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The creation of Charismatic

The creative starting point for this album were the open mic sessions at Studio 770, Brea. The studio offered a monthly night with session musicians for singers to record a song in a short slot each. I wrote songs to bring to those sessions as a way of challenging my songwriting skills. It was exhilarating and rewarding to try out new material and record right away without rehearsals. Mostly jazzy, funky, groovy tunes, latin ballads and a slow bossa nova. Seven of the songs in the album are the result of those spontaneous recordings. The band consisted of: Ron Kobayashi (piano), Sam Montooth (bass), Isaac Sanchez (drums). Additional instruments have been recorded afterwards to those tracks, such as flugelhorn (Sal Cracchiolo), saxophones and flute (Logan Bacharach).

I also brought Bill Hartel’s band (Square One Jazz) to the studio to record three songs (previously rehearsed!). The band was terrific with Bill in drums, Don Read in bass and Brad Vinikow in keyboard. The last song in the album “Seres Humanos” was recorded in Buenos Aires at Juan Estanga’s studio and arranged by him and Juan Pablo Lazo who also played guitar, bass and sax. Back in California I recorded my voice students singing harmonies in the coda of the song singing “ser, ser ser humano” which means something like “be, be, be a human being”. The song lyrics reflect on how to be a better human being.

Most of the songs are in Spanish, my mother tongue. I have been leaning towards the sunny side of love relationships in my lyrics, I guess it is the advantage of maturing and finding balance and true love in my own life. Lyrics are a mix of present and past personal experiences, imagination, and fantasy… One of the songs is in German “Was its Liebe” (surprise!, yes I woke up one morning with german in my mind and an inspiration!). The two songs in english “The Essence is Inside” and “I keep Digging” have been written by Richard Farrell, a songwriter from Ireland who also did background voices in “The Essence”.

Just when I thought I had completed the album with 10 songs and I was still looking for a title… another open mic session “force” me to write a song in a week and then is when I wrote “Charismatic”, a swing uptempo tune about a young dating couple falling for each other. And so it became the title of the album! Voila!

The sessions at Studio 770 have been engineered by Troy Ambroff who also mastered the album.

The art work for the cover was designed by Alejandro Zapico who photographed me in Buenos Aires (in my childhood neighborhood Belgrano) last August a very cold winter morning (I was freezing in my summer dress!).

The digital distribution is set to release January 25th 2019 so the album will be available in all streaming digital platforms such as iTunes and Spotify. The CD release party will follow most probably February.

Laura Valle at Studio 770

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