Michel Legrand

Happy Radio Days

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Born in 1931, Michel Legrand, who is best-known as a film score composer, was in his late teens and early '20s in the decade following World War II as he divided his time between classical studies and playing jazz piano in Paris nightclubs. Obviously, he remembers the era well, and on this album he has arranged a series of songs from the period, with a few dating back to the 1930s, though he may have known them from hit versions in the '50s, such as "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Legrand conducts the London Studio Orchestra in typically lush versions of the tunes; his liner note reference to "the ear-kissing sounds of...magical violins" is a good indication of his approach. American audiences may not be familiar with all the selections, which partially defeats the explicit call to nostalgia, but most of them are well-known, and the rest are pleasant.

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