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Michel Legrand By Michel Legrand

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 16, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If the American pop culture profile of French composer-jazz pianist Michel Legrand doesn't seem what it once was, don't be misled: his European indie film scores continue six decades on, now numbering nearly 200. But Legrand's most beloved work remains the lovely, evocative themes he created in the '60s and '70s, including "I Will Wait for You" from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Thomas Crown Affair's "Windmills of Your Mind," the theme from Summer of '42, and his work on Barbra Streisand's Yentl. This collection marks Legrand's first solo piano recordings, presenting those and other film score highlights in spontaneously improvised performances that offer a glimpse of Legrand's musical soul. If, as in "Windmills," his enthusiasm gets the best of him and he occasionally lapses into flights of melodramatic pianistic self-parody, there are more than enough sublime moments here to compensate, especially on lesser-known songs like Best Friends' "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?," "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" from The Happy Ending, and Brian's Song's "Hands of Time." --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00005YW0W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bill Evans once said that technique in jazz "is the ability to translate your ideas into sound through your instrument." If that's the case, Legrand possesses technique in spades.

Before commenting on this rewarding disc, a few words about Legrand himself:

Is there a better songwriter or a more versatile all-around musican alive today? I think you have to go back to people like Gershwin and Billy Strayhorn to find a rough parallel to Legrand's multifaceted, genre-crossing genius. A pupil of Nadia Boulanger (who studied with Faure and taught many important American composers, including Aaron Copland and Philip Glass), Legrand is an heir of the great French tradition of music--but one who has chosen to express himself through popular songs, film scores, and jazz. He possesses that rare combination of an absolutely rigorous theoretical knowledge of music and an intuitive, spontaneous instinct for both melody and improvisation. He combines exquisite refinement with a popular touch, a need to communicate directly with all who love music. To me, his work represents the most perfect expression of such typically French traits as lightness, insouciance, wit, melodic charm, and direct emotional expression since Poulenc.

Here you'll find many of Legrand's signature songs--"I Will Wait for You," "The Windmills of Your Mind," "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?," "The Hands of Time," "You Must Believe in Spring," etc.--reharmonized and enriched in stunningly beautiful solo recreations. Those unfamiliar with Legrand's pianistic abilities will probably be surprised by what they hear, for he's no part-time piano tickler. He can easily hold his own in the company of the best modern jazz pianists.
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Format: Audio CD
Legrand has recorded at last one of his more intimate renditions to himself with his most remarkable themes along his brilliant career .

From a summer of 42 , The windmills of your mind (The Thomas crown afair) , what are you doing the rest of your life or the romantic Umbrellas of Cherbourg ; all those unforgettable themes are played in this album for piano solo in the real intimacy between him and the listener . Legrand is the golden master of soundtracks in France and one of the top in the world .

He owns that inner vision to catch the spirit of every movie he accompains. He composes music as he was a real director movie . The psychological concerns , the romantic efluvies and the precise and lyrical atmosphere , with that touch of class, artistic elegance and sublime eloquency .

Think also in the important recordings with Miles Davis . That issue will give you the size of that artist and anothe point to remark . In 1954 , Legrand made a golden jewel : I love Paris (See my review) that has become through the years in the most famous and the best album of instrumental music ever recorded .

What other background do you need to acquire this gem ?
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Format: Audio CD
Sunlight on his fingertips

The very bright talent of Michele Legrand you can feel especially when Maestro is playing piano himself.

I heard some orchestra performance of Legrand before, that was good, but I was still thinking about him just like about pop music composer.

Now I think different - he is Genius!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
That is just one of the great songs writtenby Mr LeGrand...His body of work is remarkable. and you will know most of the songs he has written..I now own The Best oof Michel Le Grande and it too is great...Barbara Cooper
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many people know Legrand's compositions.
What many do not know is that Legrand is a very talented jazz pianist.
This disc is/will be a classic, without any doubt.
Very interesting inspired jazz interpretations.
If you like Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans or George Shearing you need to buy
this CD.
Magnificent Jazz Interpretations.

Buy it, or .....
.... you certainly will regret later.
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A recording that is brilliant in every way! M. Legrand is a true musical genius and his solo piano is spectacular in every way.
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Legrand is a wonderful composer and pianist. I have played it over and over. If you like his music, you will love this CD.
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This CD is so great that I ordered a second one in case I wear out the first one. I play it every day and it is always in my head!!
This man is a genius!!
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