on a funky bassline that would be perfectly at home on a James Brown record. All in all, Mission: Anthology succeeds by combining a consistent style with energetic and imaginative musicianship. As a result, it is a necessity for fans of classic adventure soundtracks and anyone who enjoys Lalo Schifrin's work.

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