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Liner Notes for

1) Come In from the Rain
Music by Melissa Manchester & Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager

What a song! I first heard this song when I was a senior in high school - we're not going to say what year that was - let's just say it was a few years ago. It was a simple arrangement for voice and piano and Ms. Manchester's vocal made the song so very memorable to me. I had a chance to see her in concert in November of 2000. It was incredible to hear her live performance of the song I love so much. This is one of my signature pieces - and one that I will always have in my treasure box of favorites. One of my favorite sounds of nature is the sound of rain and distant thunder, with the assistance of my engineer Rick, we were able to include it on this arrangement.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Cello: Brian Standefer
Special Effects: Rick DeLellis

 

2) Smile
Music by Charles Chaplin & Lyrics by John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons

This was the very first song that I recorded for this CD and I was a complete basket case. I was so very nervous that my hands were literally shaking. As I eased into it and with the help of my engineer Rick - I was able to relax and use all those pent up frustrations and emotions to my advantage. I could really feel this song as I was recording it. ..."Smile tho' your heart is aching, smile even tho' it's breaking, When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by, If you smile through your fear and sorrow, smile and maybe tomorrow, you'll see the sun come shining thru for you..." I worked on this for a long time before I felt I could let it go and move on...and I did. Hmmm....was I just talking about a past relationship or was I talking about this song? Smile :-)

Piano: Aaron Flores
Violin: Javier Chaparro

 

3) I Say a Little Prayer
Music by Burt Bacharach & Lyrics by Hal David

This is one of my all time favorite Bacharach tunes. I wished I had written it. It's such a classic and whenever I hear Dionne's or Aretha's version on the radio I almost always have to sing a duet with them. The song also plays such an integral part of a scene in the film "My Best Friend's Wedding" if you haven't seen it - check it out. I love how the sax plays off of the piano on this cut. I really had a blast recording this one. Anyway, I hope we did it justice.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Bass Arrangement: John Thomason
Soprano Saxaphone: Mike Malone

 

4. Tenderly
Music by Walter Gross & Lyrics by Jack Laurence

A classic from the 40's and a highlight for me on this CD. I learned the fine art of overlaying musical tracks as I watched the musicians come in and do their thing and then watched my engineer carefully master this cut. I was fortunate to surround myself with two exceptional musicians who contributed a lush accompaniment to my piano solo. "Tenderly" was a sheer joy to record and I felt I was able to pour a lot of emotion into my interpretation. I felt it and hope you will too.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Violin: Javier Chaparro
Flute and String Arrangement: John Thomason

 

5. Somos Novios
Music & Lyrics by Armando Manzanero

This song was written by one of Mexico's most prolific composers. I have always enjoyed the Spanish version of this song - but never liked the English title or lyrics. The title in English "It's Impossible" does nothing for me, nor does it have anything to do with the original title. If the Spanish title were literally translated, the song would be called "We Are Lovers". Here are the first few lines of the song in Spanish... "We are lovers - we feel a distinct and profound love and with that we've taken the biggest step in this big world. As we love, we kiss like lovers - we desire, and at times we argue for no reason - but we are lovers and we maintain that pure and unaffected love." I asked my newly found friend Luis to sing the vocal to this piece after I first heard him sing in church. His voice was perfect for this arrangement. I am quite proud of this final remixed cut. I hope you can get into it as much as we did when we recorded it. Buen provecho - in other words - enjoy!

Piano: Aaron Flores
Violin: Javier Chaparro
Acoustic Guitar: Mark Cruz
Vocal: Luis Ortiz

 

6. Moon River
Music by Henry Mancini & Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

I can remember playing this song when I was 9 years old at a local music school talent show. Most kids who entered - played whatever their piano teacher's told them to play. My piano teacher Mrs. Evans, encouraged independent creativity early on - so what did I play? "Moon River" of course. Can you guess the rest of the story? Yes, I won my very first talent show. My parents were so proud that they bought me my first piano. "Moon River" holds a tender spot in my heart. The violin accompaniment is extraordinary. Now sit back and chill to this one.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Violin: Javier Chaparro

 

7. A House is Not a Home
Music by Burt Bacharach & Lyrics by Hal David

I have always been a fan of composer Burt Bacharach. I mean who can forget all those Dionne Warwick hits from the late 60's. "House" is a song I have played many times over the years and I have arranged it as I feel it. My friend John says only I can play this song and break all the rules of timing. Just as a footnote: I never play a song as it's written nor do I play it the same each time - and this one was no exception. If you ever get a chance, listen to Dionne's version and catch the part where she wistfully sings "a room is not a house, and a house is not a home when the two of us are far apart and one of us has a broken heart". It's timeless.

Piano: Aaron Flores
String Arrangement: John Thomason

 

8. You Must Love Me
Music by Andrew Lloyd Weber & Lyrics by Tim Rice

If you missed the film "Evita" then you might not have heard this song before. I was always intrigued by the haunting melody and the finely structured lyrics. It was originally recorded by an artist whose name escapes me now. I asked my long time good friend Felicia to perform the vocal on this song. I had seen her mature vocally so much over the years that I was enthusiastic about including her on my first CD project. I think the understated cello and piano arrangement really work on this cut.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Cello: Brian Standefer
Vocal: Felicia Hernandez

 

9. This is the Moment
Music by Frank Wildhorn & Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse

From the minute I heard this piece from the Broadway show "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" I just fell in love with this song. It is such a "drama" song" full of highs and lows. I asked my good friend John to arrange the orchestration on it. I think he did a fabulous job and I'm quite proud of how it turned out. Since this is my first CD - I guess... this is my moment.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Choral and String Arrangement: John Thomason

 

10. Misty
Music by Erroll Garner & Lyrics by Johnny Burke

What can you say about a classic like "Misty"? It's another one of those gems that I have always included in my body of work. It has stood the test of time - originally written in 1954 - it has been recorded by a who's who of artists. Well, now you can add one more name to that list. I had originally planned on recording this just as a piano solo, but the more I listened to it, the more I envisioned a sax whaling in the background. I was fortunate to hook up with a simply awesome sax player and here you have the end result. Groove on my sisters and brothers!

Piano: Aaron Flores
Soprano Saxophone: Mike Malone

 

11. Night and Day
Music & Lyrics by Cole Porter

This song was written for the 1940 film of the same name and it's Latin influence is quite evident. I have always liked Sinatra's version of this song, but never thought about doing it myself - until I started this project. It was on my list of maybes. Well, as you can see it made the final cut. This piece was crying out for a rhythm section, so my engineer Rick put together this really hot rhythm track to back me up. Talk about a perfect fit! But, it still needed something else... Mark Cruz, guitarist extraordinnaire to the rescue. He filled in the missing pieces and brought it home for us. I love the end result and hope you will too. Cha-cha-cha!

Piano: Aaron Flores
Rhythm Arrangement: Rick DeLellis
Acoustic Guitar: Mark Cruz

 

12. Strangers in The Night
Music by Bert Kaempfert & Lyrics by Charles Singleton & Eddie Snyder

A bit of trivia. This song was featured in the1966 Alfred Hitchcock film called " A Man Could Get Killed". It is also very closely associated with Sinatra - who made it an international hit. This is a tune that I never tire of and frequently include it whenever I play gigs. "Strangers" has a real good flow about it and includes some high drama moments which of course, I live for. The sax adds an additional flavor to the mix. All in all, a very cool song.

Piano: Aaron Flores
Tenor Saxaphone: Mike Malone

 

13. What I Did For Love
Music by Marvin Hamlisch & Lyrics by Ed Kleban

I saw the show "A Chorus Line" in Chicago back in the late 70's and since then this song has always been part of my repertoire. While still in college, I supplemented my income by playing at a little supper club in the suburbs of Chicago. I remember patrons stagger over to the piano where I was playing and start to sing along to the chorus of this song. Of course, they were a little under the influence at the time...but that's another story. Anyway, it's a bittersweet song which tells the tale of a struggling female member of the chorus in the show. It's continues to be one of the most requested songs whenever I play at weddings and other gigs. "Won't forget, can't regret - what I did for love...." .

Piano: Aaron Flores
French Horn Arrangement: John Thomason

 

14. Somos Novios
Music & Lyrics by Armando Manzanero

Rick and I were in the studio doing the remixing of this song when I first heard the instrumental version of this track. Up until then, I had only been listening to the vocal version. The guitar and violin sounded so great with just the piano that I decided I wanted to include this track as well. I discussed this with the producer and it was a done deal. By the way, did I mention I was the producer?

Piano: Aaron Flores
Violin: Javier Chaparro
Acoustic Guitar: Mark Cruz

 

15. La Vie En Rose
Music by Louiguy & Lyrics by Edith Piaf

Another treasure from the past. Originally written in 1947 and introduced to the world by the great French chanteuse Edith Piaf. It spoke of what the French speak of best - amour. Whenever I perform this piece - it never fails, someone will come up to me and ask me "what's the name of that song, it's so beautiful". I agree, it is a beautiful song. I always thought it would be so cool to have an accordionist playing in the background when I performed it. I made myself a promise that if I ever got a chance to record it, I would get an accordionist. And boy, did I ever! I was placed in touch with legendary accordionist Ponty Bone who has worked with such diverse artists as: Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, and George Strait. Needless to say, I was quite honored to work with him. Now close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting outside a Paris cafe and sipping on a little something.

J'espère que tu aimeras ce chanson - which translated means - I hope you enjoy this song.

PIano: Aaron Flores
French Muzette Accordion: Ponty Bone

 

16. Valentine
Music & Lyrics by Jim Brickman & Jack Kugell

I listen to the radio constantly and if a song has a good piano groove on it, I'm right there. This one had a great piano part. I envisioned only one person to interpret it vocally - my friend and fellow musician Kris Nielsen. I asked her to participate in my project and she immediately said yes. Not only did she sing on this cut, she also arranged the orchestration for the track. How cool was that? I love Kris' sultry voice and was very happy to have her on my first CD. Try slow dancing to this one with the lights out... I did.

Piano: Aaron Flores
String Arrangement and Vocal: Kris Nilsen

 

17. Over the Rainbow
Music by Harold Arlen & Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

This song was placed at the end of the CD for a reason. You see, I have played this song forever and a day. No matter where I have played or when I have played - it is the song I always close my sets with. It remains at the top of my list of most treasured songs and another one I consider one of my signature pieces. It is also special for another reason; it was one of my late mother's favorites, so it truly takes on a new meaning whenever I perform it now. My gifted friend Kris arranged a beautiful orchestration for "Rainbow". I had an emotional moment when I first heard the rough cut of this song. I kept thinking my mom would have just loved it. This song is dedicated to my mom - Angela Flores. She will always be in my heart of hearts.

Piano: Aaron Flores
String Arrangement: Kris Nilsen


Special Thanks...

First and foremost, I thank my heavenly father for giving me the talent and bestowing on me so many blessings. I thank my parents who loved and believed in me no matter what and always encouraged me. To my dear Aunt Beba - after hearing you play the piano at the tender age of six- you inspired me to learn the piano.

To my generous and wonderful extended family - you have always been there for me. I dedicate this CD to you all - I love you very much.

To all my loyal friends - you know who you are - I know who I can turn to when I need to talk, support, advice and above all, the truth. Thanks for being in my life.

To Kris, Felicia, Luis, and John - my undying gratitude and thanks for your commitment to my project and for sharing your awesome talents with me and the world.

To the other talented musicians, Javier, Ponty, Mike, Mark and Brian - many thanks for your passionate and inspired performances.

And...last but not least, I was so very blessed to have found the best recording engineer in Austin. Rick DeLellis, you are amazing. You took a recording novice like me and were able to transform my dream into reality. This was truly a labor of love for me. Thanks for being so patient and understanding with me. I am so grateful and proud to have worked with you on my first CD.


Credits

Photography:
Cover and back cover shots: Douglas Rhodenbaugh and Eddie Miller
Inside panel shots: Luis Ortiz

Hair Stylist:
Cory Henderson, èlan Salon, Austin, Texas

Sound and Design:
Crystal Clear Sound, Austin, Texas

Web design by: John Thomason

Produced by: Aaron Flores
Recorded, remixed and mastered by: Rick DeLellis at Figment Studios, Austin, Texas

Until the next project...
Love and Peace,
A :-)

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