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Between Sets with Charito

"Let someone start believing in you Let him find you and watch what happens" well defines the concept of this disk as to its purpose, poise, and performance! It is also what ignites the power within - to dance with a dream Charito’s dream!

The most dynamic occurrence in the creative process is when two minds from diverse plains cultivate and design, not by plan, an extraordinary gratification in sound. This translates into a blueprint of a legacy (Michel Legrand) and a lady (Charito), building a lasting jewel box of a man’s iconic works his time his passion, only to be executed by the diverse tones of a worthy artist.

Within the confines of Charito’s new spin Watch What Happens a sense of a rebirth and bonding seems to overtake various opinions. Charito with her unique styling's and Mr. Legrand’s historic music mentality interject a new feel for the jazz philosophy.

As we enter the music provided within this powerful performance, the sensitive tones attach themselves to Charito’s execution, yet one easily feel the impact of Legrand. Charito touches upon these moments and the unlikely meeting of the two. Charito also provides us brief but poignant descriptions of her craft and shows she molds it into different moods. When listening, one loses the fact that it’s a tribute in a way of a man who has dedicated so much to entertainment scene and applauded by one who was on the outside looking in. An amazing exploration of then versus now in music!

As you read, explore her words beyond the scripted answers and you will understand the true intensity of these artists, in one room, on one spin, creating many atmospheres to explore for the listener.

Watch what happens now as you go between sets with Charito and her world within and around

JazzReview: Charito, let's get down to it What happened when Charito met Michel Legrand?

Charito: A momentous encounter. I was totally mesmerized by the maestro's entire presence.I listened to his every word and focused on his creative ideas and his attention to detail.

JazzReview: One hears that this new project Watch What Happens, defines the maturity of Charito. What is the maturity of Charito?

Charito: I have loved the music of Legrand ever since I can remember, his impressive melodies require deep understanding and enough experience as a singer to begin to express the emotion in every phrase with reverence. As one critic said, this is one of my best albums that marked my musical and psychological growth as a classic jazz vocalist.

JazzReview: At the same time explain the expression, which has been attached to your craft "Adult vocals" for us.

Charito: Matured singing expression and intelligent sensibility.

JazzReview: Let’s digress from the project and attack the inner emotions of Charito. Who is this gifted vocalist? Define her psyche?

Charito: Very openly expressive. I get totally immersed singing in the moment, reflecting the emotions described in each song....almost naturally breathe life to every word.

JazzReview: What brought Michel Legrand and you together in such a way to lay a palette such as this in our jazz gallery?

Charito: On my way to a gig in Germany, I decided to make a stopover in Paris to check the local jazz scene. It was on my first night at the Champs-Elysees where I met Alain Brunet, who introduced me to Parisian jazz. He then heard me sing while I sat in during a set at Duc de Lombard’s jazz club. We talked about music, the French taste and my favorite French musician and composer Michel Legrand, who I found out, happened to be his long time friend.

The following year, he invited me to perform with his quartet at the summer jazz festivals the south and southwest of France. I had casually asked Alain if it was possible for me to do a recording of French love songs. The idea had such a strong appeal on me. I wanted to capture the moment with the French jazz musicians. We then discussed and agreed to do it while on tour at the beautiful and historical town of Rocheport, famous for Jacques Demy's musical movie Les demoiselles de Rocheport.

The location was a convenient route for all the members! It was perfect! It was during these talks, I became so inspired, and I asked Alain again if I could work on some of Legrand’s pieces. He got my hint and gracefully replied by introducing my work to the maestro. Much to my delight, Michel not only agreed to play but to sing with me as well!! This album has become one of my biggest accomplishments ever!

JazzReview: How would you define your vocal talent as to range, tone, and feel?

Charito: I enjoy singing a wide range of music from straight-ahead soulful ballads to hard-swinging grooves and improvisational adventures. I love creating and styling.

JazzReview: I am curious to your opinion about a quote the iconic Dizzy Gillespie once addressed. He stated "I don't care much about music. What I like is sounds." What is your take on this? Does this apply in some way to a vocalist?

Charito: I can relate to that ... at the end of the day, you just want to feel good about how you sound...more than technique or style; it's all about the feel good vibe when you like and enjoy what you hear.

JazzReview: You have had collaborations before, how does this project compare with those of the past?

Charito: Each collaboration was special moment in a different way, all challenging and exciting but singing and playing with one of the greatest legendary composers of our time is an accomplishment in itself.

JazzReview: With Michel Legrand you were aside three Academy Awards and five Grammys, was there a bit of intimidation involved?

Charito: Honestly at first I had a David and Goliath kind of feeling, like how did this encounter become even possible? He knew what he wanted from all the musicians and got it. He made us deliver without question - that's how strong his hold was and we paid attention. After the first song, we were under his spell.

JazzReview: I listen and point out such pieces as "The Summer Knows" where your tone and flow are exquisite. It brings me back to those romantic clips of the 50’s a man, a woman, and a moon that captures the feeling of full-blossomed romance in its infancy. Would you say that is a fair assessment of that cut?

Charito: That's a lovely way to put it!

JazzReview: I would be remiss if I did not touch upon "Once upon a Summertime" which is such a vocal description into a love since past. Your angelic performance brings these lyrics to life for many I am sure. Can you expand on your grasping of a lyrical composition and how you capture its feel? What is your process?

Charito: I consider myself the actor in the story of the song, immersing myself in the position of the character, feeling the passion and emotions then convey this message to the audience that they not only be able to feel and identify with the lyrics but have an emotional reaction to my singing too!

JazzReview: Talk to the working relationship with Michel Legrand and yourself. What was the one thing that stood out during the recording?

Charito: It was at the time when we were supposed to do the last song "Pieces of Dreams" which was a duet. He asked me to come out of my booth and made me stand in front of him by the piano face to face; barely a meter away....we looked at each others lip movement. His beautifully improvised lines complemented my phrasing of this powerful ballad. It was a magical spontaneous moment; we didn't feel like doing another take.

JazzReview: What one thing did you learn from this recording experience that you wish to pass on to other vocalists?

Charito: Total preparation when singing in a foreign language. As for my case on Quand On S'Aime, I learned not just the correct pronunciation of the lyrics but all its' nuances and meanings. I wanted to make it sound like my own so I studied real hard. I waited for any corrections, I got none.

JazzReview: Define melody for us, as you perceive it?

Charito: It is the soul of any music; a good music phrase grabs you and catches your attention.

JazzReview: I find your approach to your arrangements innovative. When you sit in front of a music sheet for the first time, what do you look for?

Charito: The hook: a passage or a phrase that makes a piece musically appealing.

JazzReview: Is there an aspect of music you would like to explore and take risk upon?

Charito: Improvisation is always new and challenging especially on swing songs.

JazzReview: Now that I have you in my grasp, tell me something I do not know about the inner secrets of Charito.

Charito: I am spiritual by nature and to me music is like religion, singing can be like praying Music has an extraordinary power to come across. It touches, it heals. I like to be the medium.

JazzReview: Now the five most difficult questions you will ever be asked .not really but feed my ego!

* I go to .to escape from the everyday complexities.

I'd ski or scuba dive if I have the time otherwise I just take a walk around nearby nature.

* My favorite place to collect my thoughts is?

My bedroom

* my favorite first date was ?

Unforgettable walk in the park

* When I need to get into music I spin .?

Always changes but recently Stefano and Fabrizio Bosso's

* My favorite dish to cook is ..?


Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Charito
  • Interview Date: 2/1/2010
  • Subtitle: Watch What Happens Caress What Ignites
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