Michel Legrand was one-of the most gifted musicians of his generation. Born in a musical family, he studied at the Conservatoire in Paris where his precocious talents revealed themselves. Everyone noticed his entry into the jazz world in 1954 with an album of French popular songs for which he wrote jazzy arrangements. That first album’s success gave Legrand the right to make an album of his own with Columbia (Philips making a deal with Columbia US). This new album, entitled 'Legrand Jazz', was a sequel featuring legrandissime arrangements of American jazz standards. You could already, and even with tunes heard a thousand times, hear that distinctive Legrand style and the phrases, themes and leitmotifs that later appeared in 'Umbrellas of Cherbourg' or 'The Young Girls of Rochefort'. These album’s four sides feature all the ingredients composing Michel Legrand style that still “fills the world with envy.”
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.