Michel Legrand

Released in 2011

Jazzonline Best Christmas Jazz Albums

YouTube: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kU4LBbW9fpDi5XOdpYRLSBgNPs0ENtIGk

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From “Jingle Bells” to “Silent Night” these are the greatest Christmas songs that are revisited by Michel Legrand. Holiday release from the French pianist, who is joined by a star-studded cast of friends. From Vive le vent (Jingle Bells) through Silent Night to Santa Baby, Michel Legrand has revisited the greatest Christmas songs. He created the arrangements and directed the Symphonic Orchestra with an accompanying jazz big band, recording the album in New York. The artists who participated to the project include Mika, Madeleine Peyroux, Carla Bruni, Iggy Pop, Jamie Cullum, Renan Luce, Rufus Wainwright and others.

Track Listing:

1. Let It Snow (Sammy Cahn / Jule Styne) featuring Jamie Cullum 03:18

2. White Christmas (Irving Berlin) feat. Teddy Thompson / Rufus Wainwright 03:52

3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane / Hugh Martin) feat. Madeleine Peyroux 03:49

4. Noël D’Espoir (Jean Dréjac / Michel Legrand) feat. Carla Bruni / Madeleine Peyroux / Iggy Pop / Emilie Simon / Rufus Wainwright) 03:10

5. Vive Le Vent [Jingle Bells] (Francis Blanche / Rolf Marbot) feat. Mika 02:51

6. Santa Baby (Joan Javits / Philip Springer / Tony Springer) feat. Emilie Simon 04:11

7. Jolis Sapins (Michel Fugain / Claude Lemesle) feat. Carla Bruni 04:03

8. The Little Drummer Boy (Katherine K. Davis / Henry Onorati / Harry Simeone) feat. Iggy Pop 03:06

9. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (J. Fred Coots / Haven Gillespie feat. Ayọ 03:00

10. Silent Night (Reverend Pére Barjon / Franz Gruber / John Freeman Young) feat. Imelda May 03:41

Arranged and Conducted by Michel Legrand

Recorded at Avatar Studio, New York.
Mixed at Studio Juno, Yerres, and Studio Gang, Paris

Producer: Sylvain Taillet

Engineer: Lawrence Manchester

Mixing: Bertrand Fresel

Mastering: Chab


Released to coincide with his 80th birthday, legendary Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand’s first Christmas album, Noel! Noel! Noel! features a lineup which only highlights the generation-spanning and globe-trotting influence his orchestral arrangements have had since the 1950s. From promising Nigerian-German soul singer Ayo (“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”) to garage rock pioneer Iggy Pop (“Little Drummer Boy”), its 12 festive tracks bring together an eclectic range of artists, all of whom appear surprisingly comfortable with the sweeping big-band productions. Irish rockabilly revivalist Imelda May transfers her vintage ’50s-inspired tones to the gorgeously melancholic, woodwind-led rendition of “Silent Night,” Teddy Thompson and Rufus Wainwright channel their inner old-school crooners on a theatrical version of “White Christmas,” while Mika continues to pursue his recent French ambitions on the suitably wintry “Vive le Vent.” But it’s the stars from Legrand’s homeland who steal the show, whether it’s folk-punk chanteuse Olivia Ruiz’ best Edith Piaf impression on the understated “Le Noel de la Rue,” First Lady Carla Bruni’s seductive presence on a cocktail bar-style interpretation of “Jolis Sapins,” or Emilie Simon’s enchanting, cutesy vocals on the gentle jazz of “Santa Baby.” The heart-warming mass singalong of “Noel D’espoir” suggests Legrand should have had the confidence to include a few more original compositions, but while Noel! Noel! Noel! provides little you haven’t heard before, its abundance of old-fashioned charm ensures it’s one of the classiest and most timeless yuletide albums of the year.

Jon O’Brien (AllMusic)