Manu Lafer

Músico e Compositor

Trip The Light Fantastic

Trip the light fantastic

Manu sings on the B side, joyfully and charmingly, of American Standards, accompanied by a never-before-paired and technically impeccable duo comprising the Brazilian seven-string guitar of Swami Jr. (for more than ten years, the musical director of Cuban group Omara Portuondo, from the Buena Vista Social Club) the electric-acoustic seven-string guitar of Howard Alden (famous for the soundtrack for Sweet And Lowdown, by Woody Allen, and his pioneering work with the George Van Eps seven-string guitar). The songs include lesser-known works by Nat “King” Cole, Hollywood and Broadway soundtracks, and some from the American radio of the 1930s and 1940s under the title borrowed from a children’s song – which means to dance – in the language of swing, but with space for bossa, dixieland, waltz and even rock. The extraordinary guests include nonagenarian Bucky Pizzarelli, rhythm and jazz guitar’s biggest star, on two tracks (one in a duo with seven-string guitarist and vocalist Ed Laub); virtuosi Ken Peplowski on the clarinet and Warren Vaché on the trumpet; and singers Jeanne Gies and Maude Maggart.


Tracks

1. High Is Better Than Low - (Arthur Schwarz, Howard Dietz)

High is better than low
Joy is better than woe
Glad is better than sad
And just in case you didn’t know
Up is better than down

Smile is better than frown
Don’t be dragging your fearful, tearful face
Around the town
If your spirit is bubbly
You’’ll win many a friend

Bubbly is better than troubly
So I recommend
Somewhere ever you go
High is better than low
You’d be better

If you say it so
Warm is better than cold
Young is better than old
Swim is better than sink
And so I think you should be told

Laugh is better than cry
Live is better than die
Melancholy is just a foly
No one will deny

If you haven’t an inkling
How to banish the tear
You can learn in a twinkling
Starting right from here

Sing wherever you go:
High is better than low
You’d be better
If you say it so


2. Simon And The Amazing Dancing Bear - (Randy Newman)

I may go out tomorrow
If I can borrow a coat to wear
Oh, I’d step out in style
With my sincere smile and my dancing bear

Outrageous, alarming, courageous, charming
Oh, who would think a boy and bear
Could be well accepted everywhere
It’s just amazing how fair people can be

Seen at the nicest places
Where well-fed faces all stop to stare
Making the grandest entrance
Is Simon smith and his dancing bear

They’ll love us, won’t they?
They feed us, don’t they?
Oh, who would think a boy and bear
Could be well accepted everywhere
It’s just amazing how fair people can be

Well, who needs money
When you’re funny?
The big attraction everywhere
Will be Simon smith and his dancing bear
It’s Simon smith and the amazing dancing bear


3. Mabel, Mabel - (Ervin Drake, Henry Manners, Jimmy Shirl)

There’s a girl who lives next door
So very sweet and shy
She moons about, and spoons about
‘cause she ain’t got no guy

Her mother is afraid
That love will never come her way
And every night, with all her might
The neighbors hear her say

Mabel, Mabel, sweet and able
Take your elbow off of the table
Go out and get yourself a guy
Mabel, Mabel, stop your moping

You won’t get nowhere by hoping
If you want a guy you’ve got to try
Listen to mamma
Girls who go dancing

Soon go dancing to a wedding tune
Listen to mamma
Moonlight romancing
Ends up in a sunny honeymoon

Mabel, mabel, sweet and able
Take your elbow off of the table
Go out and get yourself a guy


4. Guess Who's In Town - (Andy Razaf, James P Johnson)

Call in your reporters
If they want some news
Got a headline story
They are free to use
Something great has happened

I got a break and how
You can bet, I won’t fret
Gonna meet her now
Guess who’s in town?
I’m happy when I mention

Ain’t nobody but that gal of mine
Guess who’s around
Gets all of my attention
Ain’t nobody but that gal of mine
Listen to this

We’ve got a date at seven
From her first kiss
I’m gonna keep her busy till eleven
Speaking of bliss
Who’s got the key to heaven?

Ain’t nobody but that gal of mine
Guess who’s in town?
And she’s the main attraction
Ain’t nobody but that gal of mine
Guess who’s around?

Give me plenty of action
Ain’t nobody but that gal of mine
Oh boy, hot’n wild
She’s my brown-skin Venus
We made a vow

That devil himself
Can’t come between us
We don’t care now
Tell all the world
You’ve seen us
Ain’t nobody but that gal of mine


5. Some of These Days - (Shelton Brooks)

Some of these days
You’ll miss me honey
Some of these day
You’ll feel so lonely

You’ll miss my hugging,
You’ll miss my kissing
You’ll miss me, honey,
When you go away

I feel so lonely
Just for you only
‘Cause you know, honey,
You’ve had your way

And when you leave me
I know it you’ll grieve me
You’ll miss your little baby
Some of these days


6. The Poor People of Paris - (Marguerite Monnot, René Rouzaud)

(versão em inglês: Jack Lawrence)

Told the coterie at the rotary
What they’ll find in Paris
Told the legionnaire ‘bout the region there
I’m an expert, ‘cause me i just got back from Paris, France

All they do is sing and dance
All they’ve got there is romance, what a tragedy!
Every boulevard has lovers
Every lover is in a trance

The poor, poor people of Paris
(nécéssaire!)
I feel sorry for the french,
Every guy’s gotta a wench

Every couple’s gotta a bench, kissing shamelessly
Night and day they’re making music
While they make the love in France
The poor, poor people of Paris

It should happen to me!
(speaking) bonjour, monsieur, ah you are an américan?
Zhan you must know bing crosby, n’est-ce pas?
I love americans, zhe french are not so happy as the americans

We are always making music
And we worship food and wine
The poor, poor people of Paris
Ah! C’est triste! Why they don’t drink milk?

We have bistros in montmartre
Artists living for their art
Poets rhyming from the heart, one big family!
Montparnasse is filled with students

Taking pleasures à la carte
The poor, poor people of Paris (ah! Quelle catastrophe!)
When in paris you’d be embarrassed
At what goes on in a nighttime

And during lunches we pull no punches
‘cause anytime is the right time
So, don’t go to Paris, France
Not, unless you like to dance
Not, unless you want romance
Like those poor inhabitants of Paris


7. The Very Thought of You - (Ray Noble)

I don’t need your photograph
To keep my bed
Your picture is always in my head
I don’t need your portrait, dear

To call you to mind
For sleeping or waking, dear, I find…
The very thought of you
And I forget to do

The little ordinary things
Everyone ought to do
I’m living in a kind of daydream
I’m happy as a king

And foolish though
It may seem to me
It’s everything
The mere idea of you

The longing here for you
You’ll never know
How slow the moments go
Till I’m near to you

I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It’s just the thought of you
The very thought of you, my love


8. You Should Have Told Me - (Lewis Bellin, Raymond Evans, Bobby Barnes)

You should have told me
You loved someone else
Before I fell in love with you
You should have told me

You cared for another
Before you broke my heart in two
It was wrong when you thrilled me
With your kiss so divine

You knew when you kissed me
You would never be mine
You should have told me
You loved someone else
Before I fell in love with you


9. Sky-Girl (Fathom's Theme) - (John Dankworth)

Fly away with me sky-girl
We’ll go racing, chasing the sun
Swallows on the wing around us
And the sunlight shining on our rainbow run
Ever tried to chase moonbeams

While the stars shine twinkling and bright
No, you’ll never find a joy for girl and boy
Like floating in the air
There’s just nothing to compare
With the joy that we’ll be sharing tonight


10. Who's Who - (Marvin Fisher, William Dunham)

I fell in love with a wonderful girl
Who happened to have a twin
They dress the same and caress the same
Look at the fix I’m in?

Who’s who?
And which is which?
I can’t tell soon from memoir
Who’s who?

I think they switch
To add to my dilemma
Two of a kind and all so pretty
They knock you off your pins

And wouldn’t it be the luck of me
To fall in love with twins?
Who’s who?
A fine romance

It has to lead to trouble
Who’s who?
I took a chance
And hit the daily double

Why am I complaning
Where’s the head I keep my brain in?
All around me love is raining
So who cares who’s who?

Who’s who?
I wish I knew
For one is my one and only
Who’s who?

The big to do
Cause which one has the Toni?
Why am I complaining
Where’s the head I keep my brain in?
All around me love is raining
So who cares who’s who?


11. That Traveling Two-Beat - (Marguerite Monnot, René Rouzaud)

(Versão em inglês: Jack Lawrence)

I’m moving with that traveling two-beat
That old New Orleans how do you do beat
I left the port of New York, travelled up the rhine
Jumped to killarney and cork

How did it sound? Just fine
The whole wide world is whistling dixie
So grab a dance with Mimi or Trixie
In Paris they’re leading you to that

Napoli, they happily do that
Sicily, they welcome you to that traveling two-beat time
Us foreign chicks are digging a two beat
(I’m hip! I’m hip!)

We get our kicks by doing this new beat
It made us britishes bounce soon as it began
(Oh I say that!)
In France we give it a flounce and is it a ball? Oui man

In Vera Cruz we do it up dandy
We play a horn like w.c. handy
(ah the daddy!)
In Brazil we’re ready to buy that

In Seville we really are high that
Ross Seville is ready to try that traveling two-beat time
The swiss are waving their cheese
Yodeling through each hole

The fat dutch are slapping their knees
Whenever they rock, they roll!
The germans drink it down with their lager (rhyme that!)
They like it like the kids in Chicago (sneaky!)

In japan they temple and dawn it
Hindustan, they like to ding-dong it
In Sudan they’re playing our song
It makes the place sublime

It’s that hoopty do beat
Red white and blue beat
Traveling two-beat time
– what time


12. Paint Yourself A Rainbow - (Peter De Rose, Carl Sigman)

Paint yourself a rainbow around your heart
Anytime that the world gets you down
Take some green from the fields
Some red from the rose

Some white from the sand
Who needs rain for rainbows?
Add a bit of blue from your baby’s eyes
And some gold from the gold in her hair

A little love can be the paintbrush
For your work of art
Just paint yourself a rainbow
‘Round your heart


13. You're An Old Smoothie - (BG De Sylva, Rischard A Whiting, Nacio Herb Brown)

You’re an old smoothie, I’m an old softie
I’m just like putty in the hands of a girl like you
You’re an old meanie, I’m a big boobie
I just go nutty in the hands of a girl like you

Poor me, you played me for a sap
Poor you, you thought you’d laid a trap
Well dear, I think it’s time you knew
You’ve done just what I wanted you to

Silly old smoothie, crafty old softie
I’ll stick like putty to the hands of a girl like you


14. East Side, West Side - (Charles B Lawler, James W Blake, Dan Quinn, Eubie Blake)

East side, west side
All around the town
The tots sing ring around Rosie
London bridge is falling down

Boys and girls together
Me an mamie o’rourke
Trip the light fantastic
On the sidewalks of New York


15. Right Now (Depressa, Amor) - (Manu Lafer)

Right now, my love
Now the world has given up the count
Right now, my love
Look at things

And not the way they sprout
Right now, you’re up
To rush before it’s gone
Right now, don’t wait

As great as you’ll become
Right now, my love
There’s no flash yet orange colored sky
Right now, my love

Leave the movies all the white and noir
Right now, it’s time
About to shine a star
Just grab your life

You’ll get to see the light
Depressa, amor
Que o mundo
Cansa de esperar

Depressa, amor
Veja a vida
Não como ela está
Depressa,

Que é você quem vai chegar
Depressa,
Que sem quem você será
Depressa, amor

Tudo azul ou tudo rosa, já
Depressa, amor
Preto e branco
Só se for filmar

Depressa,
Que é tempo de passar
O tempo desse mundo
Quem sonhar



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