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Melissa Errico Earns Raves for Epic 'Legrand Affair'; NYC Concert Set for 11/19 at Joe's Pub
(Published: November 07, 2011)

"The Finished Album Does, Remarkably, Manage to Sound Both Imposingly Majestic and Intimate"


Early Raves Describe the "Hushed Grandeur" of ‘Legrand Affair'

Six Years in the Making, Melissa Errico's Collaboration with the Legendary Michel Legrand and Phil Ramone is Released Today, October 18th, on Ghostlight Records

Joe's Pub Concert Set for November 19th - Errico's First Solo NYC Headlining Event in Three Years

Early raves have preceded today's October 18th release of Melissa Errico's ‘Legrand Affair.' USA TODAY posted an Exclusive EPK video segment to coincide with Elysa Gardner's Listen Up Music Pick for the track "His Eyes, Her Eyes." Gardner commented: "A rapturous orchestral arrangement caresses Errico's limpid soprano on this track from Legrand Affair..." See the USA TODAY video clip, here:

Respected critic Christopher Loudon, in his expansive JazzTimes ‘Hearing Voices' article, praised: "Legrand Affair, the new album from Broadway and cabaret headliner Melissa Errico, is, indeed, a grand affair, involving a 100-piece orchestra, 15 Michel Legrand compositions old and new, master producer Phil Ramone and several trans-Atlantic recording sessions. The story of its creation is as epic as the album itself, spanning six years, a half-dozen world capitals and the birth of three children."

Loudon accurately conveys the scale and ambition of this project (see his full write-up, below). Errico's improbable journey with Legrand and Ramone was a true collaboration in the old-school sense of the word, as the three artists worked together for years to get this album ‘right'. Their goal was to juxtapose something enormous with something intimate...to create epic, larger-than-life, cinematic art...but at the same time, make it feel akin to the most sensual kiss you've ever experienced.

Veteran radio broadcaster David Alpern featured Errico via his ‘For Your Ears Only' (formerly ‘Newsweek on Air') broadcast, and the segment may be heard via this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nv3DjNfggE

BroadwayWorld writer Pat Cerasaro featured Errico in this huge article: http://broadwayworld.com/article/InDepth-InterView-Melissa-Errico-LEGRAND-AFFAIR-20111017

Today, listeners will able to appreciate the delicate grandeur of Errico, Legrand and Ramone's efforts. Learn more about the Ghostlight Records release, here: http://sh-k-boom.com/melissaerrico_legrandaffair.shtml

On November 19th at 7:00pm, Errico will perform at Joe's Pub in New York City - her first solo concert in NYC in three years. The evening will combine songs from the new CD with Broadway favorites and more.  Details here: http://www.joespub.com/component/option,com_shows/task,view/Itemid,40/id,5875
Melissa Errico returns to one of her favorite night spots in New York to sing songs from her career, songs she's never before performed live and share in the excitement, as she debuts of some of the beautiful Michel Legrand songs from her new CD release, Legrand Affair, which is already garnering praise from critics and fans alike. It's no accident that this appearance is walking distance from where she lives, which will allow her to get home at a reasonable hour and still say "goodnight" to her kids. Melissa will share with you what she's been up to and how she manages (or doesn't manage) all the things going on in her life these days as a self-described "Desperate Housewife" of her own design. Sure to be a fun evening with a lot of great music. Come to Joe's Pub and catch up with Melissa Errico. Musical Director: John Oddo. Directed by Richard Jay-Alexander.

9/18/11 By Christopher Loudon 
Melissa Errico's Grand Achievement, 10 Years in the Making
A veteran Broadway vocalist collaborates with legends Michel Legrand and Phil Ramone

Legrand Affair, the new album from Broadway and cabaret headliner Melissa Errico, is, indeed, a grand affair, involving a 100-piece orchestra, 15 Michel Legrand compositions old and new, master producer Phil Ramone and several trans-Atlantic recording sessions. The story of its creation is as epic as the album itself, spanning six years, a half-dozen world capitals and the birth of three children.
Errico, one of the Great White Way's brightest lights, whose recent credits include Finian's Rainbow, My Fair Lady, Sunday In the Park with George, Camelot, Dracula, Anna Karenina, High Society and solo gigs at the Algonquin and the Café Carlyle, first met Legrand in 2002 when she was cast in his offbeat musical Amour. The show, a perhaps too boldly original, post-World War II fantasy, closed after just 17 performances, but the friendship between composer and star endured.
Fast forward to 2005. Legrand, having floated the idea of making an album with Errico, arrived at her New York apartment in mid-February for an extended visit. Errico had compiled a massive binder of Legrand songs, a collection so extensive that the composer himself had forgotten many of them. As they winnowed down the enormous list, Legrand shared the stories behind various songs and delighted both Errico and her husband (retired tennis pro and ESPN correspondent Patrick McEnroe) with colorful tales from his vibrant musical life, including a long-ago beach frolic with Miles Davis and a request he once made to an airline pilot to keep circling over L.A. until he finished a score due to a Hollywood studio.
Their agreed goal was to create a deeply intimate album of ballads, and Legrand referenced two of his favorites-Shirley Horn's Here's to Life and Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now-as examples. Then Legrand insisted that the project needed to be hugely symphonic, suggesting a 100-piece orchestra. Errico wondered about creating something intimate in so grand a setting, but didn't question her friend's vast expertise. Legrand also suggested they reach out to "Phil" for assistance. Only when he arrived at Errico's door the next morning did she realize that the Phil in question was legendary producer Ramone. The following day, Legrand, Ramone and Errico went into the studio to record demos of several of their selected songs with bassist David Finck and drummer Steve Gadd, the composer himself at the piano.
Legrand then returned to France to write the orchestrations, visited once by Errico and Ramone for rehearsals. Legrand and Errico next met in Toronto, several months later. Taking a one-day break from the hit revival of Finian's Rainbow, Errico flew to Canada to hear a new song, "In Another Life," Legrand had just completed, with lyrics from his longtime friends and frequent collaborators, Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Errico loved the song, and it was added to a list that had now grown to 15 selections. (Hers would not, however, be the first-to-market recording of "In Another Life." Jack Jones beat her by a few months, including the song on his Bergman tribute, Love Makes the Changes).
Another few months passed, and Errico found herself in Belgium, with Legrand and Ramone, for the recording of the music tracks. As promised, Legrand had delivered 100 musicians-the Flemish Radio Orchestra (now known as the Brussels Philharmonic)-to a Leuven concert hall. Errico didn't, however, hear the final, recorded orchestrations until several weeks later, listening to them on a portable CD player while being piloted by Legrand across the Pyrenees for a brief vacation in Spain.
In August 2006, Legrand and Errico met in L.A. She was there for a film project, he was scheduled for a series of jazz concerts, and insisted on including both Errico and her Amour and Finian's Rainbow costar Malcolm Gets, in several of his performances. (As an aside, Gets and Errico unite for a terrific medley of "Blue Skies" and "It's a Lovely Day Today" on his 2009 album, The Journey Home). They also spent time with the Bergmans, whose lyrics accompany nine of the finished CD's tracks.
Legrand and Errico, now several months pregnant with her first child, again teamed in New York at Joe's Pub and Dizzy's at Lincoln Center. Soon after, Errico and McEnroe's daughter, Victoria, was born, followed two years later by twin sisters, Diana and Juliette. Finally, in 2010, Errico was able to clear space in her parenting and professional schedule to lay down the vocal tracks in New York, assisted by the album's co-producer, acclaimed theater and concert director Richard Jay-Alexander.
The finished album does, remarkably, manage to sound both imposingly majestic and intimate, mirroring the hushed grandeur of Barbra Streisand's recent projects, Love Is the Answer and What Matters Most (which, as an all-Bergman salute, also includes significant Legrand material-overlapping with Errico on one track, "The Windmills of Your Mind"). Like Streisand, Errico has a voice built to reach the upper balconies but is equally, exceptionally, capable of cozier, more introspective readings.
Her tender handling of "I Will Wait for You" (originally written by Legrand as the main theme for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) amid waves of swirling waves of strings provides stunningly beautiful proof. Many of the selections will be immediately recognizable, including such Bergman-enhanced gems as "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life," "The Summer Knows," "How Do You Keep the Music Playing" and "You Must Believe In Spring." All are gorgeously rendered, as is the delicate Legrand-Johnny Mercer masterpiece "Once Upon a Summertime."
But it is the more obscure choices-particularly "Dis Moi" (from the 1971 film Un peu de soliel l'eau froide), the gentlest, sparest of Legrand's orchestrations, the powerfully emotive, almost anthemic, "Celui-La" (which Legrand wrote the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination, in response to the tragedy), the fragile "Martina," unraveled like a fractured lullaby, and the fresh "In Another Life," a wonderfully wistful tale of lost romance-that make Legrand Affair especially distinctive. Legrand Affair will be released October 18 by Ghostlight Records.

As Loudon addresses, the story behind the making of the album (which will feature a range of classic Legrand compositions as well as new material written for Errico by Legrand with Alan and Marilyn Bergman,) is as sweeping as the final product. As seen in Errico's detailed ‘Musing' essay, here http://www.melissaerrico.com/press/Melissa_Errico_Press_Release_8_2011-Legrand_Affair.pdf , the process sounds more like a James Bond film than a trip to the recording studio, and indeed it was...the epic journey included stops in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Brussels, Switzerland, Normandy, Andorra, Toronto, Costa Brava and a listening session while flying over the Pyrenees to Spain, with Legrand himself piloting a private plane. Errico even had three children over the course of the six years it took to see ‘Legrand Affair' to completion, but recognizes it was all worth the wait: "I'm proud to have gotten it to the place it was always meant to be, in honor of Michel Legrand who I love and respect beyond words."

See Theatermania's "Video Flash" EPK excerpt:

The album was Co-Produced by Richard Jay-Alexander, Errico's concert director, close collaborator and longtime friend (responsible for casting Errico as Cosette in the first national touring company of Les Miserables, when she was an 18 year-old freshman at Yale.) 

‘Legrand Affair' marks Errico's third solo release, following ‘Blue Like That' (EMI) and ‘Lullabies and Wildflowers' (VMG/Universal). Additionally, it is her third collaboration with Ghostlight Records. She appeared on the label's ‘Finian's Rainbow' recording, as well as on their Broadway cast album of Michel Legrand's ‘Amour'. Ghostlight will also reissue ‘Lullabies and Wildflowers'.

‘Legrand Affair' - Abbreviated Credits:
Produced for Records by Phil Ramone. Album Co-Producer Richard Jay-Alexander. Mixed by Lawrence Manchester. Album Executive Producers - Kurt Deutsch and Patrick McEnroe. Associate Producers - Marc Silag and Pat Rains.

Featuring The Flemish Radio Orchestra (newly renamed The Brussels Philharmonic) - recorded in Leuven, Belgium, July 5th - 10th, 2005. Orchestra conducted by Michel Legrand. Executive Producer for the Brussels Philharmonic (Flemish Radio Orchestra): Peter H. Gistelinck. All Piano by Michel Legrand. CD Booklet contains never-before-seen photos, full album credits and a note from Melissa Errico.

‘Legrand Affair' - Track Listing:

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Norman Gimbel
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Hal Shaper

8. "DIS MOI"
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Francoise Sagan

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
15. "CELUI-LA"
Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Eddy Marnay

More about Melissa Errico:  
Melissa Errico is one of the most versatile women to have come out of this Broadway's young generation, proving herself both a great interpreter of classic musicals and modern music alike, as well as a gifted recording artist and film/television presence. She has starred in seven Broadway musicals and released two major solo cds: Blue Like That (EMI) and Lullabies and Wildflowers (VMG/Universal). She has been called everything from "divine" to "the voice of enchantment" to "one of the most valuable assets of the musical theater" by the NY TIMES as well as "incandescent" (Daily News) and "blessed with every attribute a grand dame of Broadway requires: star power, voice, looks, ability, personality, technique. An aphrodisiac, as it were, that galvanizes a musical into life." (Clive Barnes). "Our most earthy and soulful ingenue... She both sparkles and is unmannered." (USA Today) Her recordings have been praised as "intimate exhalations, sung with her heart-on-sleeve" (Billboard) and "a classy classic sound, with taste and imagination" (Washington Post) and "...ethereal, gorgeous, elegant, popular. Delivered with inward emotion and real artistry" (NY TIMES). Upon coming to hear her sing the role of Fiona in BRIGADOON in a one-night only concert on Broadway in June 2010, Ben Brantley of THE NY TIMES wrote "this beautifully sung performance had the bewitched aura of the exquisitely ephemeral. I left the Shubert feeling blessed and privileged, and I knew many of my friends would feel envious when I described what I had seen."

In 2003, Melissa won a Tony-nomination for Best Leading Actress in the Broadway musical AMOUR,
composed by multi-Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand (Yentl), her musical idol, who went on to orchestrate and conduct a 100-piece symphony for the recording of Legrand Affair produced by Phil Ramone, to be released October 18th 2011. This recording is a true celebration of his songs and rare occasion for her to collaborate with Michel in the way he has only done a handful of times, including for singers such as Barbra Streisand, Sarah Vaughn and Johnny Mathis. AMOUR happily reunited Melissa with author/director James Lapine as she had starred the year before at The Kennedy Center opposite Raul Esparza in The Sondheim Celebration's SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE where Stephen Sondheim wrote some new lyrics for her interpretation of Dot.

Melissa's career began as Cosette in LES MISERABLES when she was only 18, for which she took a
leave of absence from Yale University and returned to graduate with high honors and an art
history/philosophy degree. That year, she went on to star as Eliza Doolittle in Howard Davies'
daring and unusual revival of MY FAIR LADY on Broadway, and was called "beguiling" in the
opening sentence of the NY Times review. Melissa revived her spunky and "frisky" (NY Times)
portrayal of Eliza in 2003 opposite John Lithgow in Los Angeles. She has also starred on Broadway in HIGH SOCIETY, ANNA KARENINA and DRACULA. It was at The Hollywood Bowl in
2006 where Melissa first starred opposite Jeremy Irons in CAMELOT (a production which Variety
praised as "fast, funny, inspired and deserving of a long run") and the next year in an acclaimed

In 1996, in what many recall as a major breakthrough, Melissa's witty sensual portrayal of Venus at City Center in Weill's ONE TOUCH OF VENUS took NYC by storm ("an overnight sensation! a star is born"- "divine" NY Times). She has a long resume of Broadway and off- Broadway starring credits, including the 2009-2010 Broadway revival of WHITE CHRISTMAS in which she played the Rosemary Clooney role. Over the years, she has regularly won acclaim in non-musical plays by Shaw, Wilde and modern works such as by Wally Shawn. In 2010, she was nominated for Best Actress in a Play at the Drama Desk Awards for her work in the title role of George Bernard Shaw's CANDIDA, and starred in an independent film called PATRIMONY opposite Robert Vaughn. Her other film credits include Frequency and Life Or Something Like It (opposite Angelina Jolie) and her TV credits include a series regular on Darren Starr's CBS show Central Park West and many network guest star roles including Six Degrees and Miss Match.

During the summer of 2011, Melissa co-starred with Alec Baldwin in GIFT OF THE GORGON by Peter Shaffer, and reprised CAMELOT with Jeremy Irons for one-night only on Broadway at The Shubert Theater. Melissa has sung solo engagements at The Cafe Carlyle and The Algonquin's Oak Room and has sung on many of America's most esteemed concert halls as well as on smaller stages and readings supporting developing new modern musicals. She is active in several charities, especially The Bowery Babes, a NY 501c3 non-profit she founded in 2005 which supports parents in downtown Manhattan, and provides education, counseling and connection. Since becoming a mother (to Victoria in 2006; and Diana and Juliette in 2008), Melissa has appeared with symphonies all over the country, including The Cleveland Orchestra and The New Jersey Symphony with Steven Reineke. She made an acclaimed London debut in the summer 2008 (while pregnant with twins!) with The Royal Philharmonic at The Palladium Theater with Angela Lansbury in celebration of Jerry Herman, a concert she reprised to great acclaim at The Kennedy Center in March 2009 with The National Symphony. She has toured with such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, and concert artists like Brian Stokes Mitchell and Michael Feinstein. Errico is married to Patrick McEnroe and they live in Manhattan. For more: www.melissaerrico.com

Visit: www.melissaerrico.com
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More Information: http://sh-k-boom.com/melissaerrico_legrandaffair.shtml

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