Saturday, November 02, 2013

Line Monty, friend of Farid al-Atrash

I was poking around on ebay earlier today and found this photo, from the back cover of a Line Monty album that was for sale (for more than I wanted to pay, alas).

Line Monty (d. 2003) was one of those many terrific Algerian-Jewish singers of the twentieth century. According to wikipedia (French), she was a friend of the great singer and oud player Farid al-Atrash (a Syrian, but whose career was almost entirely in Egypt). The wikipedia article states: 'En Égypte, son ami Farid El Atrache lui fait répéter une de ses compositions et les Égyptiens, ignorant qu'elle possède aussi cette culture écoutent "la Française qui chante si bien l'arabe."'

This is the album in question. (The title track is the only French song on the album; the rest are Arabic.)

I highly recommend getting anything by Monty. I've been unable to track down much about her biography at the moment, but in future, inshallah. I do know that she was frequently backed by Maurice El Medioni on piano.

Meanwhile, here is one of her great songs:

As for Farid, he had a secret love affair with Moroccan Jewish singer Maya Casabianca (who grew up in Israel as Margalit Azran), who was a big star in France in the sixties. But that's another story. 

(F.N.: Umm Kalthoum met Salim Halali once.)

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