January 22, 2010
January 3, 2010
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Arts & Entertainment
The Philippine-born jazz singer Charito, who’s based in Japan, persuaded French pianist and composer Michel Legrand to make this love-bucket of a recording. It’s pretty and gushy, and Legrand, who’s in his late 70s and has chalked up a distinguished jazz history, shows it’s never too late to hang out with a pretty girl. Charito leads us through Legrand material from such films as Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Summer of ’42. She’s a tad overwrought though not unlikable. She does nearly melt on “The Windmills of Your Mind.” Still, she clearly knows good material. Her 2004 CD, Charito Meets Ivan Lins, put her in the company of another eminent composer. Here, Legrand conducts, plays piano, and even scats along with his collaborator. He sings wa y too much, but oo la la, it’s easy to see why. – Karl Stark
November 23, 2009
All About Jazz
Recognized as a prominent jazz singer in Japan, Philippine-born songbird Charito has been a vocal force in Asia and Europe since the early 1990s, and now presents perhaps her most ambitious project to date on Watch What Happens, a delightful collaboration with Grammy Award-winning French composer Michel Legrand. Stating that “This album has become one of my biggest accomplishments ever,” Charito does, indeed, deliver a classy performance with her distinctive interpretation of love songs from Legrand’s songbook. The singer embarks on an American tour of a project, recorded in France and originally released in Europe in 2008. Gifted with a beautiful, velvet voice, Charito’s calm, laidback approach to the music serves her quite well. When Legrand accepted a request from the singer to perform a tune or two with the diva, the project shifted, from the original plan of a series of French love songs played by French musicians, to a collection of Legrand compositions sung exclusively, of course, with the maestro. Legrand plays piano as part of the jazz combo, scats on several pieces, and performs a duet with the singer on “Summer Me, Winter Me,” “Pieces Of Dreams,” and “Quand On S’Aime,” where both artists sing in French and seem to have fun with the lyrics. With Alain Mayeras sharing piano duties and providing the musical arrangements, Charito is simply mesmerizing on the title piece, “The First Time,” and beautiful “What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life,” from the 1969 movie The Happy Ending–all accompanied by a full orchestra and string section (unfortunately, neither the orchestra or many of the key players are listed). Charito lends stylish interpretations to a couple of other Legrand compositions associated with film classics like “The Windmills of Your Mind,” from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and “The Summer Knows,” from the 1971 flick Summer of ’42 (1971). Though their meeting in Paris was not truly by chance, this recording was never really in the plans and, as luck would have it, Watch What Happens turns out to be a musical invitation that embraces the talents of a legend and the vocal energy of a very special singer. On Watch What Happens, Charito meets Michel Legrand, and the results is a wonderful album of mature light jazz. – By Edward Blanco
Featured Artist: Charito & Michel Legrand
CD Title: Watch What Happens
Watch What Happens is precisely that when Charito meet Michel Legrand. This collection sparkles with intimacy, intricate performances, and a zest for life that make for enjoyable listening entertainment. Charito, based in Japan, has become over the years a major presence in jazz throughout the world. In this memorable recording, she sings the songs of French composer, Michel Legrand. Legrand plays the piano as part of the jazz combo and performs three outstanding duets with Charito. These songs are “Summer Me, Winter Me,” “Pieces of Dreams,” and the intricate “Quand On S’Aime.” There are thirteen tracks on the CD. Songs include: “Watch What Happens,” “Summer me, Winter Me,” “The First Time,” “Pieces Of Dreams,” “Once Upon A Summertime,” “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?.” “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?,” “Quand On S’Aime,” “Ask Yourself Why,” “You Must Believe In Spring,” “I Will Wait For You,” “The Windmills of Your Mind,” and “The Summer Knows.” Charito sings each song with intimacy and inspiration. If you like the music of Michel Legrand, this is a keeper. If you like the music of Charito, this is a keeper. A perfect match in all respects, this is a wonderful collection of songs. This would be an ideal gift for a friend or lover, and a nice item to have your local librarian place in the public library in your area. Outstanding. Perfect. Classic recording. That sums up this memorable recording. Highly recommended.
October 19, 2009
This is a dyna-mite CD!
Kudos to all concerned. – Bob Collins WRHU Hofstra University
October 17, 2009
Here’s my review of Charito’s tour de force with Michel Legrand; it’ll be in issue #96, due up ’round end-October to mid-November, 2009:
Charito – WATCH WHAT HAPPENS: Another laid-back jazz vocalist, Charito joins one amazing pianist/player from France, Michel Legrand… the recording doesn’t “favor” either one, & they’re both able to impress you with zesty talent and powerful playing! I’m telling you right now, when LeGrand kicks in with “scat” on the second track, “Summer Me, Winter Me”, or the duet on “Pieces Of Dreams”, your ears will quickly realize just how astounding life can be when in the presence of musical quality. Charito is from Japan (or at least, she’s based there), & having lived in the Orient myself for nigh on 20 years, I can tell you that she’s “got it”… no pretending or imitating here – she’s the “real thing”. As you read through her BIO, you’ll see that she gets extremely high marks from jazz notables like Nancy Wilson, & I’ve no doubt that doesn’t come “easy”. There are a couple of good introductory vids at ALLABOUTJAZZ on her, though I couldn’t find any downloadable .mp3’s for you – the AMAZON page didn’t have any samples, either. Her voice is full of soul, and she’s easily able to wrap you into her spell… very enjoyable CD, in great part because of Michel’s playing, but Charito is quality vocal jazz… she gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me… “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.45. Get more information atwww.charito.com – Rotcod Zzaj
Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj
Zine site: http://zzaj.freehostia.com/
October 16, 2009
Anyone who grew up in the 1970s, like I did, was quite familiar with the works of French pianist Michel Legrand. A serious composer who started his studies at the Paris Conservatoire at age 11, Legrand is one of the few European classical composers to make themselves equally at home in the world of jazz. The multi-award winner of several Oscars and Grammys, Legrand worked with many of the top names in jazz, (Ella Fitzgerald, Miles, Coltrane, Shelly Manne, Phil Woods, among many others) but is perhaps best known for his soundtrack work. Several of his songs for film have become jazz standards, including “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” (The Happy Ending) “I Will Wait For You” from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, “The Windmills of Your Mind” (The Thomas Crown Affair) and “The Summer Knows” (Summer of ’42). A gifted pianist himself, Legrand has worked with a plethora of top-notch singers including Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Perry Como, Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughn. On this recording, Legrand is paired with Tokyo-based singer Charito – a singer whose voice Legrand is said to be enchanted by. Listening to the album one can see why. Her elegant delivery and rich and expressive voice give life to these classic songs, infusing them with a sense of maturity so rare in today’s music world. It is rare too for Legrand himself to accompany his singers on the piano, but he does so here with gusty as part of a jazz trio backing the singer. His flourishes on the piano are brilliant, evoking both Bill Evans as well as Oscar Peterson and Errol Garner and the 77-year-old seems invigorated by working with the Far-Eastern chanteuse. Perhaps the highlights are when Legrand sings and scats in duet with Charito on “Summer Me, Winter Me,” Pieces of Dreams,” and “Quand On S’Aime.” This is first-rate, sophisticated and shimmering music that recalls the previous age of cabaret music, but with the benefit of modern sound recording techniques.
October 13, 2009
Charito Performing at Yoshi’s Oakland October 27
The Japan-based jazz diva Charito is now a presence on the global scene. Her recent albums, featuring powerful collaborations with Ivan Lins and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, have shown the world just how talented this Filipina songstress is. Her eagerly-awaited newest release is a collection of songs by the great French composer Michel Legrand. On the CD, entitled Watch What Happens, Legrand himself plays the piano, scats and performs with Charito on four songs. Her concerts this year have included appearances at the Manila International Jazz Festival in February, and the Sydney Jazz A Vienne Festival where she is currently performing. Before coming to Oakland Yoshis, she will perform at the world-famous Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood, CA. She will appear there again in December as part of the 5th Annual Los Angeles Fil-Am Jazz Festival.
October 12, 2009
One of the icons of late 60s “Middle of the Road” music – Michel Legrand himself performs on four of the tracks from Charito Vergara – an artist based in Japan. The whole album evokes that time – bossa beats, lush backgraunds. Arrangements from pianist Alain Mayeras are top-notch, Ms. Vergara sounds best on the more dramatic ballads on the disc – “Windmills Of Your Mind” is one of my favorites, along with “How Do You Keep The Music Playing?” Mr. Legrand performs vocals on three tracks – “Summer Me, Winter Me”, “Pieces of Dreams” and “Quand On S’Aime.” These, though, are not the highlights of the disc. This is my first exposure to Charito. It’s a solid piece of work, nicely produced. I’ll be looking for more. Recommended. – by Doug Boynton
October 1, 2009
September 29, 2009
Jazz Press Release – “Charito Meets Michel Legrand – Watch What Happens”
On Google News
PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) – Wien, Austria
Charito Meets Michel Legrand – Watch What Happens CD Set for Release
On Google Blogs
Charito Meets Michel Legrand Watch What Happens CD Set for Release … – By associate8
Charito continues to find her way into the hearts of her peers and fans by continually releasing recordings with impressive collaborations. New York, NY, Newsreel Network .com
On Google Web
Charito Meets Michel Legrand Watch What Happens CD Set for Release … Charito continues to find her way into the hearts of her peers and fans by continually releasing recordings with.
September 17, 2009
Oct 26 at Catalina’s Bar & Grille with Alain Brunet group
Oct 27 Oakland- Yoshi’s with Alain Brunet group Charito-vocals, Alain Brunet-trumpet and Alain Mayeras-piano In Ms. Nancy Wilson’s words, “The first time I heard Charito, I physically and emotionally embraced her and thought myself BEAUTIFUL, that came from the heart and the soul. She has a warm way of presenting a song and she represents what a singer really is, a song stylist.
” Watch What Happens: Charito meets Michel Legrand (CT Music DDCJ1006)
Street Date: October 6, 2009
The Japan-based jazz diva Charito is now a presence on the global scene. Her recent albums, featuring powerful collaborations with Ivan Lins and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, have shown the world just how talented she is. This eagerly-awaited new release is a collection of songs by the great French composer, Michel Legrand. Legrand himself plays the piano, scats and performs with Charito on four songs. Michel Legrand is a true maestro, a world-famous composer who has won three Academy Awards, and five Grammys. Charito was able to meet Legrand during such a busy time was purely due to his sheer fascination with her talent as a singer. A number of vocalists have collaborated with Michel Legrand in the past including Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne. It is extremely rare for Legrand to play the piano with his vocalists, yet for this collaboration with Charito, Legrand plays the piano as part of the jazz combo and performs three duets with her: “Summer Me, Winter Me”, “Pieces of Dreams” and “Quand On S’Aime.” Charito embraces Legrand’s world and what she draws out from these melodies is totally fascinating. Charito sings each song very expressively, cherishing not only the beauty of the melody but also the elegant atmosphere that Legrand’s works evoke. This is a world of “adult vocals”, in the true sense of the words, inspired with the very spirit of Michel Legrand. This Legrand collection really brings home the maturity of Charito, who has been producing solid albums at a pace of one a year.
– “Charito is an artist. A true one” Christopher Santos, CENTERFOLD
ABB (Absolutely Bloody Beautiful) and truly very tasteful. RADIO 2000 97.2 – 100FM – Nationwide
Seriously, how cool is this? You know Michel LeGrand doesn’t need to get out of bed just to grab a paycheck, and you know if he wanted to freshen up his back catalog for future consumption, he could hire anyone and no matter how big they are, if they have a brain they would show up yesterday. And here, we have a vocalist we’ve never heard of that got LeGrand out of bed for a trip through his back pages with a heavy accent on his soundtrack work and even a nod to many of his great soundtrack songs that found cabaret footing but never really got out of the gate. Charito has been able to couple up with legends in the last few years and it’s time you took a listen to see what they are digging so well in Japan. Simply a dandy vocal album from a singer that’s more interested in making her own mark than in following in other singers footsteps. A nice vibe, a nice atmosphere and a solid work from top to bottom. Check it out. – CHRIS SPECTOR MIDWEST RECORD
September 14, 2009
This is books music.com
Charito is a vocalist from Japan who is taking on the jazz world by storm. Some of you might be thinking “oh no, a jazz vocalist from Japan, that means half of the words will sound like a mess”, I know how you are. But those who know would never say that, for Charito is a jazz singer who sounds like she has lived in the U.S. all of her life, knowing the nuances of the genre and how to sing from the gut, where it sometimes hurts. Watch What Happens (CT Music) sounds like you’re listening to a Nancy Wilson album, complete with that slurry mouth you know and love, and maybe a cigarette and drink on the side to keep you satisfied. She joins the legendary Michel LeGrand for an album that would be winning people over just for the simple fact that this album has style, grace, and finesse, you know you’re listening to jazz because hearing it makes you feel there’s no other music that’s equally as worthy. Charito sings with so much devotion that you may catch yourself crying, or holding yourself back from going over the edge, it’s that good. It may sound too good to be true, but here’s absolutely no need to lie, especially after hearing this album. Still don’t believe me? Buy the CD and then I’ll start chanting the album title to you. It’s perfect music for a rainy morning, or an evening after being dropped by your significant other, or a “by-myself meeting”. Now let’s hope an American label will be smart enough to release this domestically, but it’s the kind of album that would make me impatient too. – By John Book
September 3, 2009
Jazz pianist Michel Legrand has collaborated with a bevy of beauties whose rich vocals have fascinated the mind and aroused the passion to love including Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne. His current collaboration with Japanese-based vocalist Charito leaves audiences feeling like they have experienced the bliss that only heaven can provide. Their tracks on Watch What Happens from CT Music is torchlight jazz at its finest recalling an elegance that is synonymous with Rosie Carlino and a striking presence that meets Nancy Wilson’s level of enchantment. These songs will seep their way into your mind and rock you into a dreamy state of existence tantamount to being in love. The rumba sways of the title track and “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” are mesmerizing as Charito’s vocals swerve and sashay gracefully across the melodic channels. The wavy movements of the string arrangements on “The First Time” are delightful, and the twittering of Legrand’s piano keys on “Summer Me, Winter Me” are pleasantly agitated creating a flurry of wicked tremors. The twinkly in the bossa nova rhythms of “Ask Yourself Why” incite a moment of reflection as the torchlight flickers of “The Windmills of Your Mind” and “The Summer Knows” encircle the listener in a sentimental mood. The upbeat strokes of Charito’s vocals in “I Will Wait For You” are supported by the bumpy beating of the bass and the silky showers of the piano keys. The chorus-line kicks in the rhythmic patterns of “Quand On S’Aime” are beautifully twined around Charito’s vocals as the minuets of Legrand’s scat shuffles provide streaks of excitement in the track, while the sensual twirls of the horns in “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life” cast the number in a tranquil ambience with a torchlight glimmer. Watch What Happens shares Charito and Legrand’s image of how beautiful these soft-swing standards can sound in their hands. The duo attains a slice of heaven in these tracks that audiences will be drawn to and reluctant to leave. The peace and beauty that Charito and Michel Legrand create is so attractive that at times it feels as though they have resurrected the ’50s era of classic jazz helmed by the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and that is a very honorable trait to have in one’s talent bank.. – By Susan Frances