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Il Bestiario
UW08 | June 2012
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Release Info

First time available since its original release on the Italian Ri-Fi label, Maria Monti's 1974 LP Il Bestario is a rare item even in its native country. Monti is an Italian singer and actress with a noteworthy career, performing as a cabaret singer in the 60s, an ambitious avant-garde folk artist in the 70s, and starring in films by directors such Sergio Leone (Fistful of Dynamite) and Bernardo Bertolucci (1900) all the while. In addition to lyrics by the infamous poet Aldo Braibanti, Il Bestiario features arrangements and synthesizer from legendary avant-garde composer Alvin Curran, as well as the soprano saxophone of jazz-great Steve Lacy. The music of Il Bestiario is a prime example of "the new art-song" of the 1970s, as Alvin Curran calls it - lush, dynamic and full of intelligence and beauty.

Sourced from the original master tapes and remastered by Taylor Deupree.

Product Info


Limited to 500 copies
Packaged in a tip-on, mini-LP sleeve with original artwork.


"Beginning with the blend of precise, beautiful acoustic guitar, swirl synthesizer courtesy of Curran, and Monti's own cool, gently controlled singing on "Il Pavone" -- a performance that alone seems like something Stereolab were taking plenty of notes from -- Il Bestiario moves from strength to strength with calm grace. If "Dove" shifts the style toward a turn in the spotlight on a jazz-pop note, Lacy's soprano saxophone provides a soaring but never overbearing part to match Monti's own, and from there Il Bestiario takes a constantly restless path, one song never quite predicting where the next might begin and then continue. Throughout, Monti engages each song in an almost kaleidoscopic range of styles" - Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

"an elvish musical theater bathed in moonlight, describing a nocturnal patrol of exotic menageries brimming with wild creatures and mystical goings on" - Spencer Grady, Jazzwise