The legend from Santana and Chicago. This extraordinary musician is the incarnation of groove. He recorded my Album Spanish Breeze back in 2009, in LA, U.S.A.
Dangerous and Michael Jakson
This picture was taken at the mixing desk in one of the control rooms of Westlake Studios. This is the studio where Michael Jackson recorded the album Dangerous.
I had not personally met Walfredo Reyes before we went into the studio, but he came highly recommended by Weather Report’s bass player Alphonso Johnson and also by my dear friend Cristina Abaroa, Executive Producer at Moonsonic in L.A. She produces shows year after year for the Latin Grammy Awards.
Cristina and myself go way back as we studied together at Berklee College of Music in Boston, U.S.A, in the 90s.
When I arrived at the studio and started rehearsing with the band I was happily surprised to hear how much Walfredo had studied my music. He knew the melodies and was ready to record my songs and bring them to life in the first take.
Now, this is the fun part, I believe that music should be recorded in a manner where all band members play at the same time and that is what we did. We all played together repeating each take around 3 times before we got it right. Walfredo brought my songs to life and made them grow beyond my expectations.
Metronome with a light
What I also learnt from Walftedo was not only his positive attitude towards playing in a band, but his concept of tempo. I learnt that it was ok to have the metronome in front of you, only with the light turned on, to feel how we changed speed as we grooved along with a song.
We spent together a full week and later he came onboard for our European tour. I was also happy when I greeted Santana in the studio as he gave Walfredo a call to ask what he was doing and I was introduced to the legend.
I listen to this album Spanish Breeze quite frequently and still adore the groove, the clarity and the dynamics of this brilliant Cuban drummer.
Thank you Walfredo Reyes.