1973 Antonio Marin Montero & Manuel Lopez Bellido CD/IN
|Back & Sides:
Antonio Marin Montero and Manuel Lopez Bellido are arguably regarded as the two leading founders of the current "Granada school". What is not so well known however, is that these two builders initially set up shop together and began their foray into full-time professional lutherie as partners in 1960, building instruments at first under various "house" brand-names, but eventually producing guitars under their individual names as well as jointly under "Montero-Bellido", similar to "Hernandez y Aguado" in Madrid. During the years when these two makers were working together, a generation of younger makers passed through their doors as apprentices, including the likes of Rafael Moreno Rodriguez, Jose Lopez Bellido, Paco Santiago Marin, Juan Miguel Carmona and even Jose Marin Plazuelo - all household names in today's "Granada" scene. The guitars being built out of their shop became highly regarded and attracted the attention and patronage of such guitarists as Regino Sainz de la Maza, Sabicas, Paco de Lucia and Diego del Gastor, among others.
This guitar from 1973 was built the final year these two makers produced instruments under the joint label "Montero-Bellido" and is simply a joy to play. The setup and feel is almost flamenco, with low action and an easy neck, and yet the sound is deep, warm, and rich - very classical in tone quality but with the punch and immediacy of flamenco - in fact it appears that a previous owner used this guitar for flamenco as there remains a faint outline of a golpeador in the finish on the top (golpeador now removed). It could almost be regarded as a lightweight, ultra-responsive classical, or as a rich, classical sounding flamenco! It also exhibits the classic understated aesthetic and efficiency of build (both internally and externally) that has come to define the Granada style, even to this day.
Orfeo Magazine #8 - The Granada School