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Legrand Affair

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 18, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Few projects convey the sense of scale, ambition and passion as Broadway songstress Melissa Errico's 'Legrand Affair'- a collection of songs written by the legendary Michel Legrand, and performed by Errico with the 100-piece Brussels Philharmonic in Belgium, arranged and conducted by Michel Legrand himself, and produced by Phil Ramone. It features 15 tracks including Oscar-winning hits and Legrand classics as well as obscure gems. Literally years in the making, this improbable endeavor has been called "rapturous" (USA Today), "sexy" (ABC News) and "a spectacularly beautiful new album" (Wall Street Journal). "Six years in the making, this thrilling, expansive, 15-song release is destined to become nothing less than epic." (Edge Magazine) Critics have noted Melissa's natural affinity for the material with such comments as "Errico stakes a claim as a major interpreter of his catalog" (All Music) and "Like Streisand, Errico has a voice built to reach the upper balconies but is equally, exceptionally, capable of cozier, more introspective readings" (JazzTimes).
The recording features such hits as "Windmills of Your Mind" with a lush swirling orchestration as well as the classic "What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life?" and a sensual "The Summer Knows" as well as a fragile performance of the lesser-known "Martina," the anthemic "Celui-La," a gentle and spare "Dis-Moi," as well as new lyrics and new song written by Legrand for Melissa called "In Another Life" (with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman). "Legrand Affair" is a gorgeous throwback to an earlier era in recording when huge orchestras and powerful, emotionally subtle singers were in the center of the pop mainstream. "majestic and intimate" (JazzTimes) "A worthy addition to the short list of first-class American stylists (including Sarah Vaughan and Jack Jones), who have collaborated with Mr. Legrand through the years." (Wall Street Journal)
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Digital Booklet: Legrand Affair
Digital Booklet: Legrand Affair
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 18, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: GHOSTLIGHT.
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • ASIN: B005JRM700
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,137 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. C Goodstein on October 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I think this instantly becomes one of the great albums of Legrand songs. According to the liner notes, it took Errico six years to record this album-- and it was recorded in many places too. Nevertheless, it has a very unified feel. Many of the songs are familiar and ten of the fifteen feature lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (including one new one written for the album). But in this case familarity definitely doesn't breed discontent, and there are enough rarely done songs to keep up interest just for that. These are ballads, most romantic and with the kind of lush orchestrations rare these days, if of course common on many 'classical pop' albums of the late '40's-early '60's. Errico's singing is scintillating and beautiful. She's not a 'belter' a la Streisand, which isn't to say she hasn't grand style and impressive range. Her subtle changes of inflection and very thoughtful phrasing illuminate well the lyrics; and her musical theater backround gives enough character and drama to the proceedings, without going over the top. Just listen to her 'luxuriating' in 'The Summer Knows.' Just one of many examples here. Legrand did all the orchestrations and arrangements and they are wonderful: rich and luminous. The orchestra soar mightily on their own, while always serving too as effective counterpoint to her singing. Phil Ramone's crystaline, distinct production is further enhancement. Some might crave more variety of sound (a few more upbeat moments I mean); but for me the unity of theme of the bittersweet vagaries and glories of romantic love works very well. Just a beautiful album of wonderfully rendered songs by one of the modern masters of beautiful melody and songwriting.
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It was safely packed and reached me without any damage to the jewel bos.
As for the music, I find it monotone in terms of contrast and feeling.
Legrand is overreaching in his arrangements, showing "piano virtuosity" with the orchestra - it just is too busy, with all sorts of unnecessary arpeggios to add salt and peeper instead of letting his wonderful melodies and harmonies speak for themselves.
She is monotonous in the sense of singing very "cleanly" and in tune, etc... but without subtle in changes in tone quality when the text or music would require.
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Mr. Legrand continues to find vocalists and instrumentalists, especially female vocalists who interpret his music magnificently. Read his comments regarding Rita Reys recording, which he observed, but was not a participant. Next, listen to his collaborating female singers: Sarah Vaughn, Jessie Norman, Kiri Te Kanawa, Laura Fygi, Natalie Dessay and Melissa Errico. Each soloist brings her own artistry to the selections from Mr. Legrand's vast repertoire. Mr. Legrand in turn, provides unique arrangements for each artist.

Miss Errico's voice and musicianship are exemplary, matched by Mr. Legrand's writing for the 100 member Brussels Symphony. Great music lends itself to endless interpretations. I eagerly await the next collaborators, vocal or instrumental.
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Is there such a thing as a perfect album? I believe this comes close to that. I can't stop listening, and have been a fan since...I can't remember how long. Her smooth sound is so easy to listen to and soothing. I cannot wait for more recordings! She is a truly remarkable human, and as I have had the honor of meeting and speaking with her on numerous occasions, I only have become more of a fan of this glorious voice.
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We listen to this CD nightly. Her voice is smooth and wonderful, relaxing and captivating. We need MORE! I have sold 4 CDs at work. Once a coworker hears it they are hooked.
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