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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
Before we leave a discussion of cante flamenco CDs, something should be said about the Great Grandaddy of Them All. In 1955 or thereabouts, a French producer approached guitarist Perico el del Lunar, who knew just about everybody in flamenco, about recording an anthology of cante. This was the legendary Antología del Cante Flamenco, released as 3 LPs on the Westminster and Hispavox labels. The Antología became for many non-Spaniards their gateway into cante, and it was one of my earliest collected recordings. It has subsequently been re-released on CD several times, though I do not have it as such. The Antología offers an example of virtually every palo, though the examples are not necessarily always of the most compelling variety. But when they are good, they are fabulous--the four Saetas are the best I've ever heard, and many others stick in my mind. Plus the recordings remain one of the best places to hear the unique guitar accompaniment of Perico el del Lunar the Elder, whose playing has been regarded by many as a gold standard in cante accompaniment, due to his evocative atmospheric World-Weary 3 o'clock in the morning personal style. Once you hear Perico, you will recognize his playing forever.

Here is a link to what may be a source for the Antología in CD format. This is a different anthology from the previously mentioned anthology compiled by Antonio Mairena....

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Antología-Del-Cante-Flamenco/release/4702845
 

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Discussion Starter · #162 · (Edited)
Night Thoughts

My insomnia is an old acquaintance. A recent bout had me again wide awake, seeking engagement, and I found myself drawn as so often happens to my YouTube flamenco, listening to and sometimes watching the singers and guitarists interacting as I have for close to 65 years now, on LPs, CDs, and then YT. I watched and listened to a bit of Estrella Morente, José de la Tomasa, Perrate de Utrera and Diego del Gastor, and finally Terremoto and his eternal companion Manuel Moreno "Morao". I am familiar with every note in the selections and was struck again by how comfortable and satisfying it was and is to slide smoothly into the distinctive quickly recognizable patterns and sequences of the various palos--Soleares, Malagueñas, Siguiriyas, Tientos, Fandangos, Bulerias..... Old friends, like well-worn pebbles or bits of polished wood that just feel right in one's hand. Comforting in the middle of a dark, sleepless but unworried night.

I was also struck, watching Morao accompanying Terremoto, at just how fantastically accomplished these flamenco guitarists are. The YT clips of the two often focus upon Morao's fingers as they effortlessly fly over the guitar's strings, both plucking and holding down strings to produce instantly the sounds he is searching for. Strumming, tapping the guitar body (golpe) very close to instinctively. I compare that (unfairly!) with the seemingly labored effort of classical guitarists carefully picking their way through a complex piece--the contrast gives the false but almost unavoidable impression that flamenco guitarists know exactly at all times what their instruments can produce sonically and exactly how to produce it, while classical guitarists are figuring it out as they go along. I love cante flamenco!
 

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Discussion Starter · #163 ·
Some Welcome Pure Pleasure.....

Here is a delightful interlude in the usually macho world of flamenco. While I am not an aficionado of solo flamenco guitar, I could not help enjoying this YouTube clip of a modern female flamenco guitarist, Paola Hermosín, giving a brief lesson in impeccable Spanish on the Soleá, then playing one well-known by the longtime tocaor Paco Peña. Hermosín plays both classical and flamenco guitar, but here she is all flamenco. Enjoy the YouTube clip as I did for her self-assurance, her delightful diction, and then, after her spoken lesson, her skillful play of a classic, traditional palo, the Soleá de Alcalá.....

 

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I was also struck, watching Morao accompanying Terremoto, at just how fantastically accomplished these flamenco guitarists are. The YT clips of the two often focus upon Morao's fingers as they effortlessly fly over the guitar's strings, both plucking and holding down strings to produce instantly the sounds he is searching for. Strumming, tapping the guitar body (golpe) very close to instinctively. I compare that (unfairly!) with the seemingly labored effort of classical guitarists carefully picking their way through a complex piece--the contrast gives the false but almost unavoidable impression that flamenco guitarists know exactly at all times what their instruments can produce sonically and exactly how to produce it, while classical guitarists are figuring it out as they go along. I love cante flamenco!
Strange,

I assume you are talking about:


A few thoughts come to mind. I'm assuming that you know that one of the main differences between a Flamenco guitar and a Spanish classical guitar is "action" - the amount of distance that the guitarist has to push the string down to create the note. The higher the action the harder it is to play the instrument. Flamenco style, with its focus on fast falseta runs, favors very low action as it makes playing those runs easier. The down side is the "string rattle" that happens when the action is set so low that the vibration of the string does not "clear" the higher frets, causing a noticeable rattle in sound. I say "down side" because as a percussive effect, especially when strumming, sting rattle is an important aspect of the "flamenco sound."

OTOH, Spanish Classical guitars have higher action to avoid that string rattle. Clean playing and tone production are paramount. Trust me, no one wants to hear a Bach invention on a guitar with string rattle. (Bach didn't write any rattles into his manuscript so you shouldn't play any.)

Another thought on playing is this: The farther down the neck of the guitar toward the tuning pegs that one goes, the wider the spaces between the frets, and the harder it is to play the instrument. By placing a capo on the second fret, Morao has in effect, eliminated the two hardest frets to cover in terms of finger stretching - making the guitar easier to play.

What I'm suggesting here, and not to take anything away from the impressive playing skills in the video, is that the fluidity in playing that you see demonstrated is aided by the set up and playing style of the Flamenco guitar. To play those same songs on a Spanish Classical would be much more difficult.
 
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Discussion Starter · #166 · (Edited)
Guitars and Guitar Play

Room2201974, welcome to this remote corner of TC! All visitors and their thoughts are appreciated. I touched briefly on some of the points you raised in my Post #108. As you know, working flamenco guitarists, especially those accompanying singers and dancers, are seldom without their capos as the need to alter tuning varies constantly among palos--and singers. And the differences in design and construction between flamenco and classical guitars certainly reflects the different requirements of the two genres. It's curious that I chose Morao as my exemplar of flamenco technique in that I do not care generally for his playing ("too many notes") compared with so many other equally skilled tocaores--in my post on Aurelio de Cadiz, I complain about Morao's overplaying, drowning Aurelio in a sea of loud, superfluous notes. Such overplaying seems to have been a characteristic of Jerez flamenco guitar playing. But to each his own. Feel free to contribute to these thoughts of flamenco as you see fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #167 ·
JALEO Newsletter, 1977-1992

California was a hotbed of enthusiasm for all things flamenco in the pre-Internet era. I have previously posted about the American flamenco guitarist and historian/novelist Paco Sevilla in this thread--Paco's several books on flamenco are an essential part of a library of books on flamenco and its history, and he has his own place in the history of that history. Part of Paco's contribution was for years as the editor and a constant contributor to the typed flamenco fanzine/newsletter Jaleo which came out of a San Diego address for some 15 years as a shared glue binding together much of the American flamenco enthusiast scene. The back issues of Jaleo are now available online and make for interesting and often informative reading on flamenco topics as discussed both among Americans but also including input from Spanish sources as well. I invite all to browse through these past issues to get a sense of the enthusiasm among flamenco aficionados during this period when flamenco was still being enjoyed as a novel artform among devotees sharing the same enjoyment of its unique charms.

http://www.elitedynamics.com/jaleomagazine/index-jaleo_issues.htm
 

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JALEO Newsletter, 1977-1992

California was a hotbed of enthusiasm for all things flamenco in the pre-Internet era. I have previously posted about the American flamenco guitarist and historian/novelist Paco Sevilla in this thread--Paco's several books on flamenco are an essential part of a library of books on flamenco and its history, and he has his own place in the history of that history. Part of Paco's contribution was for years as the editor and a constant contributor to the typed flamenco fanzine/newsletter Jaleo which came out of a San Diego address for some 15 years as a shared glue binding together much of the American flamenco enthusiast scene. The back issues of Jaleo are now available online and make for interesting and often informative reading on flamenco topics as discussed both among Americans but also including input from Spanish sources as well. I invite all to browse through these past issues to get a sense of the enthusiasm among flamenco aficionados during this period when flamenco was still being enjoyed as a novel artform among devotees sharing the same enjoyment of its unique charms.

http://www.elitedynamics.com/jaleomagazine/index-jaleo_issues.htm
Love flamenco - thanks for bumping this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #169 ·
Here are 3 selections from an LP of Paco and Pepe de Lucía as the young duo, Los Chiquitos de Algeciras. I note Pepe sounds a bit like the cantaor Enrique Montoya, with whom Paco de Lucía made several albums--it may be that the brothers were close to Enrique Montoya, as Paco was also to Fosforito. Herewith the three selections in a row: a Soleá, Malagueñas, and Tientos.....

Here is a video of the brothers Paco and Pepe a bit older than their teen years performing bulerias in the slightly more "modern" style. There is no question that Paco de Lucia was a superb guitarist, and this clip shows the two brothers working together during the time of transition as flamenco evolved in a newer direction.....

 

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I thought I'd post some of the various palos, starting with Bulerías, and now Soleá

Estrella Morente - Soleá


From Wikipedia
Soleares (plural of soleá, pronounced [soleˈa]) is one of the most basic forms or palos of Flamenco music, probably originated around Cádiz or Seville in Andalusia, the most southern region of Spain. It is usually accompanied by one guitar only, in phrygian mode "por arriba" (fundamental on the 6th string); "Bulerías por soleá" is usually played "por medio" (fundamental on the 5th string). Soleares is sometimes called "mother of palos" although it is not the oldest one (e.g. siguiriyas is older than soleares) and not even related to every other palo (e.g. fandangos family is from a different origin)[
Bulerías

From Wikipedia
Bulería (Spanish pronunciation: [buleˈɾi.a(s)]; interchangeable with the plural, bulerías) is a fast flamenco rhythm made up of a 12 beat cycle with emphasis in two general forms as follows:

[12] 1 2 [3] 4 5 [6] 7 [8] 9 [10] 11
or
[12] 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 [7] [8] 9 [10] 11

This may be thought of as a measure of 6
8 followed by a measure of 3
4 (known as hemiola).

For dancers, it is commonly viewed with a compas or bar of 6 counts as opposed to 12.
 

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Estrella Morente is superb. Do you know who is on guitar?
 

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Okay, well I just looked at Page 1 - and humbly realize that Strange Magic has already done so much great posting on the palos and everything else!

So much to read. But I'll continue posting a few clips when I hear something I think is exceptional.
 

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Discussion Starter · #176 ·
SanAntone, I am delighted to have you here in our small circle of flamenco aficionados! The flamenco fraternity is small but dedicated. The problem with the few remaining flamenco forums for me is that guitar enthusiasts are the most fervent posters, whereas my interest has always been in el cante. So as you look through this thread, you will find that is my main focus. But anything you choose to post will be most welcome!
 

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SanAntone, I am delighted to have you here in our small circle of flamenco aficionados! The flamenco fraternity is small but dedicated. The problem with the few remaining flamenco forums for me is that guitar enthusiasts are the most fervent posters, whereas my interest has always been in el cante. So as you look through this thread, you will find that is my main focus. But anything you choose to post will be most welcome!
I think of flamenco as a three-sided art: the guitar, the singing and the dance. Really it's an complete culture, lifestyle. I have a book that I haven't read yet, but need to - Seeking Silverio the Birth of Flamenco by Paco Sevilla.

My interest in flamenco is long-standing and strong but fleeting, it come and goes in spurts. I am happy for the existence of this thread and applaud your great and comprehensive posting. :tiphat: I plan on contributing now and then, but also plan on reading the earlier pages to see what's already been contributed, and how I might add some info here and there.

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
I think of flamenco as a three-sided art: the guitar, the singing and the dance. Really it's an complete culture, lifestyle. I have a book that I haven't read yet, but need to - Seeking Silverio the Birth of Flamenco by Paco Sevilla.

My interest in flamenco is long-standing and strong but fleeting, it come and goes in spurts. I am happy for the existence of this thread and applaud your great and comprehensive posting. :tiphat: I plan on contributing now and then, but also plan on reading the earlier pages to see what's already been contributed, and how I might add some info here and there.

:cool:
Bless your heart in your intention to read Seeking Silverio! That book is somewhat dear to my heart in that I had a hand in its creation. I won't reveal my name but you will find it in Paco's book. I have read the book several times and found his depiction of late 19th century flamenco Andalusia quite well done with a real eye for flavor. Paco Sevilla also began a similar book on Manuel Torres, the great Gypsy cantaor, but never got further than a few vignettes--a shame. I strongly recommend Sevilla's other two histories, especially his Carmen Amaya bio and all-purpose history of the flamenco of the first half of the 20th century, Queen of the Gypsies. Great book!
 
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