Art Phillips (Arturo Di Filippo)
Catalogue # APMD1415
Ⓟ © 2015 APMD / All Rights Reserved
This project is inspired by the music my family shared all through my early years and beyond, and is a tribute to my parents and grandparents. The title of this CD is the name of the street where my grandfather Antonio Di Filippo was born in Montenero Val Cocchiara, Molise (Italy). The actual street sign, included on the back of this CD, is located on the side of his home, which still stands today.
My grandparents were all born in Italy, and both grandfathers played guitar and mandolin. My father, Arthur M. Phillips (Di Filippo), was a wonderful guitarist and taught me so much about the instrument and the understanding of musical feel and sensitivity. All of the songs on this album were songs he embraced and songs he played with his father, Antonio Phillips (Di Filippo), a mandolinist. When I was 6 years of age I began playing the guitar, and almost every night of my childhood I remember playing with my dad and grandpa in grandpa’s kitchen in Erie, Pennsylvania (USA), where our backyards connected (as did the properties of a couple of my aunts and uncles as well). The environment was certainly rich with family value. Most evenings, all the family would gather around grandpa and grandma’s kitchen, which had an amazing acoustic ambience with natural reverb reflections. Their enthusiasm for the sounds and passion of music, and their encouragement to me was nothing short of the reason I have been able to have a successful career in the music industry. It was some gift they instilled inside me. I thank them all for that.
In these recordings, I utilized my father’s L-12 Gibson f-hole Spanish guitar (c.1947) and my grandpa’s A-50 Gibson mandolin (c.1954) which I inherited, to play the rhythm and also the main melodies. I treated this project in a guitar ensemble style, a pseudo guitar orchestra, with some arrangements beginning in a rubato style with solo acoustic guitar, followed by full rhythm in tempo, with guitar harmonies, some fully stacked, others being a simple 2 part harmony, along with counter lines and mandolins winding through the arrangement to provide colourful dramatic textures. I also used the mandolin technique on the guitar, as my father would do from time to time. The musical parts were all layered in overdub fashion, all played by myself and recorded on top of each other. The album took 4 weeks to plan, record and produce, then it was mixed and mastered by my sound engineer Adrian Bolland, all at my studio in Sydney, Australia. I relocated to
Australia in 1987 from the USA, after working as guitarist and composer in Los Angeles, California (USA) from 1974-1987.
My father, Arthur Mario Phillips (Di Filippo), 1918-2002, was a wonderful musician who had a successful career in northwestern Pennsylvania (USA) with a duo he created called ‘The Strolling Venetians’. His father, Antonio Phillips (Di Filippo), was a bricklayer by trade and played a beautiful mandolin at night. My mother’s father, Dominic Perrier, a shoemaker by trade, played the guitar also, residing in Lorain, Ohio (USA), near Cleveland and about a 3 hour drive from Erie, Pennsylvania. Dominic loved Italian music and in particular, Italian opera. My very first guitar was Grandpa Perrier’s Gibson round hole guitar (c.1921) that I borrowed for the first 3 years of my learning, which is still in the Perrier family.
I also wish to make a special mention of legendary musician / guitarist Tony Mottola, 1918-2004, who inspired my musicality from the age of 8 years. My style was moulded by the combination of his guitar style along with my father’s. At the young age of 10, I wrote Tony a letter, which was the first in a series of dozens to follow. He took the time to reply all through those early years to each and every letter I wrote, which I have archived. Later, he took my telephone calls from the time I was a teenager. Then, when I was 27 and working as guitarist for Barry Manilow, I finally had the opportunity to meet Tony in New York City during one of his recording sessions. The experience has stayed close to me forevermore. He was a gentleman and a tremendous artist.
The final 2 tracks on this album, entitled ‘Sono Solo Un Uomo’, written by myself and co-writer Bev Klingsick in the USA, have an interesting story. We wrote this song in 1980, with the English title ‘I’m Just A Man’. We originally made a demo of this song back then, but it was never recorded by a major artist nor released commercially. In 2013, after a 30+ year hiatus, Bev and I rekindled our co-writing together and last year decided to re-record the original song. We added a new chorus section, then translated and created Italian lyrics, then recorded it with a commercial opera singer. Track 15 on the album is a guitar melody version with orchestra, all of which I am playing, and Track 16, the BONUS TRACK, is the vocal version, featuring Daniel Tambasco, a wonderful vocalist from Sydney, Australia.
I felt the importance of releasing this album as a physical CD as well as on all digital media stores, as I did with my previous Italian acoustic guitar album, ‘Chitarre Acustiche d’Italia’ https://www.artphillips.com/italia.
The physical CD is important to me, as it’s touchable, and owners of the product are able to experience the CD’s content, both in pictures and in written story, as with full production and release credits. I hope the world will never lose this sense of physical product.
THE MUSIC SELECTIONS
1 C’e La Luna Mezz’o Mare 2:26 (Paolo Citarella) Wallaby Music
An Italian tarantella themed novelty song, of Sicilian origin written by Paolo Citarella, with dialect translation, ‘there’s the moon in the middle of the sea’. The English lyrics were later written by Lou Monte, song entitled: ‘Lazy Mary’. The song versions were recorded by numerous artists, such as Louis Prima, Dean Martin and more recently, Patrizio Buanne.
Lyric Synopsis: A young woman has difficulty in choosing a man to be her husband. She asks her mother to decide. Her mother describes each man and his livelihood. The mother gives a comic answer for each one, indicating for instance that if you marry the butcher, his sausage will become your fantasy. This song obviously utilizes the double entendre technique.
The song version by Lou Monte was used at many New York Mets baseball games during the seventh-inning stretch.
The song has a wonderful happy spirit, full of life, with a vibrancy which I felt to be a perfect vehicle as an opening track on ‘Via Portanova’ to celebrate the passion and love of music and life of my family.
2 That’s Amore 3:40 (Harry Warren, Jack Brooks) Peer Music, Sony ATV Music
Written in 1952 by songwriters Harry Warren and Jack Brooks, becoming a major hit and signature song for Dean Martin a year later. The song first appeared in the soundtrack of the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy film ‘The Caddy’, released by Paramount Pictures on August 10, 1953. In the film, the song is performed mainly by Dean Martin, with Jerry Lewis joining in and then followed by the other characters in the scene. It received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song of that year.
Martin’s recording was again used in the films, ‘Moonstruck’ (1987) and ‘Babe: Pig in the City’ (1998), as well as in many other films, television shows, and recordings by various artists both vocally and instrumentally.
3 Guaglione 2:21 (Giuseppe Fanciulli, Nicola Salerno) Fable Music Publishing
A Neapolitan song, winning the 4th Napoli Song Festival radio broadcast in 1956, music by Giuseppe Fanciulli and lyrics by Nicola Salerno. ‘Guaglione’ translates to ‘boy’ in Neaopolitan dialect. The word also appears in American migrant slang as ‘wallyo’, which I vividly recall my grandpa Antonio saying to my father when they spoke about me or called me to come to the table.
The best known recording of this song was in 1958 by the Cuban band leader Perez Prado, recorded as an up-tempo mambo. The song was also recorded by Connie Francis, Dean Martin and many other artists. Additionally it was recorded as an
instrumental version by many artists, one of whom was the renowned guitarist, Tony Mottola, who was my guitar super-hero and my career inspiration.
4 Carnival Of Venice 2:28 (Herbert L. Clarke) Arr: Art Phillips
An Italian folk song dating back to the 18th century, now in public domain (i.e. out of copyright). A series of themes and variations have been written for solo trumpet as ‘show off’ pieces that contain virtuoso displays of double and triple tonguing, and fast tempos. Paganini wrote a beautiful variation for the violin; Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909) wrote variations for guitar; and there have been sought-after variations of the piece for clarinet, harp, flute and piano, trombone, mandolin and guitar, and many more by numerous arrangers.
The song has been recorded and performed by many artists over the past century, including Harry James & His Orchestra in 1958, Hank Snow’s guitar solo in 1956, Tony Mottola (guitar) & His Orchestra on Command Records in 1962, Danny Kaye in 1960, to name a few.
The popular novelty song, ‘How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?’, written and recorded in 1952, is based on this song.
5 Chitarra Romana 3:36 (aka ‘Roman Guitar’) (Eldo di Lazzaro) Universal
Music Publishing Ltd.
Recorded by numerous artists such as Jerry Vale, Connie Francis, and Tony Mottola and His Orchestra on the album ‘Roman Guitar’ (1964), Command Records (RS 816 SD).
My father was passionate about this song and played it fluently. It’s one of the very early Italian songs I learnt from him and my grandpa. He played it as a strict tango / rumba feel, and I remember it vividly.
6 Oh Marie 3:22 (Eduardo di Capua) Arr: Art Phillips
An Italian folk song, now in public domain (i.e. out of copyright), written by Eduardo di Capua, born in Naples in 1865. Together with the poet Giovanni Capurro, they also co-composed the famous composition ‘O Sole Mio’, another Neapolitan song. Eduardo Di Capua died in 1917 in Naples. ‘Oh Marie’ has been a success story for such artists as Perry Como, Dean Martin, Louis Prima, and more recently Michael Buble.
I include this selection as a tribute to my dear Aunt Marie Montalto, my mother’s sister, as I recall it being one of her favourite Italian songs.
7 Forget Domani 2:33 (Riz Ortolani, Norman Newell) EMI Catalogue
A song that was introduced in the 1964 film, ‘The Yellow Rolls-Royce’, being a composition by Riz Ortolani (who scored the film) and lyricist Norman Newell. Translated as ‘forget tomorrow’, the song in the soundtrack to the film is relevant to each of the three segments that comprise the overall storyline, as each segment deals with lovers whose trysts involve a disregard for consequences.
In 1965, the song received much airplay by vocal recording artists Connie Francis and, in the same year, Frank Sinatra, each hitting the top 100 on the Billboard charts. It was also released in 1966 with vocal recording artist Perry Como. Instrumentalists who have recorded the song include the guitarists Laurindo Almeida, Al Caiola, Tony Mottola, as well as the orchestras of André Kostelanetz, Enoch Light, Peter Nero, the polka king Frankie Yankovic, and many more.
8 Marcello’s Mazurka 3:30 (Tony Mottola) ASCAP
A wonderful song of Italian inspiration and feel of the traditional Italian mazurka, written by the legendary American guitarist Tony Mottola for his son Marcello in 1971, and released in 1972 on the Project 3 Records under the album title ‘Tony And Strings’ by Tony Mottola (PR-5069 SD). My father and I first heard this song in 1972 when Tony’s album was released and we immediately decided to include it in our repertoire.
This selection was important to me to include on this album as a dedication to Tony and his musical and life achievements. It is a very technical piece that begins with a strong and vibrant ¾ time feel with a melody that is persistent and speaks to the mastery of the guitar fingerboard, yet retains a serious Italian passion with heart and soul.
9 Come Prima 3:39 (Mario Panzeri, Vincenzo Di Paola, Sandro
Taccani) Universal MCA Music Publishing Ltd.
Translating to ‘as’ or ‘like before’, the most popular version was first in Italy by Tony Dallara (Antonio Lardera) in 1958. In the same year, the song was recorded by Domenico Modugno, and also by the Marino Marini Quartet (a recording made famous in the United Kingdom).
Additionally, there was an English language lyric by Buck Ram under the title ‘For The First Time’, recorded in the United States by Polly Bergen, also in 1958 (Columbia Records 41275). This same lyric version was later performed by Mario Lanza in his last film, ‘For The First Time’ in 1959. Other performers include Dean Martin, the Platters, and Tony Reno. It was released as an instrumental by recording artist / guitarist Tony Mottola on the record album ‘Roma Oggi’ (‘Rome Today’) on Project 3 Records in 1968.
10 Ciribiribin 3:19 (Alberto Pestalozza, Carlo Tiochet) Arr: Art Phillips
A fun-filled merry Italian song in ¾ time, composed in 1898 by Alberto Pestalozza with lyrics by Carlo Tiochet. The distinguishing feature of the song is the repeated five note phrase that forms the song’s name. There is no actual translation of the song title. It is not a word in itself, so to speak; rather, it was a vehicle for great flare and dramatic inflection for singers due to the use of the repetitive vowel ‘i’ and the holding of the double ‘ee’ at the end of the phrase for as long as desired.
The song has been recorded by such greats as Mario Lanza, trumpeter Harry James with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Band, and many others.
I decided to include this selection as my grandfather Dominic Perrier used to play the song on his Motorola record player in his lounge room in Lorain, Ohio (USA), along with
many other operatic selections. He was also a guitarist, and I borrowed his round holed Gibson for the first 3 years of my music lessons beginning in 1961. The guitar is still a part of the Perrier family, which I recently had the pleasure to play again when I visited my mother’s home town in the summer of 2013.
11 Under Paris Skies 3:24 (Hubert Giraud) G. Schirmer Pty. Ltd.
Originally written in French as the title song of the 1951 film, ‘Sous Le Ciel De Paris’, which was given the English title, ‘Under The Paris Sky’. Mitch Miller & His Orchestra with full chorus had a single released, which spent a week on the charts at number 26 under its English title. The song was also the opening track and album title for vocalist Andy Williams in the fall of 1960 on Cadence Records. The album was a pet project for which Williams assumed the producer’s responsibilities, and this title track bubbled just under the Billboard Hot 100 for a few weeks. The album was recorded in Paris, and Quincy Jones led an orchestra of both American and French musicians on the recording.
This was a favourite song for my father, one that he played in his duo group
‘The Strolling Venetians’. I learnt the song in my early beginnings on guitar.
12 La Vie En Rose 3:09 (Louis Guglielmi, Edith Piaf) Sony ATV Music
Publishing, Campbell Connelly
The signature song of French cabaret singer Édith Piaf, written in 1945, popularized in 1946, and released as a single in 1947.
The song’s title can be translated as ‘life in rosy hues’ or ‘life through rose-colored glasses’; its literal meaning is ‘life in pink’. The lyrics and melody of the song were written by Édith Piaf herself, but the melody was said officially to have been composed and registered by Louis Guglielmi (known as Louiguy) only since, at the time due to the stringent registration requirements of SACEM (the performing rights society in France), Piaf did not have the necessary qualifications to be able to copyright her work with them. Piaf offered the song to Marianne Michel, who slightly modified the lyrics, changing ‘les choses’ (things) for ‘la vie’ (life). English lyrics for the song were later written by Mack David and Frank Eyton. In 1943, Piaf had performed at a nightclub called ‘la vie en rose’. Initially, Piaf’s peers and songwriting team did not think the song would be successful, finding it weaker than the rest of her repertoire. Having listened to their advice, the singer put the song aside, only to change her mind a year later. The song was performed live in concert for the first time in 1946. It became a favourite with audiences. ‘La Vie En Rose’ was the song that made Piaf internationally famous, with its lyrics telling about retaken love and appealing to those who had survived the difficult wartime. It was released on a 10″ single in 1947 by Columbia Records and has received much success over the years, having been recorded by many artists such as Louis Armstrong, Donna Summer, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, and many others.
13 Bud 3:09 (Bud Coleman, Eleanor Coleman) Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
When I was 12, my father bought a new Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass album called ‘Herb Alpert’s Ninth’. (It was called the ‘ninth’ as it was their ninth record released, and it also included a pop-culture joke on the cover.) Ludwig van Beethoven had been a popular topic on T-shirts in the late 1960’s and, in this case, an illustration of Beethoven was shown wearing a t-shirt with Alpert’s face on it on the album cover. The title of the album was also a play on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. None of ‘Beethoven’s Ninth’ actually appeared in any of the album tracks; however, aside from a list of many wonderful songs contained on the recording, there was an unusual original song entitled ‘Bud’ that my dad and I fell in love with. We felt it was like an Italian / European song, full of passion. It embraced heartfelt soulfulness, in minor key, with a beautiful melody.
The song was written in memory of Herb’s dearest friend, Ervan (Bud) Coleman, who had died from surgery complications on May 26, 1967 (age 45), just before the album was completed. The song is also credited as being authored by Coleman and his wife Eleanor. Coleman was the composer of several Tijuana Brass songs, notably the big hit, ‘Tijuana Taxi’. Bud Coleman also played guitar, mandolin and banjo on several of Herb Alpert’s tracks. Additionally he was a key member of Julius Wechter’s ‘’Baja Marimba Band’. Their tribute album release to him, entitled ‘Do You Know The Way To San Jose’, also included their recorded version of the song ‘Bud’. Besides the usual brass, this recording also featured Spanish guitar.
14 Yellow Bird 3:21 (Michel Mauleart Monton, Oswald Durand) Arr: Art Phillips
A 19th-century Haitian song composed by Michel Mauleart Monton, with lyrics from a poem by Oswald Durand. Originally written with the title ‘Choucoune’, it was later re-written with English lyrics in the 20th century as ‘Yellow Bird’.
The English rendering first appeared on the album ‘Calypso Holiday’, a 1957 release by the Norman Luboff Choir, with Norman having arranged the song in a calypso style that became popular in the English speaking world in the mid-1950’s. The lyrics for ‘Yellow Bird’, by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, have no connection with the narrative of the Durand poem, other than the poem features the words ‘ti zwazo’ (little birds) in its refrain, and so the original Haitian song is sometimes called ‘Ti Zwazo’ or ‘Ti Zwezo’. The song became a minor hit at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the Mills Brothers in 1959. Its most successful incarnation came in the summer of 1961 when the Arthur Lyman Group reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the newly formed Easy Listening chart with their Hawaiian flavored instrumental version. Lawrence Welk & His Orchestra also had an instrumental single release in the same year, but it only reached #61.
15 Sono Solo Un Uomo 3:56 (Art Phillips, Beverly Klingsick) Art Phillips Music
Publishing, Bev Klingsick Music Publishing
This song, originally entitled ‘I’m Just A Man’, was co-written with my favourite of all co-writers, Beverly Klingsick, back in the early 1980’s. More detail is noted in paragraph 6 of liner notes above.
This version features an electric guitar melody, including mandolins, acoustic guitars and orchestral backing, which I felt would be an appropriate song and production arrangement to include on this album.
16 BONUS TRACK – Sono Solo Un Uomo 3:57
featuring Daniel Tambasco on vocals (Art Phillips, Beverly Klingsick)
Art Phillips Music Publishing, Bev Klingsick Music Publishing
As noted above, this version includes a full vocal recording featuring commercial operatic singer Daniel Tambasco of Sydney, Australia. I’m certain this is the first of many upcoming recordings featuring this wonderful artist, and I’m proud to include this as a Bonus Track on ‘Via Portanova’.
I hope you will enjoy the journey of this project.