2 jazzy gems from Michel
Legrand – back to back on a single CD! Michel
Legrand Big Band Plays Richard Rodgers is a pretty wonderful album by Legrand – way better than you'd guess from the title! Sure, the tunes are mostly numbers by Richard Rodgers, but Legrand handles them here with the best of his soundtrack skills – really opening them up with some amazingly deft arrangements, and working with a stellar set of American jazz players to give the tunes a sound that's as jazzy as possible – and swinging them with the inherent lyricism that always makes us love his music! Players are a great lineup – with Clark Terry and Ernie Royal on trumpets, Urbie Green and Bob Brookmeyer on trombones, Paul Gonsalves on tenor, Jerry Dodgion and Phil Woods on alto, Julious Watkins on French horn, Gary Burton on vibes, and Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones on piano. Titles include "This Can't Be Love", "Falling In Love With Love", "Bali Hai", "Have You Met Miss Jones", "There's A Small Hotel", and "The Lady Is A Tramp". On the second album, Broadway is the beat, but the sound has plenty of Parisian touches, too – thanks to arrangements from the mighty Michel
Legrand! Legrand's in a mode here that's somewhere between his earliest soundtracks, and the European-themed records he cut for Columbia in the late 50s – styles that are a bit more warm and sentimental than in later years, with evocative elements designed to coax the Broadway-based listener out on a voyage across the Atlantic! Strings are relatively full, and sometimes used with great dynamic energy – and titles include "Bewitched", "There's A Boat Dat's Leavin Soon For New York", "Old Devil Moon", "With A Little Bit Of Luck", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", and "Yesterdays".
(Out of print.)