The China Post staff
Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood sex goddess of the 1950s, continues to inspire artists today. On the eve of her 40th death anniversry, a special David Klein Quintet CD album titled “My Marilyn” gets released, using tunes from Monroe’s films like “Niagara,” “Let’s Make Love,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and “Some Like It Hot.”
A nostalgia for Marilyn Monroe is being fanned through songs like “Kiss,” “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” “Incurably Romantic,” “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Let’s Make Love,” “She Acts Like a Woman Should,” “Some Like It Hot” and “I’m Through With Love.”
The CD album package even comes with a black-and-white Marilyn Monroe film classic DVD titled “Some Like It Hot.”
The CD recording under the Enja label features David Klein on the saxophone, Miriam Klein for vocals, Mulgrew Miller on the piano, Ira Coleman for bass, and Marcello Pellitteri on the drums. Eli Wallach described the David Klein Quintet’s recording as “an elegant tribute to a wonderful woman, a triumph and a treasure.” He rememberd dancing and acting with her in “The Misfits.” Wallach spoke of Monroe as “a glowing, warm and beautiful woman….tortured somewhat….but her talent (often misunderstood) brought joy to millions.” He remarked that she made films which were classics. She covered them all — from comedy like “Some Like It Hot” to drama like “Bus Stop.”
Jane Russell, who appeared with Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” told David Klein: “I know Marilyn would have gotten a big kick out of hearing it.” Jack Cardiff recalled when asked by Klein to talk about Monroe: “I met Marilyn in 1957 during the filming of `The Prince and the Showgirl,” which I photographed. We became special friends. She loved music and used to play records and sing in her dressing room. I know she’d appreciate what you are doing with this CD and I am delighted you are making this tribute to my old friend.”
Marilyn Monroe, who was born Norma Jeane Baker in 1926 and died in 1962, was a passionate jazz fan. In fact, she went everywhere with her record player and a stack of LP’s by Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. When she heard that Ella could not perform at the Mocambo because it was off limits to African American artists, she personally sought out the owner and told him that if he would book her, she would take a front table every night. The press would go wild, she assured him.
The owner agreed and Marilyn was there, occupying a front table every night. “I never had to play a small jazz club again!” remembered Ella Fitzgerald.