Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray
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Long lost tracks revived

It’s hard to imagine Michael Buble or Tony Bennett playing in town but 30 years ago this week one of the world’s most respected vocalists came to Kirkcaldy to play a full week at Adam Smith Theatre. Matt Monro was in fact playing his third week long residency here having performed at the venue in May 1979 and September 1980, and to show the scale of this stardom a little over six months later he was resident at the Sands in Las Vegas. A recent album compiled by his daughter Michele finds some long lost recordings from various sources. Matt Uncovered (EMI Gold), is a double CD packed with 66 rarities lovingly restored and catalogued with extensive notes. The first sessions for Parlophone with George Martin producing are here in alternative forms. 1959 recordings for a covers label show Matt in uncharacteristic styles and Reditune recordings just made exclusively for radio have unearthed an album’s worth of material that no one thought existed but in astonishing quality and includes ‘My Funny Valentine’ and ‘The Nearness Of You’. Now published in paperback Michele’s book The Singer’s Singer (Titan Books, £8.99) tells of the life and music of Matt Monro in over 780 pages, some illustrated with unseen family photos. Quotes from the best in the business such as Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra confirm the title although he had to live with being labelled the ‘British Sinatra’ for years. Matt packed so much into his career and all with the distinctive vocals and interpretation his fans came to love. We remember his last Kirkcaldy shows reflecting that within two years he would succumb to cancer aged only 55.