The Best of Hugo Montenegro
Come Spy with Me. Secret Agent Man Theme from "I Spy"
Theme from The Man FromU.N.C.L.E. The James Bond Theme The Silencers
"Get Smart" Theme Theme from "The FBI" The Man from THRUSH
Theme from "The Spy who came in from the Cold". Goldfinger Our
Man Flint Illya
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Hang 'em High For a Few Dollars
More Theme from "A Fistful of Dollars" Theme for Three The Godfather
Hugo Montenegro was born in New York in 1925, he studied at Manhattan College
of Music. During two years in the US Navy, he wrote arrangements for Military
Bands and it was during this period that he came to the notice of Andre
Kostelanetz. Kostelanetz, a Russian émigré, had become a firm
favourite in the US for Light and Light Classical music. On leaving the Navy,
Montrnegro went to work for him as a composer/arranger. At the age of 25,
he had been noticed by many of the Stars associated with Kostelanetz and
he was offered the position of Musical Director to Harry Belafonte at the
height of the singer's fame.
In the 1960's Montenegro moved to the West Coast and became a leading figure
in TV and Cinema composing and arranging. The remainder of his working life
was to be spent in this way, but he also made many Albums for the popular
In many ways he helped to set the tone for the next generation of composers
of film music. He was not afraid to use unconventional instrumentation and
voicing and was always in search of a "new sound"
This album contains some excellent examples of his work, compare his version
of The James Bond Theme with Monty Norman's original, both are fine examples
of the arrangers' craft, but quite different. Similar comparisons can be
drawn with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Goldfinger and Thunderball.
Hugo Montenegro died in 1981 aged 55. In many ways it is sad that quality
light music of the type he produced has almost disappeared from Radio and
TV. The album reminds me of better musical times and I enjoyed listening
to the work of an arranger who was undoubtedly a master of his craft, played
by the excellent musicians the West Coast studios employed.
Don Mather is a Bandleader and Saxophone player based in Coventry,