Sunday, 11 May 2014
Matt Monro - Better than Frank Sinatra for Sunday Lunch?
The Singing Bus Driver
For my money, I'll take the vocal delivery of Matt Monro over Frank Sinatra any day of the week. A few songs in with Sinatra and I can become tired of the monotonous drone (but probably enjoying the arrangements). Unless it's in the wee small hours. Sinatra can sound too much like he's almost too bored to bother singing.
Matt Monro sounds like he was thrilled to be singing. His voice had a warmth and a smoothness that never seemed forced. He could sing big, bombastic film themes, but imbue them with a sensitivity and a sense of romance that was perhaps not explicit in the lyrics.
Don Black, the English lyricist — probably most famous for his work on James Bond soundtracks — was the manager of Matt Monro, the 'singing bus driver', early on in his career. Matt successfully recorded many of Don's songs, such as the sublime On Days Like These, the opening theme to the 1969 British caper film The Italian Job. The prolific Quincy Jones created the music for the film.
The Italian Job likely signifies a high-watermark in British self-confidence, before the seventies knocked the stuffing out of us.
Sunday Lunch Music
Matt Monro - The Singer's Singer [Amazon] has the best of Matt's recordings, including songs written by Don. Perfect music for cooking your Sunday lunch. Do listen to those odd advertising jingles they tacked on to the end of the compilation.