Iggy Pop, Teddy Thompson and More on Michel Legrand's Christmas Album
Legrand called on a array of recording artists from around the world who jumped at the chance to work with the globally acclaimed songwriter and composer on his new studio album.
This diverse group of artists includes the Grammy Award-nominated, jazz-pop singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum; the multi-faceted singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright; the eclectic pop styling of MIKA; acclaimed singer and composer Teddy Thompson; folk-soul chanteuse Ayo; noted French singer Carla Bruni, and punk pioneer Iggy Pop.
All gathered together for the recording of this unique holiday collection while recalling the melodies that lit up the Christmas of their own childhood. Iggy Pop remarked, "Gee. Wow. Michel Legrand. No kidding? Yeah, I'd love to do it. So that's kind of how the phone call went when I heard about this record. I was just really, really happy to be included, and to be present in a small way for Joyeux Noel En France 2011. Everybody singing on this is really bloody good. I envy Rufus, his beautiful French as well as his talent, and the three ladies on 'Noel d'espoir,' each one, are nothing short of bewitching. I guess now I'm cool with Santa Claus. By the way, when I was a boy, I too played the drums. Many thanks to Michel for the beautiful tracks and for allowing me to be a guest."
Michel Legrand and his team, comprising of the Big Band Jazz featuring 50 musicians including an orchestra of 34, and renowned sound engineer Lawrence Manchester, who has worked with Diana Krall, Regina Spektor, the Coen brothers on the True Grit soundtrack as well as Scorsese's The Departed, plus Spiderman, flew to New York for the recording of Noel! Noel!! Noel!!!
Included are Christmas classics such as "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Santa Baby," as well as the exclusive Legrand–penned song "Hope Christmas," written and recorded specifically for this album. Said Jamie Cullum, "Over the years of committing songs to memory I kept coming across songs and arrangements I loved. So often the name Michel Legrand turned up. I'm honored to be included on this collection created by Monsieur Legrand in some seriously auspicious company as well. This is not your typical Christmas album! God bless it for that!"
Tearing down the barriers between jazz, classical music and pop, Michel Legrand is at home in any musical situation and has worked with the likes of Orson Welles, Marcel Carne, Clint Eastwood, Norman Jewison, Louis Malle, Andrzej Wajda, Richard Lester and Claude Lelouch, to name just a few. His instrumental LP I Love Paris topped the U.S. album charts and was the first in a string of Legrand's hit records, including Holiday In Rome which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200; the top 10 album Castles In Spain; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg which achieved massive worldwide success; the Thomas Crown Affair featuring the hit "The Windmills of Your Mind"; and the 1972 hit song "Brian's Song (The Hands Of Time)."