Rave Radio Reviews are starting to come in from around the World!:
"My Spanish Dream" is just that. This is a rich Brazilian/latin/World fusion that makes the "A" list from the very first track. Christine Spero has exceptional writing skills and a voice to match. Gloriously groovy arrangements full of wonderful textures, imagination, and musicality. Spero's song "He Wasn't Always That Way" won the jazz category of the USA songwriting Competition in 2004; and "Caribbean Nights", one my favourites on this album, was a finalist in 2002. Spero is brilliantly supported by Elliot Spero's sax & percussion with Mike Woinoski on bass and drummer Jody Sumber. Produced by Elliot Spero this second album clearly announces a new talent. Already headlining Festivals and performing with Blood Sweat & Tears and Charlie Daniels in 2007, The Christine Spero Group is set to go far. So let "The Festival" begin!!"Helen Simons The JazzXpress Caravan 94.1FM Jazz Radio Gold Coast Queensland Australia
"Dynamic vocals. Christine's writing abilities are very evident throughout this musical project. What a musical festival!" Leon Reyes KVMR 89.5 FM Nevada City/Sacramento Ca Host: Leon's Jazz In A Box
ASID- Hi-Power Radio-Michigan "Fusion Adult Perfection..can't wait to hear the next album. one of our new favorites for adult/ jazz programming slots." RE Ausetkmt
"Fantastic Album. Great stuff for our Radio Station." Alex Pijnen/BRTO Radio-The Netherlands
"We really love this stunning cooking sophisticated Jazz. Christine's style is powerful, evocative and very subtle. The choice of material backed up with a cooking band is marvelous and gels together into a big sound tinged with a wonderful Latin Groove that has you wanting more and our audiences most certainly will love your sound. This is a CD made to be heard, in fact, demands to be heard for it's infectious groove has one wanting to dance and party. It certainly struck us as one extraordinary CD and one that will be very well received by our astute audience." Peter Merrett- Music manager for PBS FM 106-7 Melbourne, Australia (one of the country's leading music stations.) Our station has over 400,000 listeners per week and over 6 million hits per month on our web site.
"A wonderful recording and I have no hesitation in adding it to my current play list." Dick Hughes-Jazz Action Productions/Sydney, Australia
"The charactor of the music style presented gives this CD a unique feel, with an individual personality presented inside it's contents. Great work!" Graham J Barclay/Soundwave FM-New Zealand
Skopje, Macedonia- Excellent material! I am interested to present more in the future. Vasja Ivanovski Jazz Spaces
" A truly wonderful CD that I'm looking forward to reviewing!" Serge Kozlovsky-Minsk/Belarus
"Fresh and relaxing singing with a latin touch."-Pascal Dorban Radio ARA, Luxembourg
"I like the cd very much. It is so very interesting and of great quality and very advisable for lovers of good music." JOSEP PALMADA RED HOT BLUES RADIO VILAFANT SPAIN
"Great work on this disc full of wonderful song's and music. One to be proud of. " George Young country club productions pty ltd
" What a great sound you have, we have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. Keep up the good work and please keep us up to date with your progress". Michael Criddle OzRadio (President Radio Triple H-FM)
"The Christine Spero Group has brought some great new original music to Latin/World music. Many thanks for the opportunity to play and review this album."
Helen Jarroe Cairns FM 89.1 Australia
"Pick this one up if you’re ready for some sublime musicianship with true heart and soul." Chronogram/New York
Here's what smoothjazz.com is saying:
"Latin Jazz done right has a fluidity and passion that is unmistakably compelling. The Christine Spero Group’s second release MY SPANISH DREAM indeed does it right, creating moving, exciting textures that glide effortlessly among the genres of Brazilian, Latin, world fusion, jazz and pop. Ms. Spero is a singer/pianist of immense talent with a voice that might remind you of Eliane Elias or Bebel Gilberto on the rich and warm “My Spanish Dream,” Gloria Estefan on the exuberant “The Festival” and perhaps Manhattan Transfer’s Janis Siegel on ”I Remember.” Her band consists of Elliot Spero on saxophone and percussion, bassist Mike Woinoski and drummer Jody Sumber. You’ll find all of the music on this album to be organic, refreshing, soulful and exciting. From “Don’t Say No,” a mid-tempo bossa with a strong hook and delightful pop feel, to “Just So You Know,” an expansively beautiful story-song that chronicles the Spero’s son’s cross-country bike trip to raise money for disabled children. This album also features two inventive instrumentals, namely “Raiisha,” a progressive jazz-fusion piece featuring Elliot’s inventive sax work and “Therapy,” a solid Latin Jazz fusion track featuring some lively scatting. MY SPANISH DREAM from the New York State-based Christine Spero Group is an outstanding album that makes me want more and would totally motivate me to catch this group live at my first opportunity. What this album has going for it in spades is outstanding musicianship, positive energy, and compelling songs from the pen of Christine Spero.
Highly recommended!" ~SCOTT O'BRIEN
Pianist and vocalist Christine Spero launches her new release of exciting Latin jazz grooves that blend Brazilian and pop rhythms producing an intoxicating and vibrant sound guaranteed to shake the shoulders and move the hips. "My Spanish Dream," delivers nine original songs with catchy melodies and rich harmonies that will have you hitting the re-play button often.
Hailing from Tannersville, New York, Christine Spero has for years performed with her quartet and has one previous recording to her credit ("We Call It Music" 2002). On this recording she is joined by her core group consisting of Elliot Spero (tenor, soprano sax and percussions), Mike Woinoski (bass) and Jody Sumber (drums). Others appearing on the recording include Rich DeCrosta (trumpet) on "Therapy," husband Buck Spero (bass) and Curtis Watts (drums) on "Therapy", "The Festival" and "I remember."
Starting off with the title track, Spero sets the tone with her lush vocals and piano chops on this airy and spacious number. The second cut, "Don't Say No," says yes all the way with a terrific percussive beat and appreciable scatting from the singer.
The music only gets better with the incredible Latin rhythms of "Caribbean Nights," unquestionably the best composition here. Spero's vocals on this one is upstaged by her sizzling piano performance that continues to play over and over in one's brain sort of like when you have a tune you just cannot get out of your head.
The tune "Just So You Know," is maybe the sole pop flavored number here. The Brazilian flavored "The Festival," rivals "Caribbean Nights," as one of the best scores here featuring perhaps the finest vocals and a nice run on the synthesizer from Christine.
Elliot Spero takes center stage on the only instrumental piece "Raiisha," with an excellent journey on the sax. Except for a verse of wordless vocals, "Therapy," is largely another instrumental piece featuring an augmented cast. The album ends with another bossa-shaded number in "I Remember," showcasing Elliot's torrid sax solo and climaxing one heck of a session.
Label: Collective Works
Artist Web: www.sonicbids.com/thechristinesperogroup
"Spero's CD is Top Notch"
The Kingston Freeman
Jazz, Latin and pop singer and pianist Christine Spero of Tannersville has a CD with her group that's quite impressive. Recorded at NRS in Catskill, by Scott Petito, it also features Elliot Spero on soprano and tenor, Mike Woinoski on bass and Jody Sumber on drums.
The lush title track,"My Spanish Dream", quickly sets the tone. It's exotic and melodic and the ascending changes lift it skyward. Spero's piano solo here is superb, as is Spero's sax ride.
"Don't Say No" is urgent and turbulent. The bossa "Caribbean Nights" swings and sways, while bassist Woinoski shines in "Just So You Know". The soothing "A Prayer" is a highlight, while Elliot Spero shines in "Raiisha", as he runs with a meaty sax solo. His harmonic sensibility and phrasing are a cut above. "Therapy" has wide open spaces and a Chuck Mangione vibe. "I Remember" is a vocal workout, as Spero spins around, flies upside down and still manages to land on her feet.
The songwriting and musicianship here is top notch, and you can bet it's as good if not better in a live setting. That said, Spero and group are to appear at the Bearsville Theatre on Tinker Street on Thursday. (Woodstock-David Malachowski)
Review/ My Spanish Dream
By: Sharon Nichols/ Chronogram
Whether your thing is jazz, pop, or Brazilian/Latin grooves, Christine Spero’s My Spanish Dream will transport you to a loftier place.
The leader, on vocals, piano, and synthesizer, is joined by Mike Woinoski on bass, Jody Sumber on drums, and Elliott Spero on sax, percussion, and synth. Opening with the lengthy title track, the singer yearns for a place of fond imagination, her heartfelt vocals snaking their way around a colorful, exotic arrangement that is both tight and spirited; highlighting the track is a compelling sax solo. Her overdubbed scatting illuminates the upbeat and utterly danceable “Don’t Say No,” a samba rhythm-based track that is a joy to listen to. The tempo is continuously zealous until the middle track, “A Prayer,” which is a somber, solo piano piece written for a 9/11 memorial performance. Just as it must have on that occasion, it will leave listeners teary-eyed.
The pace quickens again with “The Festival,” an ardent invitation to a jubilant musical gala. “Raiisha,” an instrumental, features a demanding, weighty sax solo, and the revelry continues until the very last note of the ninth and final track.
Pick this one up if you’re ready for some sublime musicianship with true heart and soul.
This CD was a joy to record as it includes songs that are especially close to my heart. The title track, "My Spanish Dream” is a song of longing. Spain is among the places I’d love to see and the visions that I have of it from Spanish literature and music are often on my mind. I hope that the imagery leaves the listener with the same warm feeling I have.
"Don't Say No" will really get you dancing with the samba rhythms and the vocal soli was so much fun to record!
"Caribbean Nights" was a Finalist in the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition. It can also be heard on "We Call It Music" but we kicked it up a notch with some voices and a steeldrum track.
A journey across the country on mountain bikes by my son, Jake and his college friend, Dave, led me to write “Just So You Know”. They traveled from Buffalo, New York to Burbank, California, pulling 65 lb. trailers to raise money for Cradle Beach, a camp for handicapped children in Buffalo. I lived that trip through Jake’s eyes and in the back of my mind I kept what he told me of his experiences. The vivid pictures he’d leave me with after each phone call home later came out in my song. The riders had to race to make the fireworks at Mount Rushmore on the 3rd of July and I’m sure that their wheels hummed through the marvelous, majestic beauty of the Black Hills in South Dakota. The “moonscape on the earth” is the Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. I pictured them riding through a sea of lava flows; through weird and scenic landscapes of cinder cones and sagebrush. This song is dedicated to them and their amazing feat.They will be riding with a team of four in June 2007 from Alaska to Argentina to raise money to build a school in Maderas, Nicaragua.(www.bikingforabetterworld.org)
I was asked to perform for a 9/11 Memorial on the one year anniversary and I felt that I needed to write something which expressed my feelings about that day. Having been so affected by what happened, I wrote “A Prayer”. Each time I listen to it I tap into the same emotions that I felt that day.
"The Festival" is another of those danceable samba tunes. (By the way) the lyrics can be found on the CD notes and our website.
“Raiisha” is a piece that I wrote several years ago and never recorded. It resurfaced last year and we played it a few times and then let the tape roll. It is unique in it’s spontaneity.
"Therapy" has been published by Wild Whirled Music for use in film and television.
The players on "My Spanish Dream" are:
Elliot Spero-saxophones and percussion
The December issue of Recording Magazine featured Christine in their Artist Profile. This can be viewed at: www.taxi.com/transmitter/0611/headlineB0611.html She is the Winner of the 2004 USA Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category for her song, "He Wasn't Always That Way".
The Christine Spero Group was one of the headliners at The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz in July 2006 and will be returning in the summer of 2008. They will be opening for Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Charlie Daniels Band at Harborfest in Oswego N.Y. on July 28th, 2007!
They have opened for such notables as:
The Woody Herman Orchestra, Kim Waters, Walter Beasley, Ray Vega, Bobby Matos, Steve Davis, Clark Terry, Mike Phillips (from Prince), pop icon of the 60's and 70's-Melanie, Andrea Brachfield and T.K.Blue. Christine has performed on Time Warner Cable's "Poughkeepsie LIVE!" and has been written about in USA Today, Billboard, Jazz Times, Keyboard and Recording Magazines, ASCAP Playback.
Christine is the granddaughter of classical pianists. She recorded her first songs on RCA with Neil Sedaka and Don Kirschner as a teen, then moved from New York to San Francisco to further study music and botany. She was a member of Bob Braye's Peace and Rhythm Unit. Her eclectic and personal style of composing was influenced by many classical and jazz musicians. She has performed with her own quartets and sextets over the years and now lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where she continues to write, record, and perform with her band.
Saxophonist, percussionist and producer Elliot Spero founded his own ensembles in San Francisco and opened for Bobby McFarrin in the Bay Area. He engineered and produced Christine's CD's, "We Call It Music" and "My Spanish Dream" and owns a recording studio in New York.
Currently our rhythm section is:
Cuban drummer T. Xiques-(Savoy Brown,Mike Maineri,Larry Coryell, Jewel, Garth Hudson,Robbie Dupree) and
bassist, Charlie Kniceley who has played with Ron Carter, Joe Beck Jack DeJohnette, Warren Berhardt
LYRICS TO "JUST SO YOU KNOW"
Goodbye, I won't make it hard.
In the long run I'll be strong.
Besides, we both need this time to find out more.
Belong to the rhythm of the road and the wind will take you on.
Desire, as the pilgrim makes his way to the shore.
And at each new border sign is a picture set in time.
When the moment's come and the unspoken race is on...
Just so you know, my love is true, just so you know.
Letting you go is further proof of my devotion.
Don't end the song, I'll answer you. When you're alone
watch for my sign.
Just so you know, I'm ground control while you
have loftier things on your mind, on your mind.
The time when you called me from the moonscape on the earth
There's some, never thought you'd get that far, on wheels.
You were hummingbirds, couldn't miss the fireworks,
the fields and the old men telling stories at the bar.
We were riding in too deep, better find a place to sleep.
When the strength dries up and the only thing left is your
Night after night I'll be waiting for you and all that I do is watch the view from your eyes.
On to the coast as you climb just to see,
what the next turn will be. Oh..Oh..Oh..Oh....
Just so you know, just so you know, just so you know, just so you know.
Your mind, your mind, your mind, your mind.....
LYRICS TO "MY SPANISH DREAM" (Mi Sueño Español)
I lay alone in the dark and the world floats by.
I have a map of my hopes and the course I'll fly.
Take me where I've never been,
Deep in my Spanish dream.
Far from the morning star, gypsy caravan.
Sound of a sweet guitar, Andalucian.
Show me what I've never seen,
Deep in my Spanish dream.
Mysteries hidden behind castle walls,
Legends as sweet as the wine...
Let the Boleros of old be my lullaby.
Dancers in crimson and gold,
Castanets held high.
Windmills are more than they seem...
Deep in my Spanish dream.
Mysteries hidden behind castle walls,
Legends as sweet as the wine...
Deep in my Spanish dream, deep in my Spanish dream, (repeat)