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Feeling was born in Cuba, in the end of the first half of the 20th century, in late 1946 to be more precise, in the quarter of Cayo Hueso, in Havana, when a group of young musicians started to establish their own standards in songwriting, distancing themselves from the mainstream taste of the times: they resorted to direct images, with a veiled poetic synthesis and alien to any over-elaborated ideas. But above all, their songs displayed a tonal freedom never seen before in Cuban music.

None of those composers had had a formal musical education, and therefore Serial Theories and Dodecaphonism were not part of their artistic curricula. Their greatest influence was jazz, mainly jazz seeking to gain back its black roots through Be Bop.

To them, Arnold Schoenberg carried less weight, musically spaking, than, say, Duke Ellington, Miles Davies, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Dizzie Gillespie and Mario Bauza. The thought the greatness of Maria Callas could be surpassed by the singing of Sara Vauhgan or Ella Fitzgerald.

Feeling started to gain momentum from 1948, after the recording of Novia Mía (Fiancèe of mine), written by José Antonio Méndez and sung by Miguel de Gonzalo, an event that fed the popularity of the rest of the Feeling generation and brought to light to essential females voices: Elena Burke and Omara Portuondo.

Eventually, the Feeling movement would turn out to be one of the starting points that would nurture Cuban songwriting in the early 60s, giving rise to what would be called Nueva Trova, which had in Pablo Milanés one of its first and most outstanding voices.

By the end of the 50s and early 60s, though unrelated to his Cuban peers, a Brazilian musician followed in their steps by bringing new airs into his countrys song scene, by adding a new human dimension to music. His name was Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim. His efforts translated into new forms of music, just like had happened in Havana.

Both Méndez in Cuba and Jobim in Brazil managed to become known worldwide through their innovations, which reached many countries until arriving in Spain, where they left their mark on Catalonias Nova Cancó and later on Portugals new songwriters.

José Antonio Méndez, "the King", as he was known among his large followers and friends, was a total Bohemian and man whose greatness extended far beyond his own legend, true or not. "Tom" Jobim lived in the same way.

In the first case, Novia Mía has long outlived his creator and the same has happened with to Jobims Carota de Ipanema (The girl from Ipanema). The two songs have been circling the globe for decades now.

The life stories of both The King and Tom still remain to be properly written, while their songs have become balsamic remedies against sadness, standing as the part of the first paragraph for that baroque novel that is life in this region of the world, where life is re-written everyday.


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