Michel Legrand: A Night in Tunisia


A Night in Tunisia


Michel Legrand


Legrand Jazz (Verve 042283007420)

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15-piece band featuring Donald Byrd, Art Farmer, Joe Wilder (trumpet); Frank Rehak (trombone), Phil Woods, Gene Quill (alto sax)


Composed by Dizzy Gillespie. Arranged and conducted by Michel Legrand


Recorded: New York, June 30, 1958


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

In 1958, when Michel Legrand landed stateside to conduct American all-stars playing his arrangements, some participants must've wondered what this Frenchman was up to. His mid-'50s international success with easy-listening travel-themed albums hardly bode well. Not to worry. For a fiery "Night in Tunisia," Legrand pits four trumpets against hard-blowing altoists Phil & Quill, and everybody wins. It's a special treat to hear back-to-back trumpeters Joe Wilder, who had the prettiest tone in the business, and Art Farmer, also with the prettiest tone. (Okay, so sue us. We can't make up our minds.) In any language, Legrand Jazz is Le Grand Jazz.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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