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Thread: Thoughts About Cante Flamenco

  1. #136
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Brook Zern Closes Down His Website

    I see that flamenco aficionado and authority Brook Zern has closed down FlamencoExperience.com, his most excellent blog/website. Zern has been recognized by the Spanish government as himself a treasure, due to both his intimate knowledge of flamenco and to his untiring effort to see that the landmark 1970s Rito y Geografía series of profiles of the great flamenco artists of the twentieth century were preserved on DVD (and then YouTube) for the world to enjoy far into the future. Two Americans, the late Donn Pohren and Brook Zern, are remarkably responsible for guiding both the Spanish and the Andalusian authorities to the realization that the flamenco of Andalusia was a national--and world--cultural treasure. In recognition of Zern's contributions to the study of flamenco, I offer several of his shorter essays here. The first is his appreciation of the great and influential guitarist of Morón de la Frontera, Diego del Gastor, who became the central figure of authentic flamenco for a whole generation of expat Americans who flocked to Morón to study flamenco at his feet:

    http://www.flamencoproject.com/delusion.html

    And here is Zern's essay on the place guitarist Carlos Montoya occupies in the history of flamenco:

    https://www.deflamenco.com/revista/e...tennial-1.html
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Mar-09-2018 at 21:11.

  2. #137
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Nice way of spending an afternoon! Not an X-Box in sight and real life with joy & passion going on.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-10-2018 at 15:40.
    Great things are done by a series of small things brought together...Vincent Van Gogh

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  4. #138
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Larkenfield, a perfect example of a genuine gitano flamenco juerga! Wonderful! This was the milieu in which the Young Americans of the 1960s found Diego and the flamenco of Morón de la Frontera, and raised him and it to the status of a cult (no pejorative intended).

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  6. #139
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Larkenfield, a perfect example of a genuine gitano flamenco juerga! Wonderful! This was the milieu in which the Young Americans of the 1960s found Diego and the flamenco of Morón de la Frontera, and raised him and it to the status of a cult (no pejorative intended).
    High fives, Strange Magic. The video was a wonderful discovery that made my day. All the best to you!
    Great things are done by a series of small things brought together...Vincent Van Gogh

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  8. #140
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Jay "Jacinto" Kantor and the Flamenco of Morón de la Frontera

    Some years ago I befriended another flamenco aficionado on a now-long-dead flamenco forum website. His name was Jay "Jacinto" Kantor and he was a professor of ethics at New York University. Like many Internet forums, flamenco forums could be snakepits. Jay was a respected regular on the site due to his encyclopedic knowledge of flamenco, coupled with the fact that he was one of that generation of Americans who had made the pilgrimage to Morón de la Frontera and learned from Diego del Gastor. Jay took me under his wing on that forum; we began to exchange emails and he sent me several CDs of Diego playing and Fernanda and Perrate singing and also of a rare recording of Don Antonio Chacón, a legend of early cante. We exchanged thoughts on topics other than flamenco, and also interacted for years on several other flamenco forums where he posted much wonderful material, especially on Morón flamenco and on Diego del Gastor--all of it now lost as those forums disappeared. Jacinto Kantor died suddenly of a heart attack in 2011, a loss regretted by his many friends. But he did leave an excellent long essay on flamenco, his introduction to it, Morón flamenco, and much else about this wonderful music, and I provide a link here....

    http://www.flamencoproject.com/j_kantor_moron.html
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Mar-11-2018 at 19:24.

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  10. #141
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Some Personal Favorites

    In the preceding posts, I have highlighted quite a few singers from the period--roughly 1950 through the 1980s--when the cantaores/cantaoras were still generally singing traditional flamenco, and were also being cleanly recorded. I appreciate all these folks, but I do have my favorites: certain singers singing certain palos, accompanied by certain tocaores. Here are some personal choice pairings and a few other observations; perhaps these can be regarded as my Desert Island selections:

    A favorite cantaor is the young José de la Tomasa, accompanied by Ricardo Miño, Paco del Gastor, or Juan Habichuela. José excelled at both Cante Gitano and Cante Andaluz palos, singing with conviction and clarity. Best Malagueñas ever and wonderful Siguiriyas and Soleares. And his guitarists provided near-perfect complementary accompaniment.

    Another favorite is the idiosyncratic coupling of Perrate de Utrera and legendary guitarist Diego del Gastor in the singer's home, amid his family. There, the pair recorded unique Bulerias, Soleares, and Siguiriyas, with the pronounced compás that marked much of their work together.

    The superb father/son guitarists Perico el del Lunar viejo and hijo are associated with a group of singers with whom they were linked for decades: Rafael Romero, Pepe el de la Matrona, Jarrito, Pepe el Culata. Both father and son accompanists exhibited a unique, understated personal style or propio sello that is unmistakeably theirs alone and immediately recognizable, bringing out a real sense of earnestness and authenticity in their singers.

    Another mighty pairing is Terremoto and his longtime partner Manuel Moreno "Morao". While I am not a great admirer of Morao's playing, he was mostly well-matched with Terremoto, and it would be difficult to imagine Terremoto singing without Morao at his side. Terremoto always gave all he had and was the quintessential gitano cantaor.

    Among cantaoras, Manolita de Jerez stands out. Her singing on the 1950s José Greco LP Danzas Flamencas is unsurpassed, though her accompanist is sadly unknown. Best Fandangos I ever heard. She also sang brilliantly with Paco Aguilera accompanying. Aguilera deserves mention himself as a model accompanist to singers, as he never stove to display any personal virtuosity but only and always worked to complement his singers. Aguilera probably ranks in my top 5 best, most respected tocaores who only accompanied cante.

    Another outstanding cantaora is Rosario López, accompanied by Antonio Gómez, another uniquely successful pairing. The two performed my favorite, most earnest Siguiriyas sung by a woman, (Estrella Morente comes second) but López sung everything well, both Gitano and Andaluz palos, especially the mining palos. Gómez's propio sello is quite idiosyncratic--somewhat "modern" compared with my other favorite accompanists, but it works very well with López's art.

    So many other great flamenco artists! I could go on with other favorites--if only Pastora Pavón with her electrifying, chill-inducing voice had lived a little later so that we could have had extended, well-recorded audio and video of her unique talent. I've posted about the miracle yet so brief linking of guitar legend Sabicas with the duo of Domingo Alvarado and the suddenly inspired Enrique Montoya to record the amazing Festival Gitana LP. If only Aurelio de Cádiz had had the benefit of recording with a sympathetic, complementary accompanist rather than the unsuitable Morao in his twilight years or his early, too-brief, badly-recorded 1928 efforts with Ramón Montoya.

    Maybe I'll take them all to my desert island!

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  12. #142
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Paco Sevilla: Website and Books

    Early in this thread I recommended several books by flamenco historian and tocaor Paco Sevilla. Paco has written three superior books on flamenco. They cover its history from the later years of the 19th century--in the biographical novel about Don Antonio Chacón, Seeking Silverio--through the first half of the 20th--in the outstanding biography of Carmen Amaya, Queen of the Gypsies, which also is jam-packed with flamenco history of the era I've focused on in this thread--and later in the century with his book on guitar phenom Paco de Lucía, widely held to be the greatest technician ever in flamenco guitar, Paco de Lucía, a New Tradition for the Flamenco Guitar.

    Paco has a website up: www.pacosevilla.com. and in a recent exchange of emails has confirmed that these books can now be ordered directly from him. Any individual book is $10 plus $3 for shipping, or all three books as a package for $20 plus $5 for shipping. One can order from Paco Sevilla at P.O. Box 8867, Chula Vista CA 91912. In theory one could order through Paco's website; I have no trouble accessing Paco's website, but Paco is having problems with it himself, so it would be safer to order via the mailing address in case one gets no response through the website. I know Paco from working with him on a project, and can be certain of him as the prime source for his books. I'll be ordering the complete set of three as I do not have his book on Paco de Lucía, and will have extra copies of the other two books to give as presents.

  13. #143
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Paco Sevilla's Books

    I just received, without delay, the well-packaged set of the three books on flamenco by Paco Sevilla that I referenced in the preceding post. Again, I can strongly recommend the purchase of all three for $25 which includes shipping, with the emphasis for those coming fresh to flamenco that they read his Carmen Amaya biography Queen of the Gypsies first. It provides much of both the history and the structural essentials of traditional flamenco such that the material in the other two volumes and whatever other books someone might read later are rendered more familiar.

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