Soul Music: “Wings” (Emmanuel) by Michel Colombier

Michel Colombier (1939-2004) was one of the most prolific film composers in France and the US for four decades, and his recordings from the early 1970s, especially Wings (Emmanuel) and Old Fool Back On Earth, have become cult albums. Colombier studied classical composition with Michel Magne, who was guided by the school of Schoenberg and Webern, but he considered that his pupil had “combined the flower of the soul with the modernism of our days for a better popularity”. This soulfulness resonates clearly in Wings, which he composed in 1970, and which has been dubbed as the first “pop symphony”. Many variations of the piece have been performed by different groups, but one that I particularly like, and which is in keeping with music’s soulfulness is this duet by violinist Caroline Campbell and trumpeter Chris Botti. Enjoy!

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