Listened to that Michel Legrand compilation I have again today. It really is an odd mix. Also, I like the Brazilian compilation I did for my friend; I hope he likes it too.
Compilation - Michel Legrand: 'Le Meilleur de Michel Legrand' (CD; Philips; 1964-1992)
A strange compilation, which I seem to remember having to wait 6 months or so to receive when I bought it online. While it was definitely worth the wait, it covers a strange mix of styles. There are some wonderful tracks on here, and also some which come close to being truly cringeworthy.
The jazzy vocal tracks work best for me - Michel is an exhuberant singer, and has a nice line in scat vocals ('elle a..elle a pas...' is quite amazing in this way). Many of the jazzier tracks, e.g. ' l'ame soeur a l'hamecon', 'marins, amis, amants ou maris' have some cool latin percussion going on, while Michel has a similar kind of cool to Serge Gainsbourg's early jazz stuff on 'trombone, guitare et compagnie'.
Less to my taste are the slow, mournful orchestral vocals, of which there are a few ('valse de lilas', 'je vivrai sans toi', 'et la mer', 'comme elle est longue a mourir ma jeunesse'). They're really not bad, but would have worked better for me as instrumentals.
The rest of the CD has a few very cool tracks. The stunning instrumental 'le cinema' was sampled by Dimitri from Paris and was also recorded by Claude Nougaro, while Michel's duet with Nana Mouskouri, 'quand on s'aime' manages to be very cool in spite of being slightly schmaltzy. 'Di-gue-ding-ding' is on here too - a ludicrous upbeat scat pop number, famous for its inclusion on the 'inflight entertainment' CD.
There are a few really odd children's numbers - 'ou vont les ballons' is a strange, spooky, upbeat pop track with a children's choir that sounds like it would be a good soundtrack to a nightmare. 'Oum le dauphin' is intense and somehow ridiculous.
The 'un ete 42' theme is an almost generic sounding but undeniably beautiful easy listening orchestral soundtrack piece.
All in all, I would have preferred all jazzier tracks, but I'm glad I have it anyway.
Compilation - Tony Hatch: 'Hatchback' (CD; Sequel; 1960)
It's really a very interesting compilation. Unlike others in the series, this includes more than just straight 60s easy listening and film music, and extends into the mid/late 70s with a few interesting disco/light funk numbers. The best tracks on the disc (on first listen) are the really great lush brasilian style ones - e.g. 'sole bossa nova', 'brasilia mission' - and the gentle, quiet ethereal ones - e.g. 'return to the stars'. Other great ones are pretty straight-ahead 60s pop numbers without the vocals - e.g. 'you're the one', 'round every corner' (which I remember Jack or Scott from In Hi-fi playing a lot). Some tracks are quirky in a way which grates slightly to me - e.g. 'El Payaso', 'Who dun it', and many have something of a generic, library music feel (e.g. 'latin velvet' seems to rip off 'how insensitive', 'who dun it' seems to rip off 'felicidade'). However, the best tracks easily make up for this. The compilation has been out since 1997; I'm glad I managed get it in the end.