Album Review: Melissa Errico – Legrand Affair (Deluxe Edition)

A re-release of Melissa Errico’s album Legrand Affair further deepens her exceptional relationship to Michel Legrand’s songbook

“The time will come when all the waiting’s done”

I can’t pretend to be anywhere near objective about the music of Michel Legrand, it just touches my soul in the most intimate, indescribable way, so naturally the news of his death at the beginning of the year was devastating. And it is apparent that he inspires such devotion from many others too, most notably US Tony nominee Melissa Errico.

Her 2011 album Legrand Affair was a real labour of love, recorded over a number of years with Legrand and the Brussels Philharmonic. And it deservedly established her as such a first-rate interpreter of his material that she has been called upon to participate many of the memorials that have celebrated his legacy this year.

So the choice to release a deluxe edition of the album with 12 new tracks – demos and sketches, new recordings and incredibly, the last song Legrand ever composed – feels entirely justified. It proves an unexpected but much-welcome addition to an already superb collection.

With music of this quality, there’s something beautiful about the luxury of being able to bathe in the lushness of these orchestrations, and it isn’t often that you long for instrumental breaks in a vocal album but here, they are just dreamy to a fault. The interlude in ‘His Eyes, Her Eyes’ stands out, along with that new track ‘I Haven’t Thought of This in Quite a While’. The additional demos are fun, if not quite essential, given the masterly originals earlier in the album but as the last crumbs available from this superlative collaboration, they’re well worth the investment.

 

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