Celebrating the life of the legend that is Michel Legrand and music for the New Era, this stunning stand-alone collection, compiled by label owner Jason Lee Lazell for Record Store Day 2020, features the jazz cuts from some of the most iconic films of the French New Wave era….
Michel has collaborated with jazz greats such as, Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan, Bud Shank, Lena Horne and in later times, contemporary artists such as Iggy Pop, Carla Bruni, Rufus Wainwright, Jamie Cullum, Madeline Peyroux…
Legrand’s songwriting skills flowered in the early 1950s through intimate acquaintance with the modern chanson movement in Paris, at first as a gifted piano accompanist. After the second world war, the US was nostalgic for French culture, and when Columbia Records commissioned an English-language album of chanson classics, the young Legrand was hired to steer it – and found himself with an 8m-selling hit.
By his mid-20s, Legrand was able to call the shots as a composer and arranger on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1958, he even had more than sufficient clout to hire Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Bill Evans – three of the hippest and most acclaimed young jazz musicians of the decade – to play sidemen’s roles on his Legrand Jazz session.
Michel was born in the Paris suburb of Bécon-les-Bruyères into a family with strong musical connections. His father, Raymond Legrand, was a composer, conductor and former pupil of Gabriel Fauré, and in his later years would go on to collaborate with Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier. His maternal uncle on his mother Marcelle’s side was the dance-band saxophonist and bandleader Jacques Hélian.
But Raymond left home when Michel was three, and his mother Marcelle (nee Ter-Mikaëlian), struggled to provide for the boy and his older sister, Christiane. He found a consoling friend in the flat’s battered piano and it quickly emerged that he had a gift. Christiane also played the instrument, and she was similarly destined for a successful career in music, as a jazz singer.
Michel became obsessed with the music and life of Franz Schubert, and – with Nadia Boulanger among his teachers – won a raft of prizes on a variety of instruments at the Paris Conservatoire, which he began attending as a 10-year-old in 1942. But a 1947 Paris concert by the bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and his big band thrilled him with the sound of jazz.
By the time he left the conservatoire in 1949 he was a budding jazz pianist with a profound knowledge of musical theory and a working knowledge of many instruments. His resourcefulness quickly found him work with chanson stars including Juliette Gréco and Zizi Jeanmaire, and in 1954 the international popularity of chanson brought his international breakthrough...
Legrand began a solo career, with the easy-listening but sophisticated jazz albums Holiday in Rome (1955), Michel Legrand Plays Cole Porter (1957) and Legrand in Rio (1958). He also worked with the French Caribbean singer Henri Salvador, who, under the alias of Henri Cording, made some of the first French forays into rock’n’roll, with Legrand furnishing the music and the surrealist novelist, poet and jazz critic Boris Vian the lyrics. In 1958, he returned to New York to make his celebrated Legrand Jazz album – with Ben Webster joining Coltrane, Evans and Davis in the lineup.
Legrand later admitted to being anxious about Davis’s involvement. The trumpeter rarely played sessions other than his own and made a diva’s point of arriving 15 minutes late, checking out the music from the studio doorway and promptly leaving if he did not like the sound of it. But, according to Legrand, the usually taciturn Davis not only participated, but even asked the young bandleader if he had liked his contribution.
By this point, Legrand was developing a parallel career as a film composer. He scored Henri Verneuil’s 1955 crime passionel movie Les Amants du Tage (The Lovers of Lisbon), and became a significant collaborator with the new wave directors Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda and François Reichenbach. He also composed for Jacques Demy, most notably on the innovative Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) – a reappraisal of the film musical, combining a realist perspective with a narrative in which songs replaced dialogue...
the fist 16 tracks are the featured tracks in order from the LP... the rest of the tracks are tracks from the complete scores...
This gatefold LP features tracks from the new wave era which includes.…
Launched 2011,by Barrow Producer & musician,
Jason Lee Lazell, the world & jazz buyer for Tower Records
(1993-2003) the largest record store in Europe…the critically acclaimed label Moochin’ About has gained admiration from Cerys Matthews,Huey Morgan,Giles Peterson,Jamie Cullum,Stuart Marcone,Johnny Trunk,Robert Elms,Iggy Pop…...more
supported by 5 fans who also own “Jazz On Film...Michel Legrand”
Dearest Arooj, firstly thank you. My brother died this year n what can be said about such loss n sadness. I saw n heard you at The end of the Road in England. I spent many years in India n love all the music, poetry of your heritage. Thankyou Arooj❤️ ben1769