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Mark2

Posts: 1849
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

David Serva Jones 

Just read he passed. Had a lesson with him, and saw him play on several occasions. He saw me play once too, and was supportive. As a teacher he was so knowledgeable and “complete”. As an artist, we know of his many accomplishments. I don’t believe there is an American who went further in the world of flamenco, perhaps even to this day, and perhaps not many foreigners period. I know some here knew him a lot better than I did and would love to read about some of your recollections. R.I.P. maestro
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 28 2022 22:59:05
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

David in August 2018 playing the guitar I made for him.
He was a great friend and teacher.


I just heard myself



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 1:37:29
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

Here we are goofing around

So many stories-



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 1:40:12
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

Just 3 things. He had an amazing sense of the cante and could deal with very crossed letras etc with ease:



Next he invented the concept of using the D# phrygian tonality that began with his composition, essentially a Rondeña, and 20 years later became an inspiration for modern Tocaores to develop all the palos using that key:



Even Paco de Lucia did not use this tonality until his Tangos on Luzia in the late 90’s. So in a way, this gentleman was as important as PDL and the others at the vanguard.

And finally, I remember the time I was discovering flamenco via Paco de Lucia recordings one by one, at the time I was still a Rocker with my electric guitar at college and playing the nylon with a pick, and this song came on the radio constantly and I took it as a weird sign about entering the world of flamenco. I guess it is about David’s son “Mr. Jones” who was a musician that knew the singer of this band? In hindsight I must know who the dancer is being described in the song. Anybody know who it was that David was playing for? (Maria?)





College nostalgia

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 13:55:05
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

The Mr. Jones song was about a bar on Broadway in San Francisco called the Intetnational. It’s just down the hill from the San Francisco Art Institute.

The dancer is La Fibi, Phoebe Vernier who still performs. She’s a friend of mine. After a show that David played in a whole bunch of people went to the international. David’s son Martin Jones and the singer from Counting Crows were in a band together, they weren’t famous yet. David was playing and Phoebe was dancing por fiesta, the singer of counting crows ( I even forgot his name) and Martin couldn’t figure out if Phoebe was flirting with them, and that’s how the song was written. Martin told me the story in 2008 when we worked together as carpenters.

David and Phoebe re met at a flamenco show a she was in, only about four or five weeks ago, before David died. He said Phoebe you haven’t changed at all, still beautiful.

Martin said he left the band, he was the bass player, because the band moved to LA and the music business in
LA was to him all phoney and no fun.

David is family to me, in that way that flamenco form bonds, and then even some more after that.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 20:06:34
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

I have a story about the D# Phrygian thing too. After I get up in a few hours.
Although I must warn you I’ll tell the story as E flat -

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 20:12:18
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

Fall 2000 David’s wife Clara Chinoy ( Clara Mora professionally as a dancer) received a Fulbright to study Gitano women's Genealogy, David wasn’t working because he was recovering from a broken wrist due to a bike accident. We were in Sevilla at the time as Clara was using the city as a base of studies to venture out to other cities to interview women. I met Ines Bacan on one of her trips I joined.

It left David and I a lot of time to hang out and for two months he told me the story of the history of flamenco as he knew it. One night we were sitting at the Carbonaria and David was noodling around with the D# thing, or the E flat thing, that’s he called it “the E flat thing”. Carlos Heredia walked by and lolled his eyes at a David, and asked him for the guitar. Carlos gave David a lesson on the spot by playing the latest moves that guitarists were doing with the D# thing. David was interested and Carlos only stayed a minute as he was off to play in the other room.

David was handed back the guitar and he tentatively worked over the falseta Carlos had just played. Then he said “Huh, I showed this to the kids in Lavapies in Madrid 20 years ago. Now they all play it.”

He told me he came up with it in the late 70’s and played around with it in front of young guitarists at Candela in Madrid and around town. With David there was something, he was a Gitano magnet. Gitano kids walked up to him in the street and says hello. I’d say do you know that kid? He’d say nope, but he just wanted to say hello, so hello.

David was amused that the generation after him took up the D# thing, but never once did I see him try to say to anyone playing it that he played a long time back. He didn’t try to tell Carlos he was doing it way back, and Carlos most likely copped it from Paco off a record. Paco probably got wind if it in Madrid when the younger guitarists were passing it around.

And this was also the time Carlos said he had to stop listening to Paco because it led him to copy too closely and Carlos wanted to develop his own voice. Ah…. Carlos had two albums full of solo music he never recorded. What a great guitarist also.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 22:08:34
 
Ricardo

Posts: 14607
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Carlos most likely copped it from Paco off a record. Paco probably got wind if it in Madrid when the younger guitarists were passing it around.


In This case no way, Paco never used it before Luzia, and even that he forced himself to transpose the thing he played in the Saura movie (i want to say Sauron lol), from D up a half step and added a single falseta in the new key that uses the open E strings.

So while i totally believe your David story, and it makes sense, I believe the first to use it on TV was Niño Miguel for a rumba 1980 and didn’t record it, but the Caño Roto guys were likely using it already up until the FIRST OFFICIAL recording of the thing by Tomatito (Alexandria, also Rumba, 1987) and at the same time Nuñez (Tangos/Rumba). It was Vicente who took it into Solea Buleria and Granaina relm, and more later. Viejin recorded a Fandango using it and probably had been using it before Tomatito even, but there is no evidence. End of the day, it is a very important thing he introduced and IMO the best use of it was Jucal by Nuñez, a true master piece.

It expanded the circle of 5th for traditional guitarist by one position, and i think that is very significant historically. It must be viewed as D# and never as Eb, other wise the opens strings used are Fb and Cb. Although the open F double sharp string gets used.

Thanks for the stories, keep em coming.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 22:50:45
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 551
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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=3046544418979458&set=a.1391771181123465
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 29 2022 23:30:03
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Ricardo

Ah I think you’re right about Carlos because he may even be using it on his early 90’s recording, with Jason McGuire on cajon no less. Carlos probably got it from another source whether it was from working in Madrid or off another record or simply because shared material has legs and moves with traveling guitarists.

If I’m not wrong, I think David cooked it up in the mid to late seventies. He lived permanently in Lavapies from 1973 on..

If you’ve ever read the Flamenco’s of Cadiz Bay, the revised edition has a story in the back about a young upstart guitarist pulling a teenagers face at an older guitarist warming up. The older player was playing material that the teen hotshot thought was boring and ancient. Then the teenagers dad ejected him from the backstage room… David was part of that story and the kids upbringing. Lol 😝 the kid in that story is Jeronimo Maya.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2022 3:08:08
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

When Jeronimo was ten or twelve David and Felipe Maya were the guitarists at the Corral. Little Jeronimo came to work with his dad and hung out. David once said he’s going to America and Jeronimo says are you to play in America? David says sure, but I’m going home to visit my family. Jeronimo couldn’t believe him, he says tio, but you’re Spanish how can your family be in America? David said, no I’m a Californian.

David helped Felipe keep Jeronimo on the good path and encouraged him. I’m not at liberty to say who the older maestro is that punky teenage Geronimo was making fun of. But as in the story told by Howson, he was immediately and unceremoniously ejected from daddy Felipe’s gig for something like six weeks. Felipe was pissed off that his kid would disrespect a maestro. Jeronimo turned out to be a good guy. 😂

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2022 3:25:12
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

If I get busy and forget remind me to tell you the Serva - Marote pissing contest story lol

I also never learned the D# thing because I was always in the Bonehead Remedial Solea class. The last few months I’ve been thinking I need to learn it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Oct. 30 2022 3:28:12
 
FredGuitarraOle

Posts: 898
Joined: Dec. 6 2012
From: Lisboa, Portugal

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to estebanana

In 2017 I went to Madrid for a week to have classes with David. It was a pleasure and an honor to meet him, I had a great time and learned a lot. Up to this day, his old and beaten up Gerundino Fernández is still the best sounding guitar I've ever played on.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2022 4:05:17
 
ric

 

Posts: 84
Joined: Dec. 27 2010
 

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to FredGuitarraOle

Just for the record, Phoebe is no longer dancing due to neck problems. She was teaching in Petaluma and she continues to provide monthly shows in Petaluma with Bay Area flamencos.
If anybody is interested, there is a (unfortunate?) movie about David Serva Jones called "Gypsy Davey" where it is more about his exes (sadness, anger) around his behavior, than about his extraordinary talent.
When you die, all is forgiven.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 4 2022 13:58:13
 
estebanana

Posts: 9308
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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to ric

Yeah I don’t know about that. She’s been singing for quadros and dancing. Phoebe still dances and teaches.

The film is called ‘Gypsy Davey’ and it’s made by Jones’ daughter Rachel. All David’s kids loved him and had individual takes on who he was to them. He’s daughter asked me some questions on camera when she was making the film, but none of it was included, she probably had hundred hours of footage. At least. 😂

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 5 2022 12:43:27
 
estebanana

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Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

Here’s a video of David in Berkeley CA 2018

The last time I took a lesson from him as I couldn’t leave Japan to go gone for a visit in 2019 through 2022-

It’s a good Solea falseta he gave me:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 7 2022 3:28:58
 
henrym3483

Posts: 1582
Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

im thankful to have met David through Norman Kliman. i got to take a few lessons with David while i was in Jerez over the course of a few years.

David was a extraordinary guitarist and a unique person you meet on the camino de flamenco. echoing what ricardo said, david had an amazing abilty to work with singers and whatsmore explain it to people too...another guitarist who had a mine full of letras and changes in his head.

David was a cool cat who had done it all and lived to tell the tale. Some of the stuff he recounted to me while in Plaza Plateros having drinks after a lesson or grabbing some food in the evening was hilarious, crazy and some unrepeatable stuff.

i'm glad to have met an outsider who made it into the sancto sanctorum of flamenco



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 9 2022 18:55:31
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

Great remembrance of Mr. Jones-

Did he ever tell you the Richard Fletcher thumb story?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2022 0:18:29
 
kitarist

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Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to henrym3483

Tried to fix up the pic a bit.. thanks for posting it.



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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2022 1:17:57
 
henrym3483

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Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to kitarist

kitarist many thanks, its the fog thats the late nights in damajuana bar in jerez
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2022 13:36:45
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

I split the photo in half and corrected one side for over exposure and the other for under exposure- now someone with photoshop can zip them together 😂





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 10 2022 23:27:02
 
kitarist

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to estebanana

This??



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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2022 0:51:53
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

I was thinking someone could take Henry’s head and cut it out and paste it on the picture I punched up the color and exposure. You know like a reverse Anne Boleyn move.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2022 3:29:06
 
AndresK

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From: Patras, Greece

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to estebanana

Not very well executed. Sorry.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2022 7:26:46
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

I like it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2022 13:36:14
 
davewphx

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

I had no knowledge of David Serva Jones, I am glad to learn about him. His playing on the solea is superb, as is Manuel Agujetas' cante- thanks Ricardo.Thank God we have those excellent videos to watch I've got to set this up on the stereo today. Stephen in the photo of you and Mr Jones with you holding a staff - ls tha a tribute to Juan de la Vara?

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Dave
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2022 15:43:47
 
Ricardo

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From: Washington DC

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to davewphx

quote:

Stephen in the photo of you and Mr Jones with you holding a staff - ls tha a tribute to Juan de la Vara?


I used to think this was just the fact the oldest cantaores had the more pure knowledge of cante….however i think this goes back to Chacon and Silverio, according to the historical fiction book about them.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2022 16:23:06
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Mark2

David had a hip replacement surgery in 1997 and used canes and waking sticks on and off since then. I was just holding onto it while he played.

The older cantaores probably just used canes for walking. 😂

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2022 3:29:49
 
Richard Jernigan

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From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana
The older cantaores probably just used canes for walking. 😂


I've read in a few places that the old timers used the cane or a staff to mark the compas by tapping on the floor, but I don''t remember ever seeing it done.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2022 21:42:22
 
estebanana

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RE: David Serva Jones (in reply to Richard Jernigan

I’ve seen Agustin Rios do that with his cane, but other than that I’ve only seen dance teachers use the cane. Hopefully not in a guitarists back.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2022 3:08:28
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