Thursday, July 28, 2016

This is going to be the last song I do for a while because I'm starting to learn a new one that is going to be difficult. There are lot of jazz chords in it that I'm not familiar with, and it will take a while to get them into my head and onto my hands. But, before I get started with that, I have been meaning to do a song to honor the great French composer Michel Legrand. 

He is still alive. He is 84 years old. And, he has devoted most of his career to writing music for films. And he has written some gems. He won the Academy Award for The Windmills of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair. The amazing thing about it is that the song evokes windmills, which go around, and the melody itself goes around. So, he really matched the music to the message. Another great one of his is the score from The Summer of '42 which is entitled The Summer Knows. Many people, including me, think it is one of the greatest, most powerful scores of all time.  And just as with the theme from Laura by David Raksin, it was so great that afterwards they assigned words to it so that people could sing it. And who did they call in to write the words? The same guy they called to do it for Laura: Johnny Mercer.  I'll also mention What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life which has a beautiful melody by Legrand plus gorgeous lyrics by the married couple Alan and Marilyn Bergman. It's from the movie The Happy Ending, but often the music of Michel Legrand has survived better than the movies for which he wrote. And that's true for his song that I just did: Watch What Happens, which is from the French film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.  I know nothing about the movie, but Watch What Happens has become a standard that everyone and his brother and sister have covered because it is such a beautiful song. And that includes me. But again, if you listen to this one, I won't be bothering you again for a while.

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