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WBGO remembers Michel Legrand

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I once asked Michel Legrand what especially inspired him to compose so many classic songs about the seasons. "You Must Believe In Spring." "Once Upon a Summertime." "The Summer Knows." "Summer Me, Winter Me." "Don't ask me," said Legrand with a little laugh. "Ask the Bergmans." Alan and Marilyn Bergman were Michel's most frequent lyricists. "They wrote ‘Summer Me, Winter Me,'" said Michel. "I wrote (singing) ‘Da-da-da, Da-da-da.'"

Michel Legrand passed this weekend, at 86 in the city where he was born, the City of Lights, Paris. He was active to the end. He was booked for concerts upcoming in the spring. As a composer, Legrand's work defined "prolific" and "eclectic," also "multi-media," and in the musical DNA of virtually all of his work was jazz. His first album, at age 22, I Love Paris in 1954, featured classic songs about Paris and was a best-seller. When offered a chance to record with an orchestra, he told me that he asked for a Who's Who of players - and he got them: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Phil Woods, Bill Evans, among other jazz stars.