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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Michel Legrand - "Play for Dancers" Vinyl LP (Philips) 1964


What I have is the U.S. version that is called "Michel Legrand Plays For Dancers"  It is known in France as "Archi-Cordes" and in other parts of Europe as "Violent Violins."  Which the latter is actually description of this classic Legrand album.   Once you hear "Di-Gue-Ding-Ding" you never forget it.  The song will be grilled in your head till the day you die.  Which, with this particular song, is a very good thing.   The whole album is fantastic, and the U.S. cover is mis-reading the album.  One would think it will be just an album of tunes that one can do the Wobble, or Hully Gully and of course the Shimmy - but in fact, this is a recording made by Legrand that has his best work as an arranger.  The violent strings are biting and the rest of the album is almost electronic in its feel and behavior.  More Joe Meek than Henry Mancini and with a great deal of the Legrand melodies and presence.   Sound - wise it's a witty piece of work as well.  There are arrangments that will make one smile, just by its aural possiblities.  An unique album and one of Michel Legrand's greatest works.