Laugh Little Girl
At the urging of audience members at two recent shows at the Boston and Arlington Centers for the Arts, Phil Rectra is pleased to bring you 'Laugh Little Girl,' a collection of classic pop songs which marks his first CD release. Many of these songs were discovered on old vinyl records that were found stored in boxes in a friend's basement... The lead track, 'Go On Laugh Little Girl,' was written and performed by Charles Aznavour. Sad and amusing, the singer laments as the 'girl' laughs. Listen to find out why. 'Torero,' an audience favorite - even though the refrain is sung in Italian. It's the story of the Spanish bullfighter who struts with confidence and has adoring fans. But the writers of the song - sarcastic by nature - make fun of the Torero: [translated] 'You wear little shoes that curl your toes, tight pants and a pink baby jacket.' Phil found the song too good to pass up after hearing original versions by Pier Angeli and Claudio Villa. Probably the most well-known song on this CD is 'Words,' written by the Gibb brothers (Bee Gees). One option was to croon this one in Engelbert-Humperdinck style, but Phil chose to strip 'Words' down to it's bare essentials. Fans of Classic American Pop are bound to know Perry Como, the one-time barber who carved his own niche as the humble, smooth-voiced crooner. His rendition of 'Father of Girls' is rife with lyrics that are a sign of the 50's times: 'boys come 'round when they want a date/ girls may only stay home and wait.' But at the core of this tune is the struggle that a dad goes through as he watches his daughter grow up... Horace Silver's 'Psychedelic Sally' is a funky go-go-like song. Up-beat and catchy, Doug Hammer - piano accompanist - rips through a psychedelic organ solo on this one! 'My Work/Back and Forth' combines two songs from the American opera 'Bed and Sofa,' written by Polly Pen and Laurence Klavan. It's the story about a love triangle in turn-of-the-20th-Century Russia, and zings us with a surprise ending. Phil couldn't resist the urge to add this to the 'Laugh Little Girl' recording, harkening back to his forays into musical theater. His sister, Theresa Rectra, traveled from New York City to add her voice as the independent Ludmilla. Phil dares to mess with perfection by singing Billy Strayhorn's 'Lush Life.' It's a narrative song, written with very little rhythm, and found on a classic Nat King Cole record. But on one magical night in the studio, fate strikes: after the first phrase, accompanist Doug Hammer adds - and we'll never know why - a Samba shimmy to the piano. This is one of the artist's favorites! 'Laugh Little Girl' ends with a little known song by the modern indie rock duo Secret Stars, hailing from Narragansett, Rhode Island. Inspired by the original, as well as the interpretation by the lo-fi band Ida, Phil delivers this song as if he's whispering in your ear. The artist recommends you find a quiet, dimly-lit place to listen to this record...