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Legrand: Legrand Jazz [DVD]  [NTSC]
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It is difficult to pin the multi-talented Michel Legrand down into one single category. This amazingly versatile singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, conductor and producer has enjoyed a whirlwind career, excelling in an impressively broad range of domains from film soundtracks and French chanson to jazz and classical music. An international star, who has won as much respect in the United States as he has in Europe, Legrand is an insatiable musician whose creativity and ambition appear to know no bounds. For this gala event titled LeGrand Jazz, which marks the launch of a world tour, the pianist chose the brilliant backdrop of the Big Band Orchestra from London to ignite and provide extra reinforcement for his greatest hits. The fabulous guitarist Sylvain Luc was invited to participate in this anniversary event. To perform some of his top songs, Legrand brought British singer Alison Moyet on board, with her powerful voice, full of soul and energy.
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The brilliance of the performance lies in Legrand's exuberance; he is alive and full of energy, so very into the music. His enthusiasm is infectious, and it is obvious and he and his band are having a blast. Later in the show, he is joined by guitar great Sylvain Luc and British pop singer Alison Moyet (formerly of Yaz). Their presence adds another layer of depth to the performance, yet the central focus is totally Legrand - he steals the show in every way possible.
My only complaint, and it is minor, is a distracting continuity error where closeups of the drummer show him missing a bow tie, which is present in the wide shots. Obviously some of the footage was taken from a different performance, and while it is not really a deal-breaker, it is a jarring visual to those of us who notice such minor trivial details. Rant over.