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JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

"NEW" FLAMENCO... 

Hello again everyone. Recently, I have been adding to my CD collection. I have bought CDs by Paco Pena, Tomatito, Canizares and Gerardo Nunez, amongst others. But my concern is this: what is "Flamenco" and what isn't? And what is "Nuevo" Flamenco and what isn't?
Obviously guitarists like PDL have always pushed the boundries between Flamenco and other musical genres. But where does this stop being "Flamenco"? I recently also got CDs by people like Strunz and Farah, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Luis Villegas, Oscar Lopez, NovaMenco, Ottmar Liebert and Behzad. I think most of these artists consider themselves as "New" Flamenco. But Strunz and Farah, for example, may use Flamenco guitars (Maldonado I believe). But they also play using PLECTRUMS, which I don't think Flamenco does.
So where are the lines drawn between "Flamenco", "New Flamenco" and.... NEITHER of the two? As usual, any informed opinions on this matter would be very much appreciated. Thanks.





James
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 17:05:30
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13288
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

When a guitarist uses the forms to compose, it should considered "flamenco" modern or not. Strunz and Farah play a much more South American or Latin gutiar style than even the Gypsy Kings (Rumba which is Spanish). The other guys you mentioned are copying Strunz and Farah IMO, who themselves are going for the Al John and Paco vibe, with latin percussion added in. I am into all this music, but I will say that none of it uses the flamenco forms. Paco introduced the rhythm of Alegrias to Al and John, and uses the falsetas as the "head", then they soloed over some very un-flamenco changes. Not sure it can still be called "Alegrias", but it was a cool fusion (the tune "Chiquito" from Passion Grace and Fire).

But the other guys like Strunz, Liebert, Lopez, etc, they are not even playing the real Rumba. Entre do Aguas was a rumba, and these guys are going for that vibe sometimes, but the rhythm guitars sound more like south american strumming. The soloing over changes is not really even jazzy, it is more like what Paco and Al did back in the 70's. So there you have the neouveaeu flamenco.

Ricardo

PS, check out ToddK's videos to see flamenco w/ a plecktrum.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 17:39:29

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

Whew, that wraps that up in a nutshell...

Thats an extremely accurate map of how all that stuff
came to be.
Just never read it all in one place, nice and condensed like that.

It kinda makes you go, wow, that really is all those guys are doing.




I always heard Paco totally hated that tour. Is that true?

TK

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 18:56:11
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to Ricardo

I spent a few years in Brasil, maybe about 25 years ago and I must admit the music is very compelling.
The Samba chords and progessions are something else.
It definitely compared in substance and expression to Flamenco, but not quite.
When I hear some of VA's stuff, I hear a lot of Samba...not Flamenco.
You can turn Samba/Bossa Nova easily to Tangos...no sweat and if you are living in a predominantly "phrygian" environment, then it sounds "new" and "cool".
But it's really just "Tangoized" Samba IMO.
Bulerias also lend themselves easily to this treatment.
The main idea is to play mucho Samba style chords and progressions, then after a few falsetas resolve into a traditional Flamenco cadence.
The result? New, cool nuevo Flamenco.
It sounded cool when I first heard it, but I must admit that in spite of some of the technical ability on show, the idea is getting a bit long in the tooth now IMO.
Everybody does it now, even the struggling amateur with a couple of years playing under his belt.
In short, that idea getting boring.
Somebody started a thread on another forum about who would carry the torch from Paco de Lucia, who took that giant leap of imagination.
Myself, I think there is maybe somebody, who is not listening to Paco and Tomatito and Vincente etc, but perhaps listening to Manuel Morao with Terremoto and thinking of a new way of exploring that feeling.
If not then my feeling is that Flamenco Guitar will generally dissipate into Guitar in general, encompassing Jazz, Blues, Latin, Indo...etc.
Flamenco guitar will be whatever you want it to be....

cheers

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 20:26:06
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

Ron... I know excatly what you mean and I am so confused cause I am agreeing with you and disagreeing at the same time.

On the one hand I love the jazzy, latin feel in some of the flamenco it just makes it more musical & melodic.

On the other hand I dont want it to just become jazz in compas !

I guess balance is the key, thats what makes this guitarists so masterfull Paco, Vicente Tomatito have all contribuied into making the the flamenco guitar more melodic but at the same time they have all managed to preserve the "Aire". I have always tought that the flamenco is not in the chords, keys or modes you play in but in the " Aire" that comes out and i hope we can all agree that the " Aire " is very much present in the music of all the 3 guitarists.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 20:50:49
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to Florian

I've been studying a lot of theory lately, and delving into some sambas and bossas. I have to say they do have a very compelling feel to them, very cool and laid back (in some senses like a rumba like Entre Does Aguas at times), and their intricate and complex chord progressions are enticing to the musician in an intellectual way (like Sabicas said, all musicos love Tarantas).

They are a case of being a victim of their own popularity... I guess they were very popular in what the 60's, so much that now they are the very definition of elevator music! Isn't that tragic, that an excellent musical tradition could become so marginalized by popularity?

Paco de Lucia brought me into flamenco, Vicente enticed me, but Paco Pena is bringing me back toward Ron! In a sense, the modern style of jazzy chords and virtuoso experimentation is a kind of fashionable frill on what is the essence; and you can take it or leave it. Right now, I am starting to feel in myself that I would rather get the intellectual stimulation from classical or Brazil, and keep flamenco for the rhythm and aggression.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 21:08:31

JBASHORUN

Posts: 1839
Joined: Jan. 23 2005
 

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Thanks for your comments so far everyone... some interesting views.

I have the Strunz and Farah DVD and I noticed in the interviews, that they both say that PDL was one of their major influences.

I would agree that it is a shame that some parts of this genre have turned into "elevator music" or "muzak".

Don't get me wrong... I do like traditional Flamenco, but I feel that it must be varied and accessible to some degree if it is to survive (although if it becomes too varied, it looses its essence, and too accessible, it becomes muzak).

But one thing I've noticed is that if I put on a Strunz and Farah CD, the rest of my family can appreciate it and hum along. But they don't have the same appreciation when I put on a Paco Pena CD... perhaps it is just not commercial enough, or maybe my family just has bad taste! But I get similar reactions with some of my non-flamenco friends.

Generally, I don't think the Nuevo Flamenco movement is a bad thing, as I enjoy some of the songs, and they add another dimension to Flamenco that may appeal to an extended audience. It may be a "fashionable frill of what is the essence", but I think its important to be able to appreciate good music, even if it is derived from other sources.

They might not replace "the real thing", but never the less, some of these musicians are still very talented.



James

By the way, from what I could tell from the Francisco Sanchez DVD, PDL didn't think too highly of his "Guitar Trio" performances, and perhaps thought they were less inspired than his solo work.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 20 2005 22:01:40
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13288
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

Brazillian stuff is definantly an influence on modern flamenco guitarists, but what I was talking about "South American" was more in the guitar strumming of this Neoueuoioivooooeiua flamenco stuff. More like Andes stuff or latin style strumming. (Of course not really Andes, but it is not flamenco style strumming at all. I know the "chacarrera".) Rhythm guitar is a real big part of the feeling that comes through the music, whether it is guitar solo stuff or cante accompaniment. You can tell what is or is not flamenco, or even what style or epoc the recording was made, all from how the rhythm guitar is expressed. There is a recording of a French Gypsy playing Django style on steel strings, but one track is bulerias, and I mean REALLY bulerias, no one would confuse it even though it sounds funny on steel strings.

Paco went from being the king of an entire genre, to "learning" on stage w/ Mclaughlin and Co. He wanted to improvise on changes and felt out of place w/ those guys. But... in those interviews he is being cute and humble. Just check out the video of Meeting of the Spirits, way back in 79. He was mopping the floor w/ those guys and he KNEW it. He is super confident on stage, you can see it. I also have a bootleg vid of Dimeola/ Mc, and Paco from 81. Again, he knew what he was doing up there. It was a fusion, everyone learning from each other. 1996 was another story. I heard a rumor of actual fist fighting between those guys.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 21 2005 8:05:31
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1672
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

HI jbashorun

I think everybody who is used to listen to tunes, and MTV, have some problems with listening to flamenco ( or classical music).

I allways tell them that they must try to listen to it, not in a way if it is a tune, but listen to it in a way you would listen to a river.

That helpes a lot, even the most die hard gothic or hiphop student of mine, uses his ear on a different way then.

Peter

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 21 2005 10:17:39
 
duende

Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to Ricardo

Do you know any places on the net where i can read about these trios?? (paco/mclaughlin/corryel,de meiola)

In english..

I can only find their records out there

_____________________________

This is hard stuff!
Don't give up...
And don't make it a race.
Enjoy the ray of sunshine that comes with every new step in knowledge.

RON
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 21 2005 15:59:44
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13288
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

Some cool stuff here:

http://www.italway.it/morrone/WBTG.htm

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 21 2005 22:05:24
 
duende

Posts: 3051
Joined: Dec. 15 2003
From: Sweden

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to Ricardo

thanx

_____________________________

This is hard stuff!
Don't give up...
And don't make it a race.
Enjoy the ray of sunshine that comes with every new step in knowledge.

RON
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 22 2005 9:27:34
 
aloysius

Posts: 233
Joined: Apr. 7 2005
From: Adelaide, Australia

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to JBASHORUN

I think Ricardo certainly hit the nail on the head with his replies. I would like to add that in Spain there doesn't seem to be quite the level of confusion over what flamenco is compared to the English speaking world. In record shops over there you will find a "Flamenco" section, and you will also find a "Rumba" section. Often commercial Sevillanas are lumped together with rumbas in one section, "Rumbas y Sevillanas". The rumba here refers to "rumba Catalan", a popular style of Spanish music apparently first appearing in the Catalan region of Spain, and is really a simplified version of the original Cuban rumba (which often has complex polyrhythms of probable African origen).

Of course things are not quite as clear cut as that - most flamenco albums have a rumba (often track 1), and the rumba "La causa de todos mis males" on La Tana's new CD has a very flamenco sound. However things get much more confused in the English speaking world where putting "flamenco" in the title of a group or album is often done purely to sell rumba CDs which not only have nothing to do with flamenco, as Ricardo pointed out they also have very little to do with the Spanish version of the rumba. Not that there is anything wrong with what they play, a lot of people seem to like it, but it would be nice to see some honesty in their nomenclature, if only to avoid confusion.

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www.guitarsketches.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2005 13:46:04
 
eslastra

 

Posts: 134
Joined: Jul. 12 2003
From: Livermore, CA USA

RE: "NEW" FLAMENCO... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ricardo

I also have a bootleg vid of Dimeola/ Mc, and Paco from 81. Again, he knew what he was doing up there. It was a fusion, everyone learning from each other. 1996 was another story. I heard a rumor of actual fist fighting between those guys.

Ricardo


Ricardo,
I just saw that '81 bootleg vid of the trio. I think that's the fastest and cleanest I've ever seen or heard Paco rip. And he looked like he was having a blast the whole time.

_____________________________

Eddie Lastra
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2005 22:21:54
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