[Hidden Rarities #21] Charisma (USA)

Charisma were an American Progressive Rock/Psychedelic Rock group from the late ‘60s and early 70s. Charisma came from diverging roots emanating from 3 directions. The core of Charisma was Rich Tortorigi (drummer) and George Tyrell (bass player). Both were members of a New Britain, Connecticut soul band called The Mantiques. In 1968, Rich Tortorigi recruited Tom Majesky to play guitar with The Mantiques. Tom then enlisted Bernie Kornowicz, former bassist of The Last Five, to share guitar and organ duties. The final addition to the group was folk singer Mike DeLisa to sing lead. Tom and Bernie brought the Rock and Roll element to The Mantiques and Mike brought the band an element of Folkiness. It was in 1969 that The Mantiques signed with Roulette Records as a convenient tax write off to record an album. The album was produced by Ed Vallone and most of the songs were penned by Bruce McGaw. During the recording of the album, the band fought over a new name with their new management. Finally given an ultimatum, The Mantiques became Charisma, a name they hated. The album was recorded at Incredible Sound Studios in NYC. During there career, Charsima ended up releasing two albums both sold better in Europe than they did in the USA. Charisma were offered the option to record a third album for Roulette Records, but let it pass by. Probably for the best, seeing that all the income from the two albums went to Roulette Records and the band ended up with nothing. In 1976, Charisma disbanded.

The album “Charisma” is Psychedelic Folk and Progressive Rock Jazzed. The tracks talk about many Psychedelic arguments in a Jazzy style, the album continues in faboulouses blobs in Progressive Rock. An easy listening for who wants pass 36 minutes in funny and very talented band.

The second release titled “Beasts And Fiends” is more technical work, with more marked Jazzy, Blues and Progressive influences and more intricate themes and passages. A good album, very well recorded and played with keyboard passages in Heavy Prog style mixed with Rock and a Jazzy vein.


Mike DeLisa / Lead Vocals
George Tyrell / Bass
Bernie Kornowicz / Guitar and Organ
Rich Tortorige / Drums
Tom Majesky / Guitars


(1969) Charisma [Roulette Records]

(1970) Beasts And Fiends [Roulette Records]

(1969) What’s It Like? ‎7″, Mono, Promo [Roulette Records]

(1971) Bizwambi 7” [Roulette Records]

Author: Delia Lunardi Acosta

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