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Paco de Lucia is alive


A few months after the tenth anniversary of his death, the Montreux Festival is collecting recordings of his concerts at the prestigious Swiss event

It would be said that the publication of an unpublished album by Paco de Lucía is quite an event, because, close to the tenth anniversary of his disappearance, there had not been any posthumous release by the great guitarist, something that has been common in artists of his legendary condition.

In addition, the initiative did not come from his family or from his usual record company, but from an institution like the Montreux Jazz Festival, which has brought together live recordings of his different concerts at this prestigious Swiss event.

In the eight lengthy songs selected, the maestro is accompanied by the group with which he has toured since the early eighties: his celebrated sextet, a band configured in the jazz manner, but genuinely flamenco.

With enormous international projection, it represented a Copernican turn in the way of presenting the concert flamenco guitar, with a format that has become canonical by dint of being imitated.

The group had begun to be formed at the end of the seventies, when the guitarist was recording his album on Manuel de Falla and in some Madrid studios he came across some of the members of the Dolores group, who would end up participating in the recording.

In a short time, the band was formed to make their recording debut with Solo quiero caminar (1981), a work signed by Paco de Lucía solo, but in which Ramón de Algeciras (guitar), Pepe de Lucía (singer), Jorge Pardo (sax and flute), Carles Benavent (bass) and the Brazilian Rubem Dantas on percussion.

The group thus constituted had already made a live recording,

Live... One Summer Night

(1984), when they performed at the Montreux Casino that same year.

On that occasion, they couldn't miss the fresh tangos 'Solo quiero caminar', from the aforementioned album.

The theme is in itself an exhibition and exhibition of the strength of a formation that was going through a moment of splendor.

The sextet is cohesive, combining group conjunction with personal brilliance, and both follow each other on occasions at a devilish pace.

Paco always commands from the center, distributing play like a good midfielder, a soccer simile coined by Juan José Téllez, the guitarist's biographer.

The album reflects an inexhaustible gallery of guitar resources, from its vertiginous chopped to its sweet tremolos

From that same appearance, the rumba 'Buana Buana King Kong' is included, an exercise that seems playful, full of energy, complicity and of a somewhat ethnic character, with the long intro of the percussion and the almost tribal calls of


de Lucy.

Another rumba is hidden in the third of the pieces of that year: the cut called 'Alta mar' starts with an impressive bass line by Benavent, composed by John McLaughlin, but soon the group ends up falling into the well-known rumba melody' Entre dos aguas', increasingly drawn by the maestro, who then addresses a hectic dialogue, rather a duel, between guitar and flute.

The same rumba will be found again in the 2012 performance, under the name 'Vámonos'.

The explanation for this new name is simple: it was to avoid copyright problems and it was used for encores.

In this latest version, the accompanying musicians are different, but the composition does not lose an iota of its strength and is enriched with the main contributions of Antonio Serrano (harmonica), Alain Pérez (bass) and Israel Suárez, Piraña (percussion). , who together with the guitarists Niño Josele, José María Bandera and Antonio Sánchez joined the band until its end.

Also in those years there was a cantaora part, like the one starring La Tana and Montse Cortés in 'Zyryab', a cut that closes the recording as an emblematic theme that was in the last concerts.

The theme is also part of the 2012 concert selection, which is completed with the 'Variaciones de Minera', an intimate and lyrical solo guitar exercise.

An exceptional display of virtuosity —astonishing just two years after his death— which, along with the rondeña (which is almost missing), was common at the start of his concerts.

In them, he used to do a solo touch at the beginning, to introduce, first of all, the percussion and approach rhythmic styles with it.

Examples of this are the alegrías 'La Barrosa', from his album Siroco, and the bulerías 'El Tesorillo', two cuts from the 2006 performance. The first are bright, salty, and represented a new canon for the style.

The dialogues with the percussion of Piranha are repeated in both styles.

They contain the inexhaustible and brilliant gallery of guitar resources of the maestro: the vertiginous picados that coexist with sweet tremolos, the inexhaustible creation of music, dialogues and improvisations... Everything retains an enormous liveliness and, despite the time elapsed, it never stops amaze.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-25

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