Chris Walden and his great band breathe vibrant new life into our beloved Big Band tradition. Bravo, Chris... and keep the fires burning!
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
Produced by Ted Hall, Niel Levonius, and Chris Walden
Executive producer: Ted Hall
Recorded by Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound,
a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, Marin County, CA
Assistant Engineers: Dann Thompson and Sean Royce Martin
Recorded January 8-9, 2022
Organ and Choir recorded by Dann Thompson at St. Dominic's Church, San Francisco CA
Assistant Engineer: Sean Royce Martin
Recorded January 10-11, 2022
Solo vocals recorded by Steve Genewick at Capitol Studios, Hollywood CA
Recorded February 7 and March 13, 2022
Mixed by Steve Genewick
Mastered by Eric Boulanger at Bakery Mastering, Culver City, CA
Photography by Ben Torres
Album Coordination by Niel Levonius
Cover Design & layout by John Bishop
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Not since Duke Ellington's famed Sacred Concerts has jazz so successfully melded Christian faith with modern music, and not since Bach has it been done with such reverent orthodoxy. Leader and conductor Chris Waldon comes up with the brilliantly inspired (in the true sense of the word) concept of delivering a true jazz mass for the faithful, bri ...
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
A cat that once played with Thad Jones & Mel Lewis commissions a renowned studio rat to do a real rave up on liturgical music to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary. Roping in Tierney Sutton and Kurt Elling to help him take it to church, this is a jazz mass like no other. Bold, brassy and contemporary, this work is too encompassing for him not ...
Amazon (Dr. Debra Jan Bibel)
The Christian mass has been performed by jazz musicians before, such as Vince Guaraldi's The Grace Cathedral Concert, Dimitri Matheny's jazz/classical hybrid Spiritu Sancto/the New Millennium Mass, and Wynton Marsalis's The Abyssinian Mass, but a fully jazz big band treatment with soloists, chorus, and organ for the Catholic Latin mass is new. Miss ...
All About Jazz (Jack Bowers)
4-STARS First things first: there is no doubt that Chris Walden's reverential Missa Iubileum Aureum ("Golden Jubilee Jazz Mass") is beautifully written and wonderfully performed by the LMR Jazz Orchestra, St. Dominick's Schola Cantorum and cantors Kurt Elling and Tierney Sutton. Is it jazz? That is another question, one not so easily answered. Whi ...