Darius Milhaud was one of the group of French composers called Les Six (after the Russian group of composers called The Five). He was active from around the end of the First World War to 1974, writing mostly jazzy and Brazilian influenced classical music. His influence stretched much further than classical though: among his pupils were the likes of Burt Bacharach and Dave Brubeck.
All three of the works presented on this record were composed around the Twenties, a time of jazz inventions and huge creativity. To me Milhaud’s music always sounded a bit chaotic, but I think that is mostly laziness on my side. If music sounds complicated it is usually good to try harder to understand it: the rewards are plenty.
Milhaud used something called polytonality in his music: music that was written on more than one key. He was not the first to do this, but somehow his influence spilled over to jazz.