Heart of the Man
Audio CD July 17th 2006
Label Rollercoaster Records
Catalogue No. NOMCD 101
Heart of A Man
Come to My Arms Baby
This is Real, This is Love
Just in Time
Flattery - Duet
Nice & Easy
My Favourite Song
Say Something Sweet
S’ Wonderful/ I Get a Kick Out of You
In The Still of The Night
Just One of Those Things
Pennies From Heaven
I Remember It Well – Duet
On the 11th August I did a live radio interview with Chris Savory of BBC Radio Shropshire 96 & 95 fm, which I believe aired in England at 7.30pm.
As well as other things the focus was on the newly released “Heart of the Man” which also contains rare live radio broadcasts and has been very well received. This review was published in HMV Choice, the record shops own publication in the July/August issue.
"Revel in these newly discovered treasures from Matt Monro's early years." Words: Helen M Jerome
Easy maestro Matt Monro is currently enjoying something of a resurgence thanks to the acclaim of young pretenders like Peter Grant but even a superfan like Grant won't have heard the bulk of material on this record, as the 19 tracks are drawn from newly-discovered material that hasn't seen the light of day for over four decades.
Even Monro's daughter, Michele was staggered when listening to the master of the title track, as she heard her late father dedicating it to both her and her mother straight after she was born.
Not that all the tracks are unknown, however - far from it.
Rumours persist that the artist formerly known as Terence Parsons used to turn up to recording sessions still dressed for his day job - as a bus driver - but let's face it, when he was turning out such splendidly swinging versions of "Just one of those things," plus "S’Wonderful" paired with "I get a kick out of you," you wouldn't really care what he wore.
Of course, this was years before he sang the theme for the Bond movie "From Russia with love" or made his runner-up appearance in the Eurovision - and he notched up a remarkable 25 million record sales.
There are many fabulous performances on this album, with "Somewhere,"
from West Side Story, being outstanding and "In the still of the night" zipping along, Matt shows he wasn't averse to a duet on "flattery" and perennial favourite "I remember it well" (both with Jean Marlow), while his jaunty "Nice and easy" seems to sum up this collection perfectly.
HMV magazine review summer 2006.
But is wasn’t just the record shops that voiced their opinion, numerous comments were made in this website’s Forum,
“The packaging and contemporary graphic design of this CD is just fabulous. I plan to frame the outer sleeve or put it on my partition at work. I love the photos (especially "My Favourite Photograph"), Michele's message, the detailed track listing, and the interview (I'm told Milwaukee is nicer than it used to be!).
I've listened to all the songs at least once. I can't stop listening to "This Is Real, This Is Love". The composer is listed as Bell. I've never heard this song before or the composer Bell. Does anyone know more about this neat song and composer?
The only song I won't be listening to a second time is Pennies From Heaven. Matt's vocal is excellent as usual, but it's ruined by Ken Jones, whoever that is.
I was going to write exactly what Gray wrote about Walk Away. What a treat to hear this superb song in another setting. The first time I heard it, I had chills all over my body. My only wish is that the orchestra could be softer towards the end, so we can better hear Matt's voice, which is so clear and compassionate. You can tell just how much he loves this song. It's spectacular.
My other favourites are Heart Of The Man (both versions), I Remember It Well, Just In Time, Just One Of Those Things, In The Still Of The Night, Let Me Sing And I'm Happy (with the opening verse), and Exodus.
What I find most intriguing, is that Matt Monro did real jazz singing on some of these songs. Some of his jazz riffs on this CD are exceptional. I never considered him to be a pure jazz singer. But this CD shows that he clearly is a jazz singer. I'm curious how he went into the path of ballads and a few up-tempo songs, instead of pure jazz (e.g., Mel Torme, Jon Hendricks). I'm happy he went the path of non-pure jazz. But it's interesting that he had "what it takes" to be a real jazz singer.
Also interesting through these rather authentic recordings is that his vocal styling is still used by singers today. For example, he often used melismas and appoggiaturas on these recordings, which pop and jazz singers often over-use today. So even though these recordings sound of another era, Matt Monro's vocal styling is timeless.
It's so wonderful to have this special and unique CD”.
“HEART OF THE MAN is THE most exciting album I've recently had the pleasure of hearing.Usually when unreleased material is discovered and released it is quickly evident that it was originally discarded as being below standard-NOT IN THIS CASE BY A MILE-all the material is top drawer and this album is currently on my in-car number one slot.
Thank you,Michele and all concerned for making this available.
I love it!”
“We have received our copy of" Heart Of A Man" today, and we can only describe this CD as an unbelievable treasure with songs from Matt previously unheard and restored to perfection.
“I think the outstanding tracks, apart from "I get a kick out of you" [how great is it to hear Matt singing that one!!] , but also "Just in time" ; "Nice 'n Easy": and "Just one of those things" . The last one is a song that I never particularly liked , but Matt makes it sound great!.
One or two oldie ballads, some great swing numbers, and even duetting on two or three tracks brought back some wonderful memories.
"The Heart Of A Man" sung superbly by Matt at that time, was in recognition and celebration of Michele's birth. How wonderful is that.!!!
"Just One Of Those Things", "Just In Time", "This Is Real, This Is Love", "Pennies From Heaven" and " In The Still Of The Night", swinging numbers that emphasizes the skill of Matt's craft.
The duets also brought back memories, and again reminded us that here is the quality artist and performer at his very best. Yes, He Is The Best !!!
The artwork and family pictures and the bonus interview with the liner notes make this fantastic CD a must for everyone.
We are just going to play it again and again, and again”.
It is incredible that all this lovely music was recorded, then hidden away , unknown, for so many years, but through the wonders of modern technology we are able to hear it as fresh and clear as when it was recorded. Some of the arrangements sound very up to date to me, particularly on the upbeat numbers”.