Marco Mangiarotti – Mina, a great voice in the wind – The Nation 31.10.2000

By Marco Mangiarotti – The Nation

MILAN – If you peel back Wind’s packaging, you find an album with four unreleased Mina covers. In half a million copies, which will be given away to new subscribers from November to Christmas (cell phone plus card plus Internet plus CD). The two-year contract between the company and the singer, which began with the voiceover in the controversial penalty spot made by Roberto Baggio, will thus give us something sonorous and palpable. Collectible and unobtainable in record stores. But, first of all, a real product. Because beyond communication strategies, we care about that little object of desire, Mina singing four wonderful songs, “The wind cries Mary,” “Gone with the wind,” “Blowin’ in the wind,” and “Ride like the wind.” Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and Christopher Cross. Cover with lyrics (to be sung) and a small orchestra led by Massimiliano Pani who produces and arranges with Nicolò Fragile (keyboards), Gabriele Comeglio (woodwinds) and maestro Gianni Ferrio (Gone with the wind). Team. From the time she made her debut in the summer of 1958 at an informal evening at the Bussola singing at the insistence of friends a standard by Don Marino Barreto Jr, “Un’anima pura,” and throughout the early 1960s, the divine Cremonese, the “sublime plebeian,” the big girl “too tall for a woman” (as the magazines addressed to low-assed Italian nannies wrote at the time), that chick with imperfect legs from the knee down, impossible mop, and large, uneven hands, imposes her model without even trying too hard.
Diagonal repertoire, from the postwar period to the 1980s, four different situations for Mina’s transformism. That babbles one of Hendrix’s early singles, while Andrea Braido plays over Jimi’s guitar. A slow-rolling blues with the counterpoint of horns and computer-driven sections. Undertone voice, without anger. Less fat than we might have imagined. Because the model was not Janis Joplin but a lady of the previous generation. Because “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Gone with the Wind” are the two horns of the journey: from Dad’s music to that of his younger siblings.
A sublime standard with Sinatra on “Only the Lonely” (Capitol) but also in the more standard Lena Horne ways, “Gone” confirms what the girl doesn’t say: her love of female singers and the jazz repertoire. Mina takes the sweeping curves of harmony with buttery souplesse, accompanying the instincts of a splashless voice. A delight. And Gianni Ferrio’s skillful arrangement gives us back the sound of an era. “Blowin’ in the wind” is the aching wisdom of Bob Dylan but also a poster song for a generation and a symbol of folk rock writing, as its more than sixty versions attest. From Peter, Paul & Mary’s pop one to Stevie Wonder’s soulful one. Here it is treated as a modern standard a la Bacharach, with a vibraphone carpet, instrumental voices interfering in the house band sound and veering gently to the jazz side.
Like the refined, fast-paced dance fusion of “Ride like the Wind” (something between the Doobie Brothers and disco). Congratulations then to Max Pani, Alfredo Golino (drums), Massimo Moriconi (bass and double bass), Nicolò Fragile (piano, fender, keyboards), Giorgio Cocilovo and Andrea Braido (guitars), Emilio Soana (trumpets), Gabriele Comeglio (saxophones), Mauro Parodi (trombones). The next appointment with Mina (and Wind?) will be in two weeks for the presentation of her website. The studio album is announced for Christmas next year. And the tribute to Modugno rests quietly in the drawer.
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They say about her

11 November 2023


Giorgio Bocca – The jukebox is too tight for Mina – ll Giorno 11.12.1960

Tonight Mina has crazy hair and a dress on which sequins shine. Pale. Slender, her eyes dilated with neurotic rage, the girl wrings her hands to overcome the disgust of strangers breathing down on her.
We are in a dance hall on the outskirts of Turin. With two thousand five hundred liras each (almost two days’ work) the young men of the neighborhood paid themselves, for one hour, for the physical presence of Italy’s most famous “screamer”; the lucky ones, now, surround her little table, under the orchestra.

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Oriana Fallaci – The siren of twenty years – The European 05.02.1961

But who, then, is this girl who in not even two years has become a kind of myth of Italians young and old, poor and rich, suckers and smart, communists and Catholics, and in one minute earns as much as a magistrate earns in a month (one hundred and fifty thousand traffic circles), in one week collects six covers of authoritative weeklies, and if you say you have never seen her sing they treat you as an ignoramus, a traitor to the fatherland, or a cretin?

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Tony di Corcia from “Mina Viva lei” – Clichy Editions 2023

It has become very difficult to write about Mina.
This oh-so-round and fateful birthday of 80, which falls today, has already been consumed by streams of words, hordes of footage, odd images.
Everything seems already said. Premature retirement in 1978-an anti-media seclusion-made her forever young.

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Natalia Aspesi – Here is Mina fatter more beautiful and better – La Repubblica 04.07.1978

Fifty years? It could be 30 or 90, it would be the same. Tomorrow Mina turns half a century old, and the occasion only serves to make it clear how the singer has become, in Italian custom, a symbol rather than a living person. A symbol of an Italy as good as she was, glorious and optimistic, that of the boom years with which her rise coincided; but also, for most of those over 30, a sentimental symbol in the fullest sense of the word.

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