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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Blue Stars Of France - "Lullaby of Birdland & Other Famous Hits"

The Blue Stars of France - Lullaby of Birdland & Other Famous Hits
Vinyl LP, 1952

I just purchase this album from the Pasadena Record Swap Meet, and I have been looking for this on vinyl for an awhile now.  I have a secret passion for Christiane Legrand, whose brother is Michel the great soundtrack composer, songwriter and damn good piano player.  She is not the easiest to find.  In Japan there is a CD collection of her solo recordings, and she is even a guest vocalist on Procol Harum’s Grand Hotel album.  But there is not a lot of information that is out there on this vocalist.  She is also a key member of the Swingle Singers.  But before all that she was part of the The Blue Stars, or as they say in  France Les Blue Stars.  A vocal group started up by the legendary Blossom Dearie.  Also in this group is Christian Chevallier and Roger Guérin, very noted and great French jazz musicians.  So one can think of the Blue Stars as an early super-group.

Jazz vocalizing is not something I have a great passion for, but alas, once I opened up my ears to these voices, oh my oh my, a magnificent experience.  It is not just the vocals, but also the tasteful instrumentation behind them that is fantastic.  A lot of the music was arranged by Michel Legrand, and it shows the master’s touch.