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chester

Posts: 843
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

Antonio Mairena 

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but I've recently discovered this guy (I guess you can call him the James Brown of Flamenco) and I gotta say - he's amazing!
I feel like he's more 'real' (whatever that means) than newer Flamenco. I mean it doesn't sound like these guys practiced all day long, and the music isn't as virtuosic as let's say - Vicente Amigo, but it somehow manages to be so much more bad-ass. Don't get me wrong - I love Canto and La Fuenta de la Jondo (even though I guess they're not the most virtuosic albums - a good thing in my mind) but Mairena is something else entirely.

I'm sure a lot of you here already know about Mairena, but to those who never heard anything by him, here's a buleria:

Does anyone know who the guitar player is? Melchor de Marchena?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 7 2011 0:22:11
 
Harry

Posts: 390
Joined: Jun. 24 2010
From: Montreal, Canada

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

At the risk of drawing some fire here, Mairena and co. are much more badass than the more recent artists. It's just like that. Flamenco has gotten watered down and those of us who prefer no frills are often looked upon as backwards, or people who don't see flamenco as a living art or some such dismissal.

Vicente Amigo has the potential to take over once Paco leaves us, but he never will because he lacks that touch of evil in his playing as one writer put it about another guitarist. Without that touch of evil, there is no badassness certainly, very beautiful playing, technicality, brilliant compositions, but flamenco? hmmm. This is only my opinion of course, and it takes all kinds. Here is some good material I found the other day.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 7 2011 3:12:58
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3219
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Mairena is one of the all-time greats. Here he does the siguiriya "Por los siete dolores" with Melchor de Marchena on guitar. Melchor accompanied all the greatest singers of the second and third quarters of the 20th century.



I've always thought that the "olés" with the amazed chuckle were from Melchor as Mairena nailed the pitches at the end of the first letra.

Mairena was one of the most "complete" cantaores, recording more different palos than anyone since Pastora Pavon, "La Niña de los Peines."

Here's a biography: http://tinyurl.com/3rc6xcu

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 7 2011 3:53:29
 
Anders Eliasson

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Mairena is one of the turning points in Cante. Evereyone refers to him. reasons are mostly that he was a very good and very serious recording artist, Its easy o find his albums, and he recorded most palos.

I personally prefer his voice on some earlyer albums. I also find that he´s doing some palos better than others. Solea, Siguiriya, fandangos naturales are his strong part, whereas I dont like him so much por bulerias y alegrias.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 7 2011 7:35:07
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 7 2011 21:26:23
 
Anders Eliasson

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Romerito

I´m talking about singers. The ones you meet when you go out and play with them.

They refeer to many singers, but names like Mairena and Camaron are always included in the discussions. Some older singers prefer to have Pavon, Chacon and la Niña etc as reference points. But Mairena is always present when you join a discussion between singers. Just like Paco is always present between players. And that doesnt change because some hardcore flamenco discussers mean that Paco is playing most things all wrong.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 8 2011 7:32:31
 
John O.

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From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Mairena is responsible for making Caña/Polo a common palo again, isn't he?

I always saw him as one of the definitive cantaores as well. However I'm a Sevilla fan and most people I learn from are from there or learned there.

I don't think Bulerias or alegrias were his thing either. But just about anything jondo from him is great.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 8 2011 10:32:25
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 8 2011 11:39:31
 
Anders Eliasson

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

This with the hardcore flamenco discussers has to do with these types who IMHO are so closeminded that its impossible to have a conversation with them. We´ve had a few here over the years.
In the guitar world its mostly the socalled old school lovers who see anything more modern than Diego del Gastor as wrong flamenco

Between singers, there´s a tendency to discuss endlesly about who did whatever the correct way. The hardcore ones are the ones who only accept the original versions of cante. They only accept Pavon, Chacon etc.

In the end its something personal... If a singer has a good voice, good frasing and good compás, I like this singer and then I dont care about who did the original version and how the original version was done. I´m not an orthodoks flamenco aficionado and I like personal interpretaions of different palos and letras. Just like I like personal interpretations of classical music and if a rock cover version is good, I like it to.
Flamenco is sometimes so squareheaded that I find it ridiculous.

I follow what you say about Mairena being accepted in Sevilla and not so much in Jerez. His style is not very Jerezano and I can imagine that they dont like him to much. Here in Huelva he´s considered important.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 3:47:21
 
chester

Posts: 843
Joined: Oct. 29 2010
 

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to Harry

quote:

lacks that touch of evil


Loved that! Not necessarily about Vicente in particular but a lot of players in general.

I've got to say, Melchor is one hell of a player! The arps in the seguiriyas(es) are so 'sticky' it's practically depressing for me to listen to (as a guitar player).

As far as purists go - they are present in all genres of music (NO VIBRATO IN BAROQUE MUSIC!!!!! - for example) but we must all remember that art is done for the here and now and should stand on its own without having to be compared to something else in order to be 'legit'.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 6:07:40
 
NormanKliman

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Caña and polo were already part of the early revival movement when Mairena made his first recordings. They used to be considered nearly forgotten styles that few people knew how to sing correctly. This isn't entirely wrong, but it does seem to be exaggerated advertising designed to give several different singers (album liner notes) an aura of distinction and exoticism.

Mairena recorded a wide variety of bulerías and alegrías and is an important reference in those styles, too. It could be said that the only styles in which he isn't important like that are the cantes levantinos (taranta, malagueña, granaína, etc.), fandangos and the ida y vuelta cantes. Even so, they say that he knew and sang well many different cantes from those three styles, especially fandangos. Personally, his bulerías don't do it for me, but some of his cantiñas are great.

Aficionados and artists in Jerez are pretty much divided about Mairena. Some in the Santiago neighborhood are sort of against him, but others in San Miguel and La Asunción admire him. I would say there are more admirers than detractors. When Mairena was very young, one of his teachers was Manuel Torre, the cornerstone of Jerez singing. Later in Mairena's life, Torre's son Tomás was a close friend and collaborator. Mairena recorded an entire album dedicated to Jerez and he used to go there on a regular basis to listen to singers at parties.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 7:03:48
 
XXX

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Discussing how other people discuss about taste things.^^

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 11:39:55
 
chester

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to XXX

Hey it's all part of the legacy...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 14:26:25
 
XXX

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

No, its just part of the usual foro blabla BS.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 15:25:46
 
chester

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to XXX

Dayumn Deniz, why you bein a hater?

Isn't this what an internet forum is all about? A place where people say stuff without doing anything else? All we can do here is talk, so the conversation spans all kinds of subjects, even talking about how other people talk about things.

In regard to Mairena, even Wikipedia says he's a polarizing figure - so it's not only here on the foro.

Cheer up buddy, slow day at work?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 15:51:23
 
Anders Eliasson

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

quote:

No, its just part of the usual foro blabla BS.


LOL . I agree........ But its not a foro thing.

The worst is when I go to the peña in order to play with the singers, sometimes its just hours of very little singing/playing and a LOT of blablah (or yelling and screaming) about Mairena, Camaron, Torres, Chacon, you name it...... And the more drunk they get, it always gets noisier and impossible. Then I go home. Very often its kind of waste of time and since I have to drive, I´m sober and then it all gets to weird.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 16:24:46
 
XXX

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anders Eliasson
Very often its kind of waste of time and since I have to drive, I´m sober and then it all gets to weird.


LOOL
one of the best sentences ever posted on this forum!!

chester, talking is not an activity i consider valuable. It depends on what is talked.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 17:49:55
 
chester

Posts: 843
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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to XXX

quote:

talking is not an activity i consider valuable

... ... ...

Complaining then?

quote:

Deniz
fellow

Posts: 3602
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
From: Germany

Come to your own conclusions.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 19:00:29
 
XXX

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

did you just complain about me complaining?
chester, content matters. Talking or complaining alone has no value by itself. Information alone has no value, it depends on the content. Thats why i said its of no use "Discussing how other people discuss about taste things", not just things. People like you take things always personally when people like me point out the details of content this way, and that is really a pity IMO coz alot of time and effort goes into needless clarifications.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 22:00:55
 
chester

Posts: 843
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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to XXX

1) Why do you think I'm taking this personally? Just killing time...

2) I still maintain that all those discussions around Mairena are part of his legacy, not just idle chatter. Flamenco is culture, not only music. I know you're not interested in the culture (which is completely legitimate) but you can only speak for yourself when you say that discussing it has no value. What do ethnomusicologists do?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 9 2011 22:45:31
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

For those who seek to find a way to enter the world of flamenco cante. A very valuable piece of information.
I think it's a nice summary of the book 'Mundo y formas del cante flamenco' by A. Mairena and R. Molina.

http://hispanoteca.eu/M%C3%BAsica%20ES/Cantes%20flamencos.htm

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2022 18:51:31
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to devilhand

quote:

ORIGINAL: devilhand

For those who seek to find a way to enter the world of flamenco cante. A very valuable piece of information.
I think it's a nice summary of the book 'Mundo y formas del cante flamenco' by A. Mairena and R. Molina.

http://hispanoteca.eu/M%C3%BAsica%20ES/Cantes%20flamencos.htm


It seems a lot of flamencology either derives from Mairena and Molina’s book and attempts to reinforce its conclusions and ideas (pro gitano camps) or the opposite (pro Andaluz in general). Honestly I fall in the middle of the two. On the one hand I agree mostly with Mairena’s assertion of a “hermetic period” or a secret cultivation by gitano communities that operates two fold in creation and preservation of classic form, that later opens up and integrates more with working class payos in the region. I don’t necessarily think that was centered on specific song forms (group 1), but rather the whole package (at least groups 1-3). The big problem there is all the pro-gypsy minded folks want those gypsies to be, for romantic or hippy type reasons, the vagabond homeless oppressed/targeted chicken thieves, when in all honesty it was the already integrated working class gitano communities that preserve and cultivate the art form. (As we saw with Planeta, it seems his dad changed the family last name for a census to avoid being associated with “those gypsies”, hence confusion over last names).

What I disagree with his/their song categorization is minor, as most of that I agree with. 4 main groups is fine. Tiento and Tango needs to go as the derivative of SOLEÁ group like buleria Cana polo etc. I also feel Petenera and bambera needs to fit right in there. (Bambera shares specific melodic content with Paquirri solea and Petenera the same with Solea Apola). Siguiriya is an obvious if small group, the melodic material of the Cabales like Serrana is all over the place, and to my ear, often accompanied with wrong chords (unlike Serrana). If I were to sit down and rework anything in the tradition it would be the Cabales because they are very interesting musically. The Alegrias, conversely, need to bump OUT of that sub family go as a sort of “Fandango de Cadiz” sub genre of Fandango IMO. Next that third group is obvious, however, those Cante Levantinos couple with Verdiales and Fandango de Lucena due to musical structure or “clashing” with the more obvious Fandango structure derivatives. By that I mean certain styles such as Rondeña and media Granaina fit the form like a normal slow fandango, where as the Fandango Lucena and Taranto share this secondary dominant structure that melodically clashes with Fandango and therefore seem to be related closer to each other. This is very “minor” in the bigger picture but I think it is important because these are the blue prints I need to use as an accompanist of cantes.

The Fourth category is fairly obviously grouped correctly (minus the Bambera and Petenera as mentioned). Important to note the LYRICAL structures can interchanges between the 3 other groups. As guitar players scratch there heads about these grouping designed around the SINGING, the rhythm and dance forms need their own separate categories so we can have things like Fandango por Soleá, and Taranto por baile.

I wonder if folks have any insight to the above distinctions that separate Mairena and Molina as authors? I assume most of the ideas come from Mairena but I am not really sure what Molina’s contributions are exactly?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2022 17:14:05
 
RobF

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to devilhand

Was it really necessary for this to have been a Necropost instead of a new topic? Rhetorical question perhaps, as clearly the answer is no.

Why do this? And Ricardo, why encourage it?

Clearly I’m in the minority here, so the four or five of you who seem to take so much pleasure in the practice have at it. It diminishes the place, but have fun. For my part, had I had known the practice would be condoned I would never have joined.

Take care all. It’s been a slice.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2022 17:37:48
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to RobF

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobF

Was it really necessary for this to have been a Necropost instead of a new topic? Rhetorical question perhaps, as clearly the answer is no.

Why do this? And Ricardo, why encourage it?

Clearly I’m in the minority here, so the four or five of you who seem to take so much pleasure in the practice have at it. It diminishes the place, but have fun. For my part, had I had known the practice would be condoned I would never have joined.

Take care all. It’s been a slice.


Again, this guy has been perusing the archives, which is actually encouraged for new comers. And normally he posts troll like comments…but in this case I just so happened to have been reviewing there Mairena book myself and wanted to address those above issues….think of it not for the troll’s sake but for the general interest.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2022 17:47:43
 
Escribano

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From: England, living in Italy

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to RobF

I just don't get this necropost thing. Should I delete old posts or lock them down? How old? Everything here is hosted for discussion unless it turns nasty.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2022 22:04:13
 
RobF

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to Escribano

I guess I’m not really asking or expecting anything from you, Simon. I’ve always held this Foro as being something special and I don’t want to be the one to tamper with that. It’s not my place to be criticizing or trying to shape the behaviours of others, so I’ll not interfere any further.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2022 23:33:59
 
Morante

 

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

I agree mostly with Mairena’s assertion of a “hermetic period”


Ricardo, me sorprende que pienses así. This book has been debunked as racist. At least poco objectivo.

Manuel, the brother of Mairena is a fine singer.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 16 2022 0:00:11
 
Fluknu

 

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to chester

Thanks for the link, Devilhand.

I'm really not knowleageable into that subject and these classifications are very interesting.

One thing you said, Ricardo, is that you'd put Tango as a derivative of Solea. That seems strange to me. I'm sure you have good reasons for saying so, but I fail to see a derivation from Solea to Tango. I can obviously see the link with Buleria for example.

Could you say why you'd classify things that way?

As for Necroposting, as a new member, it's quite interesting that my attention is drawn to former ressources. I can also understand the point of the "old Dogs" though :)

Maybe a new subject with the link to the old discussion could make everyone happy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 16 2022 8:09:58
 
devilhand

 

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RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to Fluknu

quote:

but I fail to see a derivation from Solea to Tango.

Same here. I thought Tango can't be a derivative of Solea. Tango has binary rhythm. Solea 12-beat rhythm. If you look at this tabular form, it will be more clear.

http://hispanoteca.eu/M%C3%BAsica%20ES/Formas%20del%20flamenco%20-%20Cuadro%20sin%C3%B3ptico.htm

More information. Not only El flamenco section is worth reading but also Musica culta.

http://hispanoteca.eu/M%C3%BAsica%20ES/M%C3%BAsica%20espa%C3%B1ola%20culta%20y%20tradicional.htm

@RobF
I've never heard of necroposting before. So my posts have nothing to do with it.

quote:

This book has been debunked as racist.

I haven't read this book. What makes you think so?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 16 2022 10:21:41
 
Arash

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From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Antonio Mairena (in reply to Escribano

quote:

ORIGINAL: Escribano

I just don't get this necropost thing. Should I delete old posts or lock them down? How old? Everything here is hosted for discussion unless it turns nasty.


no please, I need to reply and ask some question in some luthiery post from years ago which I bumped. There are a lot of old posts which one can go back to and might want to revive and discuss

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 16 2022 11:11:46
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