Last Tuesday, January 16th, 2018, the veteran French pianist and composer Michel Legrand gave a concert at the Lope de Vega Theatre in Seville, during his tour ‘85 concerts for my 85th birthday world tour’, which is set to end on March 30th, 2018 in Paris (link to official page).
Rafa Melgar attended the concert and has prepared this article for SoundTrackFest named “Michel Legrand seduced our spirits”, where he leaves us a summary of an evening that was very special.
“I think that when people say that they hate Jazz, they … do not have the context. They do not know where it comes from, you know? Jazz was born in a small boarding house in New Orleans and as the people who lived there spoke five different languages, they could not talk to each other. The only way they could communicate was with Jazz.”
This is how Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling) explained to Mia Dolan (Emma Stone) in LA LA LAND the origin of Jazz and the feeling of a deep love for this musical style.
Last Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 the French pianist and composer Michel Legrand had the ability to communicate through his music with an audience that couldn’t believe that such a legend was on the stage of the LOPE DE VEGA THEATRE, a live Jazz legend.
I, a film music lover, got to discover the master through his compositions for cinema. Michel Legrand has composed the music of more than 200 films and has been three times Academy Award – Oscar winner. He has worked with directors as relevant as diverse; names like Orson Welles, Jean-Luc Godard, Marcel Carné, Clint Eastwood, Norman Jewison, Louis Malle, Andrzej Wajda and Richard Lester, among others.
But tonight it was time for JAZZ in a superlative magnitude, because it was an important appointment in Seville. A date to remember.
Monsieur Legrand, as the best illusionist, transformed the Lope de Vega theatre into the best Jazz meeting point in the world. In some inexplicable way, it impregnated the room with the smell of good tobacco and I could feel the taste of whiskey in my mouth. Michel got it, his music made it possible, with those playful and devilish 85 years old fingers on the piano.
MICHEL LEGRAND TRIO; that was the title of the evening, putting aside sexual and bad-intentioned jokes. And the name made sense for the unbeatable company. Pierre Boussaguet (double bass) and François Laizeau (drums) played with surgical precision in each one of the different themes, as they were building up the nostalgia and the stupefaction of the audience when recognizing and listening many mythical pieces.
The magic was non-stop during the concert. Ray Charles, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane were on stage (spiritually), and Legrand also gave us his first great song, La Valse des Lilas, a crisp, emotional, and at times out of tune voice, that delivered an emotional legacy.
We checked the list and we did not miss pieces such as “The happy ending”, “You must believe in spring” or “Summer of 42” and as an ending an encore, an improvisation to the beat of a flamenco clapping with which the master wanted to say goodbye. A moment of lucidity and genius, strongly stored in my memory, in the night where Lope de Vega theatre changed places for a night with the Cotton Club, and the Jazz seduced “our spirits”.
Article by Rafael Melgar