Manu Lafer

Músico e Compositor

Something Old and New

Something old and new

In Something Old And New, Manu Lafer enjoys the pleasure of clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski as the guest of honor. Ken is the most well-known promoter of the music of Benny Goodman, with whom he worked, in addition to developing a prolific career as a globe-trotting solo artist (including visits to Brazil) and accompanying stars from Madonna to Mel Tormé.

However, it was Manu who ended up as the “guest’s guest”, who conceived and proposed this big step in the collaboration that built up over Manu’s three previous albums: Trip The Light Fantastic (from the American songbook), The Word (original works) and Buckskin (a tribute to Bucky Pizzarelli).

Peplowski is responsible not only for the musical production, but also for selecting the repertoire. The title, Something Old And New, came from the song, Junk, by Paul McCartney, chosen by Beatle-maniac Ken, who took the recordings to the Trading 8s studios, in New Jersey, where they were carefully recorded by engineer Chris Sulit (a well-known collector of Grammys).

Ken brought his quartet, chosen from the A-listers of the jazz circuit, with Matt Wilson (drums), Martin Wind (bass) and Ehud Asherie (piano). Guitarist Paul Meyers was invited for the tracks recorded with the jazz band. For the folk and blue grass tracks, Justin Poindexter (steel-string guitar, guitar, banjo and slide guitar) and Sam Reider (accordion) were called in.  Valentina Shoddy’s viola and vocals completed the arrangements.

In the repertoire, there is a selection composed of more well-known songs, such as Remember, by Irving Berlin, first sung in Manu’s personal divisions and harmony, then presented with an instrumental bossa tone reminiscent of Henri Mancini, or by better-known songwriters, like Harry Nilsson (Without Her) and Bob Dylan (The Girl From The North Country), in addition to previously mentioned one by Paul McCartney, as well as songs by lesser-known songwriters, such as Firefly, The Girl Who Fell In love With The Moon and Ghosts, by the Wilson brothers (from the pop band Grand Drive), Boo Hewerdine and Jesse Winchester, respectively. All of these songs were enriched by Ken’s sensitivity and the musicians’ harmony.

The album is endorsed by John Pizzarelli, a long-standing collaborator of Manu, who promoted it on his Radio DeLuxe talk show (co-hosted by singer Jessica Molaskey) and who teamed up with him for the song Canto Casual (present in Manu’s discography and the CD celebrating the 50th anniversary of the LP Sinatra e Tom, a tribute by John Pizzarelli). His seven-string guitar can be heard in Pretty World (a cover of Sá Marina, a hit from the 1960s) and I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face, in which John also sings with Manu.

Something Old And New is a rare opportunity to hear a Brazilian artist singing an original selection from the American songbook, but with creative arrangements and played by exponents of their instruments, together with a true jazz star and with the freedom to make incursions on his musical taste.

The joy displayed by the pair on the cover photograph (taken by Fernanda Faya) is a perfect match for the musical atmosphere not only of this album, but of the history of so many collaborations.


Tracks

1. Firefly (Danny Wilson, Julian Wilson)

She had hundreds of stickers on her walls
Made to look like stars
And she’d sit and she’d wish upon them all
To the sound of passing cars

And every single day that passed
Without a wish coming
She’d peel another star from off the wall

With every wish that came and went
Her sky just grew more dim
Until she sat in darkness all alone

Firefly, carry your light within

Open your eyes and see the morning in
(see the morning in, see the morning in)

She had hundreds of miles behind her now
Sun just coming in
She was keeping a promise to herself
Searching the real thing

When she saw the stars at night
She couldn’t believe her eyes
She felt like someone knew

She never thought they’d shine so bright
And then she realised
That every wish she’d made had just come true

Firefly, carry your light within
Open your eyes and see the morning in
(See the morning in, see the morning in)


2. The Girl Who Fell in Love with the Moon (Boo Hewerdine)

The girl who fell in love with the moon
She just looked at the sky and she was gone
The girl who fell in love with the moon
She tried to say no but the pull was too strong

There was a time when her mood used to change with the tide
Now she’s adrift on a sea of tranquility
She doesn’t care and nobody asks why

The girl who fell in love with the moon
She’d been so lonely for so long

There was a time when her mood used to change with the tide
Now she’s adrift on a sea of tranquility
She doesn’t care and nobody asks why

The girl who fell in love with the moon
She just looked at the sky and she was gone
She was gone


3. Ghosts (Jesse Winchester)

She is standing in the airport
She is telling me goodbye
She is telling me she loves me
And there are teardrops in her eye
And when i look at that old picture
It always makes me blue
And there are days where that’s all that i do

And oh, oh, oh these old memories can sure get me down
Going through life with these ghosts all around
And oh how they haunt me
They moan and they cry
Oh but i wish these ghosts would die

There i am in some hotel room
Here i am in some old bar
Drinking cutty sark and water
With the money in my jar
And when i look back on those old times
It always makes me blue
And there are days where that’s all that i do

And oh, oh, oh these old memories can sure get me down
Going through life with these ghosts all around
And oh how they haunt me
They moan and they cry
Oh but i wish these ghosts would die

And all i want
All i pray
Is please somebody
Make these ghosts go away

If you really need to reach me
Go to nineteen sixty three
Playing guitar by the radio
Anything in g
And when i listen to those old songs
It always makes me blue
And there are days where that’s all that i do

And oh, oh, oh these old memories can sure get me down
Going through life with these ghosts all around
And oh how they haunt me
They moan and they cry
Oh but i wish these ghosts would die
Oh but i wish these ghosts would die


4. Lady Day (Bob Gaudio, Jake Holmes, Robert Gaudio)

Her day was born in shades of blue
Her song was sad, the words were true
Her morning came too fast too soon
And died before the afternoon

Poor lady day could use some love, some sunshine
Lady day has too much rain
Poor lady day could use some spring, some breezes
Lady day has too much pain
It’s such a lonely face
It’s such a cloudy sky
So many shadows in her eye
So many empty dreams
So many bitter times
Just a handful
Of broken rhymes

Poor lady day could use a smile, some kindness
Lady day has too much rain
Poor lady day could use some dreams, some flowers
Lady day has too much pain

Just too much to say
Just to much to know
Too little time to say hello
And then the evening comes
And now she doesn’t cry
And it’s too late to say
Good-bye


5. Pretty World (Antonio Adolfo, Tibério Gaspar, Alan Bergman, Marylin Bergman)

Why don’t we take a little piece of summer sky
Hang it on a tree
For that’s the way to start to make a pretty world
For you and for me

And for the sun we’ll find a lemon bright balloon
You can hold the string
Oh can’t you see that little world of ours will be
The prettiest thing

We can gather rain enough for the stream
To hold our happy faces
When we want a breeze, i’ll blow you a kiss or two
Take me in your arms and our little world
Will be the place of places
Nothing must be made but breakfast and love

We’ll hang a little sign that just says
“paradise population two!”
I know together we c an make a pretty world
For me and for you (for you)
It’s what i wanted to do (to do)
To make a world with you


6. Junk (Paul McCartney)

Motor cars
Handle bars
Bicycles for two
Broken hearted jubilee
Parachutes, army boots
Sleeping bags for two
Sentimental jamboree
Buy buy says the sign in the shop window
Why why says the junk in the yard

Candlesticks, building bricks
Something old and new
Memories for you and me
Buy buy says the sign in the shop window
Why why says the junk in the yard


7. Girl From the North Country (Bob Dylan)

Well, if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
As she once was a true love of mine

If you go when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see if she has a coat so warm
To keep her from the howlin’ winds

Please see if her hair hangs long
If it rolls and flows all down her breast
Please see for me if her hair is hanging long
For that’s the way i remember her best

I’m a-wonderin’ if she remembers me at all
Many times i’ve often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day

so, if you’re traveling in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine


8. I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (Frederick Lowe, Alan Jay Lerner)

I’ve grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I’ve grown accustomed to the tune
She whistles night and noon
Her smiles, her frowns, her ups, her downs

Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in
I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely i could always be that way again and yet
I’ve grown accustomed to her looks,
Accustomed to her voice, accustomed to her face

I’m very grateful she’s a woman, so easy to forget
Rather like a habit one can always break and yet
I’ve grown accustomed to the trace of something in the air
Accustomed to her face


9. Without Her (Harry Nilsson)

I spend the night in a chair thinking she’ll be there
But she never comes and then i wake up
And wipe the sleep from my eyes and i rise
To face another day without her

Too roo roo, too roo roo roo, too roo roo

It’s just no good anymore
When you walk through the door of an empty room
And you go inside and set a table for one
It’s no fun when you spend a day without her

Too roo roo, too roo roo roo, too roo roo

(instrumental)

We burst the pretty balloon, took us to the moon
It’s such a beautiful thing
But it’s ended now and it sounds like a lie
If i said i’d rather die than live without her

Too roo roo, too roo roo roo, too roo roo

Love is a beautiful thing when it knows how to swing
And it grooves like a clock
But the hands on the clock tell the lovers to part
And it’s breaking my heart to have to spend another day without her


10. I Can't Start Now (Roddy Frame)

Too many late nights, goin’ too deeply
Into her reasons for leavin’ me here, like i don’t know why

Thought those blue eyes could complete me
But i filled them instead with the ghosts in my head
I’m never satisfied

‘Til the first tear falls
Spend my days now dodgin’ memories,
Shufflin’ my dreams of what we could’ve been, in another time

In places we’ve known, i sit by the payphone,
Then i warm to my theme with the burn of the beam
And build my tower of dimes,
But i still can’t call

I hid it all with pride , while time was on my side,
From the echoing alley to the sun-kissed valley,
I made it through somehow
I kept it all inside, never let it slide
And i can’t start now

Well i was stand-up, loved a showdown
Kept my eyes on the road, never saw what i owed
‘Til the price was high

I heard her sweet lips whisper “slow down”
Then my heart hid inside while my old foolish pride
Made those blue eyes cry
And the rain came down…

I’ve played it wise too long, to say that i was wrong
From the kisses in the alley to the sun-kissed valley,
I’ve broken every vow
I never used three words where two would be enough
And i can’t start now

And every new day dawns to beat me
I’m on the ropes, but i’m hangin’ in
But for us to survive, i feel i’d be taking a dive
And i can not win

I hid it all with pride, while time was on my side
From the echoing alley to the sun-kissed valley,
I made it through somehow
But she had made me start to open up my heart
And i can’t stop now


11. Remember (Irving Berlin)

Remember the night.
The night you said
“I love you”, remember?
Remember you vowed
By all the stars above you, remember?

Remember we found a lonely spot
And after i learned to care a lot
you promised that you’d forget me not?
But you forgot to remember

Where to find

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