sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2009

Monna Bell: Sus Primeros EP's (1959-61) ... plus

Monna Bell, was born in Chile but settled in Spain in the late '50s and recorded for Hispavox from 1957 through 1967, a period in which she enjoyed immense international popularity. Even though she continued recording in Mexico for the Musart and Orfeon labels, it is her Hispavox recordings that guarantee her place in history forever. This compilation of Monna Bell's legendary recordings gathers a generous amount of her classics, most recorded with orchestras conducted by two Spanish musical geniuses, Augusto Algueró Jr. and Gregorio García Segura, who were also responsible for the arrangements. Here you will find all the songs that made Miss Bell an international sensation including 'Un Telegrama', the jazzy tune that won, thanks to her interpretation, the top spot at the First Song Festival in Benidorm, Spain in 1959. It has been reported that 'Un Telegrama' was recorded more than ninety times by other artists, but Monna's version remains the definite rendition. No wonder if you consider that Miss Bell is one of the few Latin singers that could be considered a true jazz singer. She not only improvised in her interpretations but her phrasing was both impeccable and inventive. She had the rare quality of singing behind the beat to stress a phrase or a word and then speed things up to come back right on place. Her genius made even the most banal tunes like 'El Día de los Enamorados' or 'Comunicando' sound interesting, but she was definitely at her best when she transposed her jazz style to ballads such as the mesmerizing 'La Montaña.' Her unique approach is also felt in steamy boleros such as 'Silencio Corazón', 'Aún Te Sigo Amando' or 'Recordaré Tu Amor.' Hear the romance on her voice as she softly utters 'Un Amor Inolvidable', the love theme from the film 'An Affair to Remember' one of many American tunes she covered in Spanish. She can also sound wicked and mischievous when she attacks samba-flavored tunes 'Amor en Río' or 'Pan, Amor y Besos' and she is delightful doing something so incoherent as 'Domenica Es Siempre Domenica,' an Italian-Spanish tune that might sound an abomination today, but was quite popular in the late '50s. In short, these collection is the best proof that Monna Bell was a great vocalist who created a style and had a unique sound, unlike the all-alike crap we are being fed today on Spanish-language radio and television. I added as an extra gift a sampling of Monna's '60s repertoire, including jazzy tunes with romantic boleros, European ballads, and those crazy novelty numbers that were so popular then and were probably imposed upon the vocalist by the record producers. Included are 'Chiquitina' and 'Tómbola' (also recorded by the Spanish child prodigy Marisol), 'Nubes de Colores', 'La Chica de Ipanema', 'La Playa', 'Trenes, Barcos y Aviones' and 'Estaba escrito', a song that was in the OST of the Almodovar's film "Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón". 73 songs in all!! Partially taken from Marcos' review on http://www.amazon.com/

Monna Bell performing 'Desafinado'. Excerpt of the Julián Soler's film Buenas Noches, Año Nuevo, from 1964:

Monna Bell singing live 'Rogar' and 'Pequeña Mía':

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