A too-little-known recording of the marches and songs associated with the French Foreign Legion -- this is stripped-down military music of a kind that American civilians, in particular, would be unaccustomed, without the elegance of expression to be found in the work of, say, John Philip Sousa. One imagines that this LP could have been the French rival to those Red Army Band albums that seemed so ubiquitous later on from the EMI and Angel record labels. The call of bugles and the clash of percussion lie at the core of most of what's here, in what -- given the Legion's classic insularity -- almost amounts more to an ethnic music survey than a military music collection, though it's obviously a bit of both, and unique in either case. Side two is especially revealing, containing as it does songs associated with the Legion, arranged by the conductor, Lt. Marcel Lasalmonie. Released by Decca Records under its international London Records imprint as a 10" LP.
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