by Leah Salterio
WHEN it was announced early this year that Regine Velasquez would record an album of
Michel Legrand songs, skeptics dismissed it as a mere "press release" for a project that they predicted would never materialize.
But as early as February, when Legrand came to Manila to perform in a two-night Valentine show, the deal was already sealed.
Today, Regine will leave for an eight-day trip to Paris, where she will meet with Legrand to choose the songs that will be included in her forthcoming album.
Legrand will fly to Paris from Sweden, where he is now based. The pianist-composer has his library of songs in the French capital.
Regine had an advance party to Paris composed of Maxi-Media International executives Felix Co, Jeffrey Cal, Maryann Gomez and Rico Mortel, who left Friday night, like Regine via Air France, which flies non-stop from Manila to Paris.
Maxi-Media, which produced Legrand's successful Valentine concerts at the PICC, will also produce the album. It will be the initial offering of Maxi Records but it will be distributed by Viva Records, Regine's recording label.
Regine will be accompanied by her father Mang Gerry and her manager Patty Mayoralgo. In Paris, Regine will also do a pictorial for her album cover and publicity stills.
Maxi-Media is reportedly spending 15 million pesos to produce the album, which they also hope to distribute in the international market. After the Manila launch late this year, the album will also be distributed in the Asian market.
Maryann said they hope to achieve double platinum status (80,000 units sold) at least to break even.
We heard that Viva big boss Vic del Rosario did not agree to shoulder even just half the production cost, but agreed to distribute the album.
In the album, similar to what singer Laura Fygi did, Regine will record the Legrand classics but will also sing Legrand's original compositions. Regine will work with the sound and audio engineer who worked on Barbra Streisand albums.
For sure, the "Regine Sings Legrand" album will contain Regine's favorite Legrand tune, "No Matter What Happens."
The two met in Manila last February, when Regine didn't mind auditioning before the illustrious composer.
Legrand will return to Manila in July, when he and Regine will start recording for the album. They might also go on an Asian performance tour.
While Maxi-Media is at it, it might as well produce a major concert with Legrand and Regine in July. It will certainly be a big boost to the album.
Phil. Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2002
The Music Inside Buzz