LOU PECCI
Cinema Standards On Guitar
(Lou Pecci Music)

 

In the hands of guitar ace Lou Pecci, classics from the great American songbook come to life again. For his 2016 CD, Cinema Standards On Guitar, Lou goes back in timeway back in fact to songs that were mainly written and made popular in the 1930’sa time when melodic uniqueness and content ruled the day. Lou is particularly fond of the Rogers & Hart songbook but he also covers music of Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and others. Speaking about the CD release of Cinema Standards On Guitar Lou tells mwe3.com, "I’ve always loved playing standards, and have for a long time now. I actually recorded this a few years ago and didn’t know if I was going to do anything with it, until a friend heard it and liked it, which encouraged me to put it out." More than just another covers album, Lou points out on the CD cover art that a few of these songs were also used in some of his favorite movies. For example, track 3 here, Lou’s cover of the 1939 Rogers & Hart song “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” was featured in the 1959 movie Pal Joey. There’s even a cover here of “Amapola” dating back to 1922 and was covered by Ennio Morricone in the movie Once Upon A Time In America. Lou's unique and very cool guitar instrumental cover of Harold Arlen’s timelessly melodic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (written for The Wizard Of Oz) is a toe-tapping delight. After a few spins, the music sinks in nicely and it’s great to hear that Lou knows his stuff. Cinema Standards is a fresh and invigorating album of instrumental guitar magic by one of New Jersey’s finest guitarists, Lou Pecci. www.CDbaby.com

 





mwe3.com presents an interview with
LOU PECCI

mwe3
: What gave you the idea to do an album of musical standards from the 1930s with the result being your excellent 2016 album Cinema Standards on Guitar?

Lou Pecci: I’ve always loved playing standards, and have for a long time now. I actually recorded this a few years ago and didn’t know if I was going to do anything with it, until a friend heard it and liked it, which encouraged me to put it out.

mwe3: Are the 1930s your favorite decade for classic American songbook, and would you consider another Cinema Standards CD from a different decade?

Lou Pecci: Sure, but I wouldn’t say the 1930’s are my favorite. There’s actually one tune on this from the 1940’s and another, “Amapola,” from the 1920’s. I could see doing a similar one but it would just depend on when I felt like it. You do a disc for yourself and when other people find it and like it, it’s a nice bonus. I’ve done all of my CD’s with that approach.

mwe3: Did you have an equal interest in the movies where these songs were used, sometimes decades after they were written?

Lou Pecci: Some of them. Once Upon A Time in America, Sweet And Lowdown, and Paper Moon are favorites. The others I’ve seen once or not at all. I usually try to view the films I record a song from, but in this case there’s a few of them I’ve haven’t seen.

mwe3: Do you think that songs sometimes influence the movie even more? I’m thinking of Paper Moon, and the song written 40 years before by Harold Arlen. What brought you back to “Paper Moon”? I remember the movie being huge in 1973.

Lou Pecci: In some cases I would think so, but it’s not something I really gave any thought to. I always liked “Paper Moon” and I had an arrangement of the song I wanted to try out. Sometimes you start changing things a little bit to keep yourself interested. Certain tunes lend themselves to that easier than others.

mwe3: How about your version of “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” from the 1959 movie Pal Joey? You do a very unusual treatment of that track, which works great! Funny how the song was used in the movie 20 years after it was written. Who did it first and do you have a favorite other version of this track?

Lou Pecci: Thank you. I’ve always liked playing it with a little dark mood, especially on solo guitar, although it’s done as a duet on the CD. I remember hearing it by Sinatra, Bobby Darin, and Charlie Parker on his Strings album growing up, but dozens of people have recorded it. As to who did it first, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, and Artie Shaw all did it around the same time in 1939 when it was first written.

mwe3: What about the CD closing with “Little Drummer Boy”, that’s a different kind of “standard” in that it’s not often used in movies. I didn’t know it was written in 1941. You do a very different kind of version, which is nice. It’s also used in the 1999 movie True Crime?

Lou Pecci: Yes, you can hear it the end of the flick, which is the only one I could find that used the tune. I wanted to use it as I don’t plan on doing a Christmas CD in the near future. I must admit I’m taking license a bit to call it a cinema standard, but what the hell. I could have called the disc “Standards in Film on Guitar” or something like that, which would have been a little more accurate overall, but I just liked this title better, being a bit of a cinema buff. It didn’t matter to me that a lot of these tunes were written for the stage and used in movies here and there later on.

mwe3: “Love for Sale” is given a rather modern, Shadows feel. You did a great job on the Cole Porter tune, you make it sound…different. What about the movie “DeLovely?” Tell us about your other favorite Cole Porter songs.

Lou Pecci: That’s one of the films I didn’t see, but it’s one of the rare times a movie has used “Love For Sale.” The song has an interesting history, being banned due to its reference to prostitution. But anyway, I think my other favorites of his are “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” “Begin the Beguine,” and “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.” There’s so many of them it’s hard to choose only a few.

mwe3: Anything else new in the guitar world for you? What guitars are you playing mostly on Cinema Standards on Guitar?

Lou Pecci: A Gibson 335 on all of it except for “Cheek To Cheek” where I used a Godin Nylon String. There’s nothing new going on at the moment, but I’m sure there will be sooner or later.

mwe3: You didn’t sound too thrilled about the future of recorded music but you continue making great albums of guitar magic. Is there a way to salvage our collective musical futures and what other ideas are brewing for you this year?

Lou Pecci: Well, I’m probably the last guy to ask about this stuff, as I don’t make my living in the music business, but it’s pretty clear what’s going on. According to a recent ASCAP article music is now a 15 billion dollar industry, down from 30 billion in 1999. Just as an observer, a fifty percent decline in 17 years is pretty drastic and not a good sign for the future of any business, especially when it’s unintended. Due to streaming and all of the rest of it, recordings lose money now more than ever before.

But regardless, I’m thinking of ideas for the next disc at the moment, as I enjoy playing and recording too much not to keep doing it. Since most musicians feel likewise, that’s probably the way to “salvage our collective musical futures.” In the end, either you’re a player or you’re not a player.



 

 
   
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