Writings and essays about flamenco

Category — Cante Flamenco

“Rito y Geografía del Flamenco” — Notes on the 1996 first commercial release

The following describes the great flamenco documentary series “Rito y Geografía de Flamenco” when most of the films were released in a commercial videocassette version by Alga Editores in Spain in 1996. It was a poor version — the images were often fuzzy, and an accompanying hardcover book used many of those images with weak text. A quarter of the original 100 programs were not included. A later release on DVD’s was far superior, with exellent images and excellent booklets of additional commentary by the key man on the project, José María Velásquez and English subtitles — though that version, too, omitted a batch of programs, most relatively weak but some quite good. (Five years earlier, I had managed to rescue and purchase the first copies of these and other films from the series; I had hoped this first commercial version from Alga would add valuable documentation and sharper images, but no such luck.

Here’s that earlier description, headlined “A Collection of Incunables” — while it logically means “indispensables” or somesuch, I can’t find a fitting translation — maybe the word exists in English as well, but I’ve never heard it:

“A collection of ‘incunables’ in images that depict unforgettable scenes of flamenco song, showing the greatest artists of the past and the present. 26 videocassettes (VHS) with more than 38 hours of material and a sumptuous book of 272 pages containing more than 100 photographs of the people and places appearing in the series, with text by eminent present-day flamencologists, historians, anthropologists and musicians.

Enjoy the experience of these unrepeatable images of the great masters, many of them now gone, both professional and aficionados, who knew how to maintain the purest essences of flamenco cante: See Antonio Mairena, Caracol, Beni de Cadiz, Pericon de Cadiz, Pepe de la Matrona, Joselero de Moron, El Gallina (Rafael Romero), El Perrate, La Piriñaca, El Borrico, Pepe Marchena, Camarón, etc.

“Rito y Geografia del Cante” was created between March of 1971 and October of 1973. 100 programs were made and shown. The team visited 28 locales in Andalucia, Salamanca, Barcelona, Extremadura, Toledo, Murcia and Portugal. They filmed 186 singers, 13 folklore groups, 47 guitarists, 313 palmeros (supporting hand-clappers), dancers and aficionados. There are 117 interviews and get-togethers with flamencologists, musicians, historians, anthropologists and noted aficionados. We are pleased to present the fruit of this search and investigation.”

This was followed by two brief descriptive essays which I’m translating (from a crummy fax, so my general ignorance is occasionally compounded by illegibility):

1. “Criteria for this Edition of Rito y Geografia del Cante.”

“Today, 25 years after the initial broadcasts by Television Espanola of the ‘Rito y Geografia del Cante’ series, some things remain the same in the world of flamenco while others have changed. The best of the new developments is perhaps the wide promulgation of flamenco — a notion touched upon in the programs, and now confirmed to an astonishing degree. The worst, at least from the orthodox point of view, and from the standpoint of the splendid “oldness” (vejez) that distinguishes the series, may be certain present-day mixings and fusions (mestizajes) that don’t make much sense.

Since the films were made, we have seen the disappearance of Camarón, who in the series represented a new and unorthodox approach to the cante; and we’ve seen Enrique Morente — who is asked where he thinks the modernizing movement might take flamenco — do a recent recording of poems by Leonard Cohen while joined by a rock group, without abandoning flamenco. José Menese, another young renovationist of that earlier time, has remained faithful to the roots (“Firme me mantengo” — “I stand firm”, as one of his songs says), and it is through him that we know the political verses of his mentor José Moreno Galván, with their strong social content, which were so avidly listened to during Spain’s transition to democracy.

This documentary series, despite the subsequent appearance of new interpreters and the loss of a large part of those who are shown, or despite the evolution of some of these depicted artists to enter the realm of “new flamenco”, has not aged a bit. On the contrary, like fine wine, it has turned into something special, almost venerable — a relic, an “incunable” (priceless document? Unique object? The word “incunabula” refers to manuscripts created before the age of moveable type…)

Nonetheless, in the intervening time, some of the interpreters originally included, either because they were valued more highly than warranted or because they played a particular role in the original criteria for selection, have been eliminated, since their art would not say very much to a young aficionado today. Those eliminated are not mythical singers of the past, nor have they confirmed themselves as myths of today as did Morente, Camarón or Menese. Nor are they fundamental representatives of a particular geographic or family school of flamenco. Their inclusion would only have expanded this edition unneccessarily, and perhaps disoriented the new aficionado.

2. “A Collection of ‘Incunables’”

“Rito y Geografia del Cante”, broadcast by TVE between 1971 and 1973, is considered by all specialists, and is recognized in the histories of flamenco, as the finest program ever produced for television. In a run covering approximately two years, under the direction of Mario Gómez and with the collaboration and evaluative judgments of the most prestigious flamencologists, the weekly series travelled all of flamenco territory, including the very guts of Andalucia where, over the years, this art — local and universal at the same time — was developed.

The series offered testimony from old singers, many of them anonymous, others celebrated. It was a true blessing, because it was launched at a time when the great flamenco neighborhoods or breeding areas (Triana, Cadiz, Jerez and its Barrio de Santiago) were starting to lose their traditional and Gypsy ways of life due to the changes Spain had started to see in the 1960′s, and due to the influence of new communcations media, changing customs, etc. These documentaries, then, arrived in time to miraculously save the memory of a life already in large part irrevocably lost.

The filming, always guided by intelligent curiosity and by the commentary of José María Velásquez, or through the introduction of expert specialists, traversed all the last locales in which flamenco was being “made”: taverns, family homes, colmaos, and ventas. And it collected the final artistic testimonies of many singers who would be dead shortly afterward — in some cases, even before their particular programs were aired. That was the case with Juan Talega and Manolo Caracol, among others.

But today, 25 years after their broadcast, a large number of those protagonists are no longer with us. We can no longer capture the image of Tia Anica La Piriñaca, El Beni de Cadiz, Diego el del Gastor, Antonio Piñana (padre), Eleuterio — to name just some of those who are gone, but leave their myths behind, and whose images return to us now in these videos, as they sing or speak of their cante.

Thus it is possible today to see Antonio Mairena dancing por bulerias; or Tía Anica giving her advice to some youngsters (who were none other than Manuel Sordera and “that ‘Camirón’, or whatever he’s called…”); or to see Juan Talega in a fight to the death with the form called the toná, perhaps the last one he would sing in his lifetime; or Tomás Torre, speaking about his father Manuel; or Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera in a fiesta at home, or praying to the Virgin; or the Perrates, uncle and mother of Juan El Lebrijano.

And, also, a young and “parlanchin” (?) Camarón de la Isla; young José Menese in his home town of La Puebla de Cazalla or getting his professional start in Madrid; and a five-year-old La Macanita, singing and dancing for Paula; and Remedios Amaya, barely an adolescent at the time. And, too, monographic (single-topic) episodes dedicated to major thematic issues, such as the relation of Falla and Lorca to flamenco; or the festivales; or women in the realm of cante; or the guitar; or the role of the Gypsies within the art; etc.

With this series, you are presented with a true collection of “incunables” — a true history of images of the old and pure (rancia) mystery of flamenco. The films reveal a history that can never be repeated, and that today is lost forever.

Paco González
Editor

End of material on the series.

I think the general descriptions are pretty good, and while I’d argue about the omission of any material, I think the Alga folks made a defensible choice — some of the omitted programs were very weak, and seemed like filler.

(As for the alleged artist called Eleuterio — never heard of the guy, and would bet he never existed, at least by that name.)

Brook Zern

March 1, 2017   No Comments

Flamenco Forms: The Bulerías

No flamenco form is as vital or ubiquitous as the bulerías. Its “inconfundible” — (unmistakable, “unconfoundable”) pulse powers fiestas in most flamenco territory. In Jerez, especially, it is everywhere — the song, the dance, the guitar, the local anthem expressed in endless variations that are normally joyous but can have astonishing emotional reach and power. In my years there, at countless sessions in bars and basements and in that city’s terrific flamenco peñas — associations open to everyone — it was a shared bond between every artist and aficionado.

It’s logical to see the bulerías as simply an outgrowth of the soleá — a sped-up version that still can serve as a windup or remate, often in the same flamenco mode and rhythm and basic melodic structure. Like many typical remates, would have a sort of natural tendency to leave the flamenco mode and go into the major key.

This debt to the soleá doesn’t fit with the idea that the bulerías may have originally been a major-key thing, just another variant in the major-key cantiñas/alegrías family with its folkloric (even jota-inspired) genesis. (This would imply a non-Gypsy origin, in musical terms.)

The big Diccionario del Flamenco reveals that most of the bigshot authorities lean toward the former theory. José Blas Vega calls the bulerías “the daughter of the solea” and links them to the “estribillo” that Loco Mateo used to rematar [wind up] his solea. J.M. Caballero Bonald says they are “direct inheritors of the soleá”, created primarily to accompany dancing. He adds “the gamut of bulerías styles is virtually uncontrollable, although one can distinguish two distinct groups: true “bulerías festeras” or bulerías for dancing, and the “bulerías al golpe”, or bulerías for singing, whose most defined variant is customarily called, with good reason, the bulerias por soleá. The former group is
especially fertile and flexible (? movedizo), allowing a series of improvizations and thematic borrowings even from exotically distant musicalstyles. The latter group, as its name indicates, is clearly derived from the soleá and its clear role as a song that isn’t danced gives it a hierarchical position among the noble forms derived from the primitive songs.”

Pedro Camacho writes: “Rhythmically, the bulería is a “cante bolero”, whose origin is almost certainly the earlier jaleo, or festive song (canción jaleada) that accompanied euphoric dancing. In this sense, it is a “boleria”. When the Gypsies incorporated into this dance the traditional verses of the soleá or soleariya [a term for a soleá using three-line rather than the more common four-line verses], and arbitrarily accommodated these melodies, the “bulería gitana” was born, still sometimes called the jaleo.”

Fernando Quiñones writes of bulerías “A song descended from the soleá … though more lively — there are even some bulerías a golpe, with much more of soleares than of bulerías. The original bulerías might have derived from the old “juguetillos”, and are still sometimes absurdly viewed as throw-away time-killers; but they are much more. The bulerías as a song has real merit.”

José Luís Ortiz Nuevo: “This relatively modern song comes to us from Loco Mateo via El Gloria, a perfect synthesis of deep expression. It is a condensation of the solea, with the essence of its rhythms and the light of its echoes and musical form. It flows from the palmas and the dance like a ceaseless cyclone, a flow of the emotions of the fiesta. Properly heard, it
incites a vertigo of courage and fury. But nowadays, all the “renovations” are carrying it in the opposite direction — stretching its tercios (verses) to excessive lengths, unnecessarily sweetening its laments, carelessly breaking up the precision of its compás. The cuples and coplas (verses based on popular songs rather than flamenco styles) are today disfiguring its true character, with the acquiescence of many aficionados.”

End of citations from the Diccionario.

Again, it’s true that lot of early versions of this relatively recent form (first taking shape in the late 1800′s) are in the major, so maybe the bulerías didn’t come directly from the soleá after all. I prefer to believe it did — it gives a certain borrowed gravitas to the bulerías

Nomenclature note: The soleá is the soleá. The bulerías is (are?) the bulerías. But I’m convinced that there is another form, distinct from either and with a its own tempo and melody (maybe just one single melody, unlike the soleá with dozens or the bulerías with several basic melodies and infinite modifications), and that it is most properly called either the bulerías por soleá, or the soleá por bulerías, or the bulerías al golpe or the bulerías pa’ escuchar (the bulerías to sit down, shut up and listen to.)

Is it all perfectly clear?

Well, maybe this will help. The bulerías is characterized by its unique rhythmic pattern or compás. Like the soleá, it can be heard as having accents on the third, sixth, tenth and twelfth beats; like nothing else, it can be heard (and clapped to) with beats on the first and second, fourth and fifth, seventh and eighth, and tenth and eleventh beats; it is often clapped with beats on one two three, seven eight, ten. Oh, and there’s often an underlying emphasis on every other beat: two, four, six, eight, ten and twelve.

Happy to have cleared that up for you.

Brook Zern

P.S. An artist friend of my father, who also played flamenco, asked me to come to his class on abstract art at Cooper Union in New York and bring my guitar. I did, and he asked me to play some bulerías, which I also did. He asked the class what they thought of this musical interlude and they said, basically, “It was so free, so wild, so impulsive.”

He then turned to me and asked what I was doing, and I started to explain and diagram all those strict and inviolable rules, the underpinning that made it really work.

When they got bored and restless, he turned to them and said: “Why am I telling you about this? Because a lot of you think you can become abstract impressionists without ever learning how to draw.”

Well, I thought that was pretty illuminating — only a firm underlying structure, a basic knowledge, can provide the true freedom required to improvise and to express your vision.

In fact, I wrote that little story in this blog several years ago, confident that it would be as thoroughly unread as nearly everything else in these virtual pages. Imagine my surprise and, yes, delight, when I read the headline of an interview with perhaps the greatest and free-est tradition-minded flamenco dancer, Farruquito. “You have to learn to draw before you can become an abstract expressionist, he said.

That interview is somewhere in this blog, and I can’t help thinking that maybe somebody mentioned it to him. Okay, I flatter myself — what else is new, you say.

BZ

February 5, 2017   No Comments

Flamenco Singer Manolo Caracol’s Great Recording “Una Historia del Flamenco” – contents and comment

Twenty years ago, I wrote the following post to a flamenco mailing list. i’m adding it here because the recording is a topic of a recent blog entry on the singer Manolo Caracol.

Subj: Re: Anthology(ies) – Caracol/Melchor
To: flamenco@vm.temple.edu

Ken Parker notes his preference for Manolo Caracol’s 2-LP or 1-CD anthology called “Una Historia del Flamenco” where Caracol is accompanied by Melchor de Marchena.

Since Ken appreciates Melchor’s great toque, notably por siguiriyas, it’s worth noting that before “Una Historia del Flamenco” came out on the Clave label, it was issued stateside on two labels, Washington and Top Rank International (Top Rank had a fuzzy red velveteen jacket). But those early versions included two guitar solos by Melchor — a siguiriya, and a solea. And while Melchor is, as Jacinto notes, probably the exact opposite of a soloist (despite several solo LP’s he recorded), his playing on these “Historia” solos seems pretty impressive.

I am always in awe of Manolo Caracol’s genius. A number of singers can be gripping if you’re attuned to flamenco and looking for that quality. But I think that only Manolo Caracol and Agujetas are obviously electrifying in a palpable way, even when they aren’t at the peak moments of their performances. (This is rarefied company. Terremoto and Chocolate can be equally great, and La Niña de los Peines can overshadow them all if you count vocal chops as part of the equation. But for drop-dead power, the scary kind that made Manuel Torre the greatest Gypsy singer ever, I think Caracol’s best recordings would be a good place to start.)

Here’s the listing for the Historia.

[faf]√ MANOLO CARACOL: UNA HISTORIA DEL CANTE FLAMENCO [HISTORY OF CANTE FLAMENCO]

2 Discos: Hisp HH 10-23, Hisp HH 10-24 [Precio: 710 pts.] 1958
Clave 18.1077, Clave 18.1078 1968
Hisp 0-034
√Vega VAL 19 Hispavox France
CD: Hisp 781362-2

HISTORY OF CANTE FLAMENCO

Washington 713 714 USA
[gs]√Top Rank International RDM 1 USA

Cante: Manolo Caracol
Guitarra: Melchor de Marchena

I. Martinete “En el calabozo”; Martinete “Mis ducas no eran na”; Siguiriyas “El reniego”; Siguiryas de “El Marruro” “Mujer malina”; Siguiriyas (solo de guitarra: M. de M); Siguiriyas de Manuel Torres “De Santiago y Santa Ana”; Siguiriyas;/ Caña “Me pueden mandar”; Solea de Joaquin el de la Paula “Si yo pudiera”; Solea de Enrique el Mellizo “Tiro piedras a la calle”; Solea (solo de guitarra: M. de M.); Solea de Antonio Frijones “Al senor del baratillo”; Malagueña de Enrique El Mellizo “Soy como aquel jilguerillo”; Malagueña de Chacon “Que del nio la cogi”

II. Fandangos “Se la llevo dios”; Fandangos Caracoleras “Viva Madrid”; Fandangos de Huelva.; Taranta y Malagueña “Veneno dejaste”; Tientos “Antes de llegar a tu puerta”; Tientos Caracoleros”Cuando te vayas conmigo”;/ Saeta “Toitas las mares”; Mirabras “Debajito del puente”; Alegrías “La barca de mis amores”; Bulerías “Voz del pueblo”; Bulerías “a gorpe” [a golpe] “No quiero na contigo”; Bulerías Festeras “No quiero caudales”

As good as it gets.

Brook Zern

January 28, 2017   No Comments

Flamenco Singer Manolo Caracol speaks – 1970 Interview by Paco Almazán – translated with comments by Brook Zern

Translator’s introduction: This blog’s many interviews with great flamenco artists of the past are important. They can also be surprisingly relevant, shedding new light on contemporary arguments and issues. They let serious English-speaking aficionados understand the thoughts and feelings of those who shaped the history of the art.

As an example: No singer in my lifetime has been greater than Manolo Caracol. None came from a more illustrious artistic lineage, or more completely embodied the entire known history of the art. None were as prodigious — winning a historic contest at about twelve years old. And I think no recording reveals the emotional power of flamenco song as well as Caracol’s double-LP “Una Historia de Cante Flamenco”, on which he is magnificently accompanied by the guitarist Melchor de Marchena.

This interview by Paco Almazán from Triunfo magazine of August 8, 1970, goes to the very heart of the art. It served as a response to an earlier interview in that publication where Antonio Mairena, the leading singer of that time, had challenged the greatness of the other Gypsy giant, Manolo Caracol. Caracol would die not long after this interview appeared.

The interview can be found in the blog of Andrés Raya Saro called Flamenco en mi Memoria, at this url: http://memoriaflamenca.blogspot.com/2017/01/las-entrevistas-de-paco-almazan-ii.html?spref=fb

(My attempted clarifications appear in brackets.)

Sr. Almazán writes: Manolo Caracol started by weighing in on the casas cantaores – [the few crucial families who were immensely important in the early development of the art.] He claims that in reality, his family is the one and only real deal when it comes to bloodlines or heritage:

Manolo Caracol: The house of the Ortegas [Manolo Caracol is the professional name for Manuel Ortega] is actually the only one we know of. In the rest, there were one or two singers, but not a whole branch of them. I know of no other, because the house of Alcalá [a town that produced notable singers] is not a single family. Los Torres [the family of Manuel Torre, who remains the supreme paradigm of male Gypsy artistry] have produced some artists, and so have the the Pavóns [the family of the La Niña de los Peines, the maximum female Gypsy singer, and her brother Tomás Pavón, one of the four or five most revered male singers]. Pastora, Tomás and Arturo – three siblings, and that’s it. My great grandfather, [the legendary singer] Curro Dulce, who was my father’s grandfather; and on my mother’s side, [the legendary singer] El Planeta who was the inventor of the [important early song] polo, and was the world’s first flamenco singer. Or who created the polo, because I believe that flamenco songs are not made. Furniture is made, clothing is made, but flamenco songs are created. El Planeta was older than El Fillo, and from there on, and the Ortegas emanate from them. El Fillo was an Ortega, and was the first “cantaor” [singer] who was “largo”— who had an extensive repertoire. A great cantaor, a grandiose cantaor – that was El Fillo, and he was from Triana. Before me there were several cantaores. Now, in the Twentieth Century the most famous – well, I think that was me, and for that reason I say that even children know me and me biography. But I’d like to talk about today’s problems.

Interviewer’s note by Paco Almazán: Remember Caracol’s beginnings, after being one of the winners of the 1922 Concurso de Cante Jondo of Granada – he says “when I won the prize” [a stunning achievement for a twelve-year-old boy]. He traveled to Madrid and triumphed on the terrace of the Calderón Theater, reaffirming that Madrid plaza’s importance.

Interviewer: But Manolo, everyone accuses you of just that. Of having taken the cante into theaters, degrading the purity of flamenco! Don’t think that everyone thought it was a good idea!

M.C. It’s not a good idea? Well, what’s good? If right now the inventor of penicillin, Doctor Fleming, hadn’t shared it with the world, the sick would not have been cured. If I don’t take flamenco song to the people who might like it, and understand it, or at least welcome it. You can sing with an orchestra, or with a bagpipe – with anything! Bagpipes, violins, flutes…the man who has real art, real personality, and is a creator in cante gitano… You have my zambras [his rendition of sentimental popular songs with a flamenco aire, which had enormous sales], and my cantes [flamenco songs, which had more limited sales], all with roots of pure flamenco song, not fixed in a cosa pasajera!…But if this business of pure song [cante puro] has become popular now, starting about ten years ago, when the flamencologists decided to speak of flamenco and the purity of flamenco! Es un cuento! It’s a story! [A fairy tale]. This business of the purity of flamenco is a story! Singing flamenco and speaking of whether it’s pure flamenco…and they chew on the idea, and they talk, and talk [a clear reference to Antonio Mairena]. That’s not flamenco singing! That’s a guy giving a sermon. Cante flamenco and cante puro – not even the singer knows what’s what. He’s a cantaor who has been born to sing above him. The rest are just copying. That’s why today there is no creation, when before there was creation.

Paco Almazan’s note: How happy Caracol must have been after these statements! He goes on and on, and when Almazán asks him which artists he liked most or influenced him as a youngster, he gives us this gift:

M.C. There were different aspects. Who moved me the most, whose singing reached me most deeply – that was Manuel Torre. Who was most pleasing to listen to – that was Antonio Chacón. Tomás Pavón was pleasing, and also reached me. And another great artist, La Niña de los Peines [Pastora Pavón, sister of Tomás], the greatest cantaora [female singer] that was ever born. She was a singer who had everything, had altos and bajos [high and low registers]. And any singer who doesn’t have a good low register is worthless. There are many singers from that era who sing de cabeza [using headtones? In a studied way?], sing songs that never existed and that they couldn’t have known, and who call them cantes de Alcalá, or cantes del patatero [songs of the potato seller?] or of Juan Perico. [This again refers to Antonio Mairena, who probably invented certain styles of important song forms and attributed them to other, perhaps fictional, artists.] That’s worthless! It’s as if we dijeramos un aperitivo [served an aperitif?] to cante flamenco. Sing – sing and create – take command the way a great torero does, improvising. That’s real singing!

There are fewer real singers today. Today, as far as I know, among the younger singers I like Camarón [who would become a revolutionary and the most important singer of his generation], and among the veterans I like Pepe Marchena, a creator in his own style [the established master of a pleasing style of singing, with clear tone and a strong vibrato]. Juanito Valderrama [another pleasing singer, in the “cante bonito” or “pretty song” style] is an extraordinary artist [both Marchena and Valderrama, like Chacón before them, were non-Gypsy artists who represented a cultural counterbalance to the great Gypsy artists like Caracol; Caracol himself shows appreciation for both camps, when many others were partisans of one side or the other.] Valderrama doesn’t really reach me, but he’s a great artist and I like listening to him nonetheless. Those girls from Utrera [Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera] are true cantaoras, and a lot of admired artists today are copying them. The places with the best singing are Triana, Jerez and Cádiz. In Alcalá what there are is bizcotelas. That’s what you’ll find in Alcalá, bizcotelas and dust for the alberos of bullrings. Among the guitarists, there’s Sabicas and this boy [este muchacho] Paco de Lucía, who plays very well, although not on the level of the maestro [Sabicas]. And Mario Escudero, who has come here from America. And among the Gypsy players [in addition to the Gypsy artists Sabicas and Escudero] we have Melchor de Marchena, Niño Ricardo, and that other guy, Habichuela [presumably the great accompanist Juan Habichuela]. Manolo de Huelva is retired now, but is a phenomenon, although he’s eighty. [Many people who saw this guitarist at work say no one was better, or as good.] And in dance, after Carmen Amaya, from this period I don’t know anyone among the dancers, neither in this era nor before [delante de] Carmen Amaya. I don’t know anyone.

Paco Almazán writes: The interview is long. Almost at the end, the newspaperman asks if flamenco loses something with the new verses that some younger singers are using.

M.C. Hombre, if the verses come from the sentiment of the song and the person who’s singing, and if they’re good… You can’t sing a martinete [a tragic deep song form] and tell about a little birdie singing in its nest. Now, anything that touches on pena [grief, misery], of love, of the blacksmith’s forge – all that is worthwhile.

Then the final question:

Paco Almazán:. Can you put the word “airplane” [modern, unpoetic, unexpected and possibly inappropriate to some] into a cante?

M.C. It’s all according to what’s being sung, and how. You can put it into a bulerías [a lighter form], “Ay! I went in an airplane, I went to Havana…” and there you have it. They can create precious new verses as good as the old ones, with more profundity and more poetry.

Comment by Andrés Raya: Remember that in its day, this interview, as well as the earlier one with Mairena, generated a lot of response among the flamenco aficionados of Madrid, giving rise to long arguments and heated discussions. Even beyond Madrid. In its Letters toe the Editor section, Triunfo published letters from many provinces. I’ve got copies of many, and may rescue them from the telerañas.

A press comment [about the Cordoba contest] confirms what Caracol says here. It’s from ABC of Madrid, dated August 9, 1922, and already the Caracol child is named “the king of cante jondo”.

Translator’s comment: Interesting indeed that Caracol singles out Camarón — who would become the ultimate rule breaker — as the most important young singer.

At the time of this interview, aficionados were choosing sides. Manolo Caracol had incredible emotive power, but he broke certain rules — as evidenced by his insistence that flamenco could be sung to bagpipes or anything else. (Today, that inclusive view dominates flamenco to the extent that a flamenco record featuring just a singer and an accompanying guitarist, once the norm, is almost unheard of.) He owned the genre called zambras [not to be confused with the zambras performed mostly in the caves of Granada, that are rhythmic Arabic-sounding songs and dances.]

The opposing view was embodied by Antonio Mairena, who obeyed (and invented) rules — to the extent that if he created a new approach to a known style, he might attribute it to some shadowy name from history to give it validity. Mairena rarely projected the emotional power of Caracol — he was almost scholarly in his renditions, giving what critics sometimes called “a magisterial lesson” in flamenco singing, rather than jumping in headfirst and just letting it all hang out. (In private, though, he could be pretty damn convincing.)

I tend to believe that early flamenco song had a gestation period, a “hermetic” stage when generations of Gypsy families forged the beginnings of the deep-song forms (tonás/martinetes, siguiriyas and soleares, which deal with Gypsy concerns from a Gypsy perspective) outside of public view due to the intense persecution of Gypsies in that era.

Caracol, who ought to know a lot better than I do, says that his great-grandfathers [Curro Dulce, El Planeta] were not just the first known flamenco singers but the first flamenco singers, period: they invented the whole genre. (It’s hard to defend the idea of this “hidden period”, especially since the “proof” is that it by its very nature it would be completely undocumented anywhere. (I’m not so sure that these alleged hidden sessions would have been reported in the Seville Gazette when they were essentially illegal and dangerous.)

For that matter, Caracol, like most authorities today, views the idea of “pure flamenco” as absurd or meaningless, while I kind of like the notion. I never liked the gifted singers like Pepe Marchena and Juanito Valderrama who specialized in the cante bonito or “pretty song”, now back in vogue, while Caracol always admired them.

Oh, well. It’s still a privilege to hear from the man best qualified to talk about flamenco history, and that’s why these interviews are so valuable.

BZ

January 27, 2017   No Comments

A revised version of the programs in the “Rito y Geografía del Flamenco” film series with images from the 86 currently viewable on YouTube

BELOW IS AN UPDATED COMPILATION OF 96 EPISODES OF THE “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO” SPANISH TELEVISION SERIES BROADCAST BETWEEN OCTOBER 1971 AND OCTOBER 1973. THE 86 VIEWABLE EPISODES ARE EACH IDENTIFIED BY A SCREEN SHOT FROM THE SHOW, AT THE TOP OF WHICH IS SEEN THE NAME OF THE PROGRAM (IT ALSO APPEARS IN TINY PRINT ABOVE THE SCREENSHOT). TEN OTHER SHOWS THAT AREN’T YET VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE ARE LISTED AFTER THE SCREENSHOTS. IT IS LIKELY THAT THREE MORE EXISTING EPISODES ARE NOT NAMED HERE.

IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT 100 OF THESE HALF-HOUR BLACK-AND-WHITE PROGRAMS WERE MADE, THOUGH AT LEAST ONE — ON THE GUITARIST SABICAS — DOESN’T EXIST AND MAY NEVER HAVE EXISTED.

THE FIRST GROUP INCLUDES 70 WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES. THE SECOND GROUP INCLUDES 16 IN A SPANISH-ONLY VERSION. EACH GROUP IS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.

TEN OTHER KNOWN PROGRAMS ARE NOT YET VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE. (THAT LIST APPEARS AFTER THE IMAGES, ALSO IN THAT TINY PRINT). THE LOCATION OF MOST ARE KNOWN AND EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY TO MAKE THEM AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE,

BEYOND THOSE 96 PROGRAMS, IT IS LIKELY THAT ONLY THREE MORE EXIST FOR A TOTAL OF 99 PROGRAMS. THE NAMES OF THOSE THREE PROGRAMS ARE BEING SOUGHT.

(NOTE: THE ALPHABETICAL ORDER USED HERE CAN MAKE IT MUCH EASIER TO DETERMINE WHICH PROGRAMS MAY BE MISSING FROM OTHER LISTINGS.)

“RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL CANTE FLAMENCO” (TO USE ITS FULL NAME) IS STILL THE GREATEST FLAMENCO DOCUMENTARY EVER MADE, AND IT WILL PROBABLY REMAIN SO. IT WAS COMPLETED JUST BEFORE FLAMENCO BEGAN TO UNDERGO A PERMANENT TRANSFORMATION, THANKS TO THE ENORMOUS INFLUENCE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES OF THE SINGER CAMARON DE LA ISLA AND THE GUITARIST PACO DE LUCIA (BOTH FEATURED IN THEIR OWN EPISODES).

THE ENTIRE SERIES WAS FILMED IN THE FIELD — IN BARS AND TAVERNS, IN ARTISTS’ HOMES, IN PRIVATE REUNIONS CALLED JUERGAS OR FIESTAS, AND YES, IN FIELDS. IT SHOWS THE ART AND THE ARTISTS WITHIN THEIR REAL-LIFE SOCIAL CONTEXT, SOME PERFORMERS AT THEIR DAY JOBS, SOME JUST TALKING WITH FRIENDS.

(THE FABULOUS SINGER LA PAQUERA, FOR EXAMPLE, ARRIVES IN HER NATIVE JEREZ IN A STUNNING WHITE FUR COAT; THE TEMPERATURE IS ABOUT A HUNDRED IN THE SHADE, BUT SHE THINKS IT SHOULD BE SEEN.)

THE PROGRAMS REVEAL A VANISHED SOCIETY, STILL IN THE DEPTHS OF A DYING DICTATORSHIP, STILL ALMOST MEDIEVAL IN ITS POVERTY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

THE GENIUS BEHIND THE FILM TEAM WAS JOSE MARIA VELAZQUEZ GAZTELU, WHO DOES MOST OF THE NARRATION AND ARTIST INTERVIEWS.

STARTING IN 1972, I SPENT FIFTEEN YEARS BEGGING AND BRIBING PEOPLE TO TRY TO ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THESE PROGRAMS. (FOR THE FIRST TEN YEARS, NOBODY ELSE SEEMED INTERESTED. FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I WAS TOLD THAT THE MATERIAL WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT NO ONE COULD EVER OBTAIN COPIES.)

IN 1987, I WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO BUY THE FIRST SET OF COPIES AND PAY THE DAUNTING BILL FOR THE INITIAL RESTORATION. (I DECLINED THE OFFERED RIGHTS TO PROFIT FROM A COMMERCIAL EDITION, WHICH REVERTED TO THE RIGHTFUL CREATIVE PEOPLE.) IN THE MID-NINETIES, A POOR-QUALITY VIDEOCASSETTE EDITION OF MOST OF THE PROGRAMS WAS ISSUED BY ALGA EDITORES IN SPAIN. A BETTER EDITION FOLLOWED FROM SPANISH TELEVISION.

BUT IN 2005, SENOR VELAZQUEZ CREATED AND NARRATED A BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED VERSION WITH THE CD’S CONTAINED IN INFORMATIVE SPANISH-LANGUAGE HARDCOVER BOOKLETS. IT INCLUDED THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THE PROGRAMS, AND FEATURED ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SUBTITLES FOR MANY OF THE EPISODES. (THOSE VERSIONS ARE LISTED PREFERENTIALLY HERE; SPANISH-ONLY VERSIONS ARE LISTED ONLY WHEN THE ENGLISH VERSION IS NOT AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE. THE CD/BOOKLETS ARE BECOMING SCARCE IN SPAIN, AND MANY ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE.)

I URGE ALL AFICIONADOS TO TRY AND PURCHASE ANY AVAILABLE CD/BOOKLETS — THE PRICES ARE VERY REASONABLE AND THE MATERIAL IS PRICELESS.

DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTENT OF MOST PROGRAMS WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE IN A SEPARATE BLOG ENTRY.

RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO – A LIST OF THE PROGRAMS CURRENTLY VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE (APRIL, 2015).

PART ONE: EPISODES WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES – [70 PROGRAMS]

Agujetas – Rito – English Subtitles

Amós Rodrígues Rey – Rito – English Subtitles

Antonio Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles

Beni de Cadiz – Rito – English Subtitles

Bernarda de Utrera – Rito – English Subtitles

Cádiz y los Puertos – Rito – English Subtitles

Camarón – Rito – English Subtitles

Cante Flamenco [i.e. Cante No Gitano] con Interpretes Gitanos [?]– Rito – English Subtitles

Cante Gitano con Interpretes No Gitanos [?]- English Subtitles [?]

Cantes Flamencos Importados – Rito – English Subtitles

Cantes Primitivos Sin Guitarra – Rito – English Subtitles

Cantes Procedentes del Folklore – Rito – English Subtitles

Cristobalina Suarez – Rito – English Subtitles

De Despeñaperros para Arriba – Rito – English Subtitles

De Granada a La Union – Rito – English Subtitles

De Ronda a Malaga – Rito – English Subtitles

De Sanlúcar a La Linea – Rito – English Subtitles

Diego del Gastor – Rito – English Subtitles

El Barrio de Santiaago – Rito – English Subtitles

El Chocolate – Rito –English Subtitles

El Lebrijano – Rito – English Subtitles

El Pali (Sevillanas) – Rito – English Subtitles

El Vino y El Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles

Enrique Morente – Rito – English Subtitles

Evolución del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles

Extremadura y Portugal – Rito – English Subtitles

Fandangos – Rito – English Subtitles [?]

Fandangos de Huelva – Rito – English Subtitles

Fandangos Naturales – Rito – English Subtitles

Fernanda de Utrera – Rito – English Subtitles

Fiesta Gitana [Bulerias] – Rito – English Subtitles

Fiesta Gitana por Bulerias – Rito – English Subtitles

Fiesta Gitana por Tangos – Rito – English Subtitles

Fosforito – Rito – English Subtitles

José Menese – Rito – English Subtitles

La Cantaora – Rito – English Subtitles

La Casa de los Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles

La Familia Pinini – Rito – English Subtitles

La Familia de Los Perrate – Rito – English Subtitles

La Familia de los Torres – Rito – English Subtitles

La Guitarra Flamenca (1) – Rito – English

La Llave de Oro del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles

La Paquera de Jerez – Rito – English Subtitles

La Perrata – Rito – English Subtitles

La Saeta – Rito – English Subtitles

La Serrania – Rito – English Subtitles

Las Tonas – Rito – English Subtitles

Lorca y el Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles

Málaga y Levante – Rito – English Subtitles

Malagueñas – Rito – English Subtitles

Manolo Caracol (I) – Rito –English Subtitles

Manolo Caracol (II) – Rito – English

Manuel Soto “Sordera” – Rito – English Subtitles

María Vargas – Rito – English Subtitles

Melchor de Marchena – Rito – English Subtitles

Navidad Flamenca – Rito – English Subtitles

Niños Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles

Oliver de Triana – Rito – English Subtitles

Paco de Lucía – Rito – English Subtitles

Pedro Lavado – Rito – English Subtitles|

Pepe de la Matrona – Rito – English Subtitles

Platero de Alcalá – Rito – English Subtitles

Romances, Tangos y Tientos – Rito – English Subtitles

Siguiriyas I – Rito – English Subtitles

Siguiriyas II – Rito – English Subtitles

Soleares 2 – Rito – English Subtitles

Terremoto – Rito – English Subtitles

Tía Anica la Piriñaca – Rito – English Subtitles

Triana – Rito – English Subtitles

Viejos Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles

PART TWO: EPISODES WITH NO ENGLISH VERSION ON YOUTUBE –
[SIXTEEN PROGRAMS]

Del café cantante al tablao – Rito – Spanish

Diego Clavel – Rito – Spanish

Difusión del Flamenco – Rito – Spanish

Falla y el Flamenco – Rito – Spanish

Joselero [de Morón] – Rito – Spanish
Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watcht=26&v=fXoaFc1mYJ4

[10:23]
Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pu YApYrLY&feature=youtu.be
[11:46]
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=_drflGafmwo&feature=youtu.be
[7:31]
Part 4: – not given on YouTube
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=RPxRJVauReM&feature=youtu.be
[19:49]
Note: Since the total time is nearly 50 minutes there must be some duplication between these segments.

Luís Caballero – Rito – Spanish [?]

La Guitarra Flamenca (2) – Rito – Spanish

Los Cabales [Aficionados] – Rito – Spanish

Manuel Torre y Antonio Chacón – Rito – Spanish

Pansequito -Rito – Spanish [?]

Pepe Marchena – Rito – Spanish

Perrate de Utrera – Rito – Spanish

Note: after 38:13 this version cuts to material from the show on Juan el Lebrijano or La Familia Perrate

Pepe Martínez – Rito – Spanish

Rafael Romero – Rito – Spanish

Soleares 1 – Rito – Spanish

Tío Borrico de Jerez – Rito – Spanish
(to 31’ 42” – after the original program ends, this version adds material by Tío Borrico from other programs in the same series)

TEN MISSING PROGRAMS:

ANTONIO DE CANILLAS – 27:20 – 87/19/C

CANTE FLAMENCO [CON INTERPRETES GITANOS] – 24:25 – 87/22/C

ENCARNACION LA SALLAGO – 25:20 – 87/17C

FESTIVAL DEL CANTE – 26;30 – 87/11/C

LA MARRURRA [MOREEN CARNES] – 28:41 – 87/23/C

JOSELERO DE MORON – 30:20 – 87/18/C [complete program]

LOS FLAMENCOLOGOS – 28;00 – 87/16/C

PERICON DE CADIZ – 28:36 – 87/21/C

POR SIGUIRIYAS – 26:00 – 87/9/C

POR SOLEA – 24:00 – 87/9/C

CANTE FLAMENCO Note: This may not be missing – it may be the same as the above-mentioned CANTE FLAMENCO GITANO (with English subtitles) — The program evidently features Gypsy singers performing songs that are not seen as Gypsy songs, and may have been also been titled CANTE FLAMENCO CON INTERPRETES GITANOS.

NOTE: THE 100TH AND FINAL PROGRAM WAS PROBABLY TITLED “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO.” IT MAY BE ONE OF THE ABOVE PROGRAMS. [A RUMORED PROGRAM ON SABICAS WAS PROBABLY NEVER MADE.]

SUMMING UP: THERE ARE SEVENTY PROGRAMS ON YOUTUBE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES AND SIXTEEN PROGRAMS ON YOUTUBE IN SPANISH ONLY.
IN ADDITION, THERE ARE TEN PROGRAMS KNOWN TO BE ABSENT BUT PROBABLY AVAILABLE. THE TOTAL IS THUS 96 PROGRAMS, OUT OF THE 99 THAT WERE PROBABLY COMPLETED AND BROADWAY. THE THREE MISSING SHOWS NOT IN ANY OF THOSE CATEGORIES ARE BEING SOUGHT.

BROOK ZERN – APRIL 2015

March 28, 2015   No Comments

Yet Another Major Collection of Flamenco – Nearly All From Don Pohren’s Finca Espartero

Frontstory: If the 46 hours of great homespun sixties flamenco mentioned yesterday in this blog (at http://soundcloud.com/quinfolk/sets/the-flamenco-tapes-recorded-by-david-k-loughran-1964-1965) isn’t enough for you, here’s a website with another 46 hours worth:

www.flamencogitano.com

No kidding. The casts of the two collections are very similar. The Loughran material may partly predate this batch from the Finca Espartero, Don Pohren’s flamenco dude ranch where anyone could get immersed in heavy-duty music without spending years learning the ropes and paying dues. This Finca material seems to pick up where the ’64-’65 Loughran material leaves off, starting in 1966 and evidently continuing to beyond 1973. Guitarists on each collection include Diego del Gastor and and some of his gifted nephews; shared singers may include the Utrera sisters plus Perrate de Utrera, Joselero, Juan Talega, Curro Mairena, Ansonini, Manolito de la María…

Backstory: A few years ago, I found this flamencogitano.com website and later met and thanked the aficionado who made it. But I’d had the material for several years before that.

When this stuff was recorded I was often in Morón, sometimes living at town’s no-star hotel and sometimes staying at the Finca. I had tried to record some of those sessions with my new-fangled portable Norelco cassette recorder, a high-tech but lo-fi wonder of the era. Fortunately, a dedicated expert with a good open-reel machine did that invaluable work properly. About four decades later, I learned that someone else had obtained those recordings and was selling them as CD’s. I was thrilled to buy the 51 CD’s for five hundred bucks — hey, a bargain at twice the price, though not an ideal situation.

(In 1972 I wrote about the Finca for the New York Times, trying to capture the aura of the era — it’s here at http://www.flamencoexperience.com/blog/?p=463 )

I know there are serious issues surrounding the ownership and distribution of other people’s music in general, and privately-made flamenco recordings in particular. There are too many stories involving distrust, suspicion and anger. But a half-century is a long time to try and suppress great music; a lot of people who would have loved to hear this stuff have died over that period.

It never rains but it pours. Now anyone can listen to this extraordinary music for four days and nights, or even longer if one has to sleep. (And you might have to sleep — it’s an understatement to say that this music is repetitive. While Paco de Lucía often took many years to create enough guitar material for a new LP or work out a new record with Camarón, these recordings involve the same folks doing the same traditional stuff on good nights and bad nights and occasional great nights. Predictably, the sound quality varies from barely mediocre to surprisingly good.)

Note to the visually inclined: As a complement to this audio material from that amazing epoch, go to YouTube and see the scads of half-hour films in the great Rito y Geografía del Flamenco TV series of the early seventies. (I bought the first 16-millimeter film copies of a few programs in 1973, at five hundred bucks a pop, before the network vetoed further transactions. After fifteen years of begging and scheming I was allowed to pay a lot for the transfer of all the programs from film to videotape. I gave the first set to Columbia University, grabbed the second set for myself, and declined the commercial rights. My stash includes some programs that were never marketed in any of the three Spanish editions: not the poorly done Alga Editores cassette version, not the better TVE cassette version, not even the marvelous CD edition in beautiful hardcover booklets with English subtitles, enhanced video and sound and terrific commentary from the guiding light of the project, José María Velázquez-Gaztelu. I suppose my unseen programs should be put up on YouTube if it doesn’t antagonize any human beings or lawyers…)

Brook Zern

March 25, 2015   1 Comment

An Important Collection of Private Flamenco Recordings Brought to Light at Last – How to Hear Them On SoundCloud

In the 1960′s and 70′s a few foreigners, mostly Americans, were so struck by the quality of flamenco in several towns near Seville that they resolved to save those magnificent sounds forever.

They succeeded beyond measure. Today, Spain owes most of its understanding of the music of that time and place to the crucial efforts of people including Chris Carnes, Moreen Carnes, Steve Kahn, Carol Whitney and a few others — some who choose to remain nameless and others to be named later. (I never had a good tape recorder in Spain, but I helped some of those people by buying tape and paying to ship their Uher recorders to Germany for repairs.)

This is very different from commercial or official recordings. This is flamenco “de uso” — as it was used in everyday life, sometimes with the hope that someone would hire the artists for actual money, but usually because the artists loved to make and share this music with their friends and fellow artists. In a world where “pure” is mocked by scholars as meaningless and “authentic” is applied to just about everything anyone wants to sell more of, well, as noted below, this is the real deal.

Yesterday, in response to a post on this blog about Diego del Gastor, I learned that another intrepid gringo had been adding to the historic effort. I remember the name, and here is information from his son-in-law, David Quinn, with explanations in brackets and more comments at the end. You can see his brief note as a reply to the post:

“My wife’s father, David K. Loughran, who died recently, hauled around a reel-to-reel tape machine to Flamenco parties in and around Morón de la Frontera, Spain in 1964 and 1965.

“The musicians he was recording are known as flamenco masters, “mythical figures” of flamenco. The town is the epicenter of Gypsy flamenco. These players were the real deal – actual Gypsies – the real source of this music.

“They include:
Diego del Gastor, La Fernanda de Utrera [one of the greatest singers in flamenco history], Manolito de la Maria [ditto], [the American] Chris Carnes, Fernandillo de Moron, Antonio Amaya Flores “El Mellizo” [the guitarist and older brother of Diego del Gastor] and others.

“There are 46 hours of recordings, made at house parties and in cafés,
some with just the musicians and recorder present, some at crowded fiestas. The quality varies, but considering the circumstances, I think it is remarkable.

“I know there are musicians reading this; if you know someone who might be interested in hearing these please share this post, and/or the link below.
We’re trying to gather as much information as we can, with the goal of a more accurate track list.

“At the very least, they make excellent fiesta music!

“They can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/quinfolk/sets/the-flamenco-tapes-recorded-by-david-k-loughran-1964-1965

“These notes on content are unedited and transcribed From the hand written notes on the reel boxes:

*Reels 1 through 4:
- Diego, solo, December 1964
- Diego, Fernando, Manolito, Jselero, at a juerga at Venta El Calero
- Diego, Fernando & Manolito at a juerga at Club Mercantil
- Diego, Mellizo & Manolito at Diego’s house, a juerga for Pepe Rios

*Reel 4 Side B through Reel 6 Side A
- First juerga in Morón after cante jondo contest in Cordoba, with Diego, Paco del Gastor [the brilliant nephew of Diego], Manolito, Fernando, and Enrique [son of the legendary Joaquin el de la Paula]
- Juan and Dieguito del Gastor [the two other nephews of Diego, both fine guitarists] in Chris’s room at the hospedaje
- Easter Sunday juerga at El Calero with Diego and Manolito
- Andres Cabrera, Vicenta
- Juerga at El Calero

*Reel 6 Side B through Reel 9 Side A
- Antonio Amaya Flores (El Mellizo) at home
- Saetas in Utrera (Hermandad de los gitanos – Semana Santa 1965)
- Saetas at la Campana, Seville, with Lebrijano [a superb singer], Manolo Mairena [an excellent singer, younger brother of the great Antonio Mairena].
- Short Juerga at Casa Pepe with Dieguito del Gastor [now called Dieguito or Diego de Morón], Joselero [Diego del Gastor's brother-in-law, a fine local singer], Fernando [Fernandillo de Morón, a good singer and festero], Bob Haynes [a fine American guitarist], Church [?], etc.
- La Sallago [an excellent singer who sounded terrific until her very recent death], Terremoto [one of the greatest singers in flamenco's history].
- Terremoto, La Paquera [a great Jerez singer]; bautizo [baptism] in lower barrio with Diego, Paco, Perrate[an excellent singer] & La Fernanda
- Juerga at Tailor’s (El Escribano) house with Paco (solo), Diego (solo) & Niño Rosa
- Diego, Manolito and Fernando at Bob Fletcher’s in Seville.

*Reel 9 Side B through Reel 11 Side A
- Diego at Chimenea’s with Pohren
- Paco at Casa Pepe
- Paco – juerga at Pepe Chino’s house with Diego, Nino Rosa, Juan and his padre
- guitar solo by student

*Reel 11 side B through Reel 14 Side A
-Part of Fletcher’s fiesta with Diego, Manolito, Fernando
-Mellizo, solo at hospedaje
-From Pohren’s tapes of Paco, Diego, Juan Talegas, Manolito, Nina de los Peines
-Esteban de Sanlucar, La Perla, Miguel Valencia at Pohren’s club
-Chris and Fernando, and others
-Bautizo at Andre’s and Fernando’s with Diego, Perrate and La Fernanda
-Solo by Diego

*Reel 14 Side B through Reel 17 Side A
-Fiesta, Casa Villa Clara
-Antonio Cruz
-Iglesias and company

*Reel 17 Side B through Reel 19 Side A
-Unidentified

*Reel 19 Side B through Reel 22
-Selections from Don Pohren’s collection
-Selections from Don Pohren juergas – Antonio & Paco [Francisco] Mairena, Eduardo de la Malena
-Richardo Pachon [later the producer of Camaron’s historic recordings, Luis Maravilla [possibly the dancer Luisa Maravilla, Pohren's wife]
-Fiesta with Pohren
-Flamenco: Diego del Gastor, La Fernanda de Utrera, Manolito de la Maria, Chris Carnes, Fernandillo de Moron, Don Pohren, David K. Loughran

End of explanations and notations by the son-in-law of recordist David K. Loughran.

Okay. I am grateful to the late David K. Loughran for his selfless dedication, and to his son-in-law Dennis Quinn for allowing — better yet, insisting — that this material finds a deserving audience.

It is often said that Diego del Gastor was an unrecorded guitarist, and in fact he assiduously avoided efforts by Spain’s most prestigious record label — at the time their only other guitarist was a young man named Paco de Lucía — to entice him to record by building a high-tech studio near his home. (Diego just skipped town until they tore it down.)

On the human scale, Diego may have been the most recorded flamenco guitarist in history. I have many hundreds of hours of his playing, both alone and for the singers named above and dozens of others. (And I still don’t have most of the material in the largest stash, recorded by the late Chris Carnes and now residing at the University of Washington where it probably doesn’t get the tiniest fraction of the attention and audience it deserves.)

Not surprisingly, I already have a lot of the same material that Mr. Loughran recorded — clearly from tapes made by Chris and others. But a lot of the other material listed above was originally recorded by Mr. Loughran, and has enormous historical importance. I hope other addicts will join me in the effort to add more detail and information to the sparse notes seen above.

I haven’t listened to the material yet, and rarely use or trust sites that normal humans feel comfortable signing onto. I assume SoundCloud is a logical place to have archived this music, and that it will remain accessible there indefinitely.

Aproveche.

Brook Zern

March 24, 2015   2 Comments

Encyclopedia of the Cantes Mineros [Flamenco songs from the mining regions of Eastern Spain] – by Juan Vergillos – translated by Brook Zern

Encyclopedia of the Cantes Mineros [Flamenco songs from the mining regions of Eastern Spain] – by Juan Vergillos – translated by Brook Zern

From “VaivenesFlamencos.com – “A Magazine of Flamenco Today”, by Juan Vergillos, winner of the Premio Nacional de Flamencología.

Translator’s note: The so-called “cantes mineros” are an important family of flamenco forms, and they can be especially confusing for us outsiders.

Structurally, they are derived from the ubiquitous fandangos. Perhaps the oldest versions of fandangos in flamenco are the rhythmic forms, notably the fandangos de Huelva, the fandangos de Lucena and the verdiales. Each sung verse consists of six melodic lines – but only five lines of text, because one line of text is repeated. (Usually it’s the first line, which is repeated as the third line.)

While most flamenco songs work in an unusual (for us) mode, usually called the Phrygian, the sung and/or danced fandangos initially seem to work in our familiar major key – the first line going from G7 to C, second line going from C to F, third line going from F to C, fourth line going from C to G7, fifth line going from G7 to C — but there’s a catch. At the end, during the sixth line, the song exits the major-key format and slips back down into the exotic (for us) Phrygian. implicitly passing from A minor to G to F before coming to rest on the tonic E.

[Note that these chords do not dictate any required pitch or register to the song -- the use of the capo in flamenco guitar means that its pitch can be raised arbitrarily in half-tone intervals to match the vocal range of any singer. Also, the guitarist may choose to use a tonic chord of A instead if E -- while the intervals between the chords remain unchanged.]

At the end of the 1800’s, those bouncy fandangos were slowed down and the rhythm was abandoned so they became more serious-sounding – the Spanish say they were “aggrandized”, which sounds right. These forms included the malagueñas, the granainas – and the cantes de Levante, a sprawling and confusing family that includes the tarantas, the cartageneras, the mineras and more.

While the malagueñas work in a tonality rooted in the familiar guitar chord of E major as described above, the granainas are based on the guitar chord of B major (an A major chord barred on the second fret). The cantes de Levante are traditionally based on the guitar chord of F sharp major – an E chord barred on the second fret, but with the two highest strings, B and E, played unbarred, resulting in a disturbing, “darkling” and mysterious sound.

It’s worth noting that while flamenco is an Andalusian art, these Levante forms are from Spain’s East Coast above the southernmost region of Andalusia. But again, they are based on musical conceptions that are firmly “andaluz”.

Enough background – here is Juan Vergillos’ report on a new CD by the singer Jeromo Segura titled La Voz de la Mina: Antologia de los Cantes Mineras de La Union, and a new book, Cantes de las Minas, by Jose Luís Navarro García, with valuable insight into this often confusing musical realm.

Singer Jeromo Segura, from the province of Huelva, was fascinated in 2013 by the cantes de las minas, a fascination that led to his winning the [very prestigious] Lampara Minera at the International Concurso of the Cantes de las Minas in that same year. For his second CD, he has chosen songs exclusively from that category.

Seguro has made an authentic encyclopedia of mining styles, demonstrating his love for these unique forms using his sweet, intimate voice that is rich in feeling and precise. He uses today’s terms for the songs – terms often derived from the rules of the contest he won. Thus the so-called taranto, a name that was never applied to a flamenco style until 1957 when the singer Fosforito used the term on his first record for what had previously been called the minera. The “murciana de Manuel Vallejo” which that Seville singer called “cante de Levante” on a 1923 record but that today, evidently because of the record collector Yerga Lancharro is called the murciana. Seguro includes one of these, with the verse that Vallejo used back then.

The book by Navarro Garcia is a reedition of the 1989 version, giving biographies of the great creators and historic interpreters of the genre, from the more or less mythical like Pedro el Morato and La Gabriela to those who have made recordings and whose biographies are well established such as Antonio Chacón and El Cojo de Malaga. Thus, the different cante minero styles, tarantas, cartageneras, levanticas, murcianas, etc., are presented with the biographical data of their creators. The history of the cantes mineros, their interpreters and festivals and contests, notable La Union, stops in 1989. There is a chapter dedicated to the start of the mining industry in Jaén, Murcia and Almería. The first edition of this book generated new investigations about the genre, among them one by José Francisco Ortega who wrote the booklet that accompanies the CD by Jeromo Segura.

To that list, I’d like to add one done two years ago by Rafael Chaves Arcos: both books have contributed enormously to our understanding of the songs and singers of these forms. Research his advanced a lot but we should underline the pioneering text of Navarro García’s “Cantes de las Minas”. For many years it was the key reference work in the field.

The crucial “matrix” style of the cantes mineros is the taranta, perhaps from the town of Linares: That’s the view of Rafael Chavez and José Manuel Gamboa among other researchers of these forms. All of the other styles are modalities or variants of the tarantas, and within the tarantas we find great melodic variety, with some of those variants given their own denominations. Moreover, all of them without exception are accompanied on guitar by the style used today for the tarantas [i.e., using the tonic chord shape of the partly-unbarred F sharp. On his CD, Segura offers two tarantas styles – that of La Gabriela, probably the basis of the mineras, and that of Fernando de Triana. The first, perhaps composed in the [late] Nineteenth Century, was first recorded in 1908 by the Seville singer Manuel Escacena, and memorable versions have come from the voices of Seville’s La Niña de los Peines, Jaén’s La Rubia de las Perlas, or La Unión’s Emilia Benito. The taranta of Fernando el de Triana, whose authorship is not in doubt today, was recorded by El Cojo de Málaga and La Niña de los Peines, who was the first to record it.

Many who haven’t heard early recordings will be surprised by La Niña de los Peines’ mastery of the cantes mineros. But she, born Pastora Pavón, was a master in all songs, and many served as reference points for other singers in her era and afterwards. Segura’s versions are sentimental, intimate, sweet and also academic.

Regarding the cartagenera, Rafael Chaves believes that the one called “cartagenera grande” on Segura’s disc is melodically linked to the malagueña while that of Antonio Chacón would be reasonable views as a “taranta cartagenera”. In any case. Both are accompanied today in the tarantas style, as are the rest of the cantes mineros. And both were recorded in his day by Chacón who is, logically, the man responsible for the reference versions of these two cantes.

For the minera, the star style of the Festival de La Unión, Segura offers seven versions, although all share a single melodic base. It is traditionally associated with El Rojo el Alpargatero, though it bears the imprint of Antonio Piñana. Pencho Cros and Encarnación Fernandez. On this record, Segura offers one by Piñana, four by Cros and two by Fernández.

The levantica and the murciana, like the minera, are tarantas with a single, specific melody. Both are linked to the singer El Cojo de Malaga, whose verse Segura sings in his murciana, a song that at one time was labeled by singer Gabriel Moreno as “taranta de Linares”. The levantica follows the model of Encarnación Fernández, using a well-known verse that Ginés Jorquera composed for that singer from La Union who was born in Torrevieja, according to Ortega’s album notes.

The taranto, as we’ve noted, was known in Chacón’s time as the minera, a name that at that time covered different cantes but today is linked to only one style as analyzed above. On the record, Segura follows the model imposed by the Jerez singer Manuel Torre in the 1920’s when, the term taranto was never used.

The so-called “cantes de la madrugá” [early morning songs] are another variation on that same model, and owe their name to the Jaén singer Rafael Romero. Segura provides two examples, both with verses recorded by Romero. Finally, he offers three verses of the mythic fandango minero of Pencho Cros.

End of article.

In doing research for the exhibit “100 Years of Flamenco in New York” that was presented at the Lincoln Center branch of the New York Public Library, I noticed that a very famous dancer who appeared in the Big Apple well before 1900 was named Carmencita Dauset — more accurately, Grau Dauset. She was actually filmed in the Thomas Edison’s studios, and seems to have been the first dancer ever filmed. The name Grau rang a bell — because the legendary pioneer singer and creative giant of the cantes de las minas, called “El Rojo el Alpargatero”, was born Antonio Grau Mora. Sure enough, he was her brother — and he sang flamenco during her successful run in New York.

Yes. Incredibly, at least to me, a great flamenco singer was appearing in the U.S. in that era. It would be two generations and many decades before another great flamenco singer would again grace our shores. It would’ve been nice if Edison had recorded El Rojo — his agents were recording flamenco singers in Spain back then — but no such luck. There are no recordings of Antonio Grau “El Rojo el Alpargatero”.

Final note: The form called the taranto is often defined as simply a melodic variant of the free-rhythm tarantas — where the free rhythm has triple time or 3/4 feel when it acquires any feel of a steady beat.

But for flamenco dancers and singers who work with them, taranto means something else: It is a version of the song that is instead done in a strong duple rhythm, our familiar 4/4 or perhaps 2/4 time. The even rhythm makes it danceable. It was a big hit for the then-young singer Fosforito around 1956 or so. A bunch of us aficionados are busily trying to pin down the artist and the definitive date for the first rendition of that rhythmic taranto, with its very different feel, but no luck so far.

Brook Zern

March 6, 2015   No Comments

The Greatest Flamenco Film Series Now at Your Fingertips – YouTube URL’s for “Rito y Geografía del Flamenco”

NOTE BY BROOK ZERN

BELOW IS A COMPILATION OF EPISODES OF THE “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO” SERIES, WITH LIVE URL LINKS TO THEIR CURRENT YOUTUBE SITES.

“RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL CANTE FLAMENCO” (TO USE ITS FULL NAME) IS STILL THE GREATEST FLAMENCO DOCUMENTARY EVER MADE, AND IT MAY REMAIN SO FOREVER.  IT CONSISTS OF 100 HALF-HOUR BLACK-AND- WHITE PROGRAMS MADE FOR SPANISH NATIONAL TELEVISION BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973 — JUST BEFORE FLAMENCO WAS TRANSFORMED FOREVER BY THE REVOLUTIONARY FIGURES OF CAMARON AND PACO DE LUCIA (BOTH FEATURED IN THEIR OWN AMAZING EPISODES).

THE ENTIRE SERIES WAS FILMED IN THE FIELD — IN BARS AND TAVERNS, IN ARTISTS’ HOMES, IN PRIVATE REUNIONS CALLED JUERGAS OR FIESTAS, AND YES, IN FIELDS.  IT SHOWS THE ART AND THE ARTISTS WITHIN THEIR REAL-LIFE SOCIAL CONTEXT, SOME PERFORMERS AT THEIR DAY JOBS, SOME JUST TALKING WITH FRIENDS.

(THE FABULOUS SINGER LA PAQUERA, FOR EXAMPLE, ARRIVES IN HER NATIVE JEREZ IN A STUNNING WHITE FUR COAT; THE TEMPERATURE IS ABOUT A HUNDRED IN THE SHADE, BUT SHE THINKS IT SHOULD BE SEEN.)

THE PROGRAMS REVEAL A VANISHED SOCIETY, STILL IN THE DEPTHS OF A DYING DICTATORSHIP, STILL ALMOST MEDIEVAL IN ITS POVERTY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE.

THE GENIUS BEHIND THE FILM TEAM WAS JOSE MARIA VELAZQUEZ GAZTELU, WHO DOES MOST OF THE NARRATION AND ARTIST INTERVIEWS.

STARTING IN 1972, I SPENT FIFTEEN YEARS BEGGING AND BRIBING PEOPLE TO TRY TO ENSURE THE PRESERVATION OF THESE PROGRAMS.  (FOR THE FIRST TEN YEARS, NOBODY ELSE SEEMED INTERESTED.  FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I WAS TOLD THAT THE MATERIAL WAS SO IMPORTANT THAT NO ONE COULD EVER OBTAIN COPIES.)

IN 1987, I WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO BUY THE FIRST SET OF COPIES AND PAY THE DAUNTING BILL FOR THE INITIAL RESTORATION.  (I DECLINED THE OFFERED RIGHTS TO PROFIT FROM A COMMERCIAL EDITION, WHICH REVERTED TO THE RIGHTFUL CREATIVE PEOPLE.)   IN THE MID-NINETIES, A POOR-QUALITY VIDEOCASSETTE EDITION OF MOST OF THE PROGRAMS WAS ISSUED BY ALGA EDITORES IN SPAIN.

BUT IN 2005, SENOR VELAZQUEZ  CREATED A BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED VERSION WITH THE CD’S CONTAINED IN INFORMATIVE SPANISH-LANGUAGE HARDCOVER BOOKLETS.  IT INCLUDED THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THE PROGRAMS, AND FEATURED ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SUBTITLES FOR MANY OF THE EPISODES.  (THOSE VERSIONS ARE LISTED PREFERENTIALLY HERE; SPANISH-ONLY VERSIONS ARE LISTED ONLY WHEN THE ENGLISH VERSION IS NOT AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE.  THE CD/BOOKLETS ARE BECOMING SCARCE IN SPAIN, AND MANY ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE.)

I URGE ALL AFICIONADOS TO TRY AND PURCHASE ANY AVAILABLE  CD/BOOKLETS — THE PRICES ARE VERY REASONABLE AND THE MATERIAL IS PRICELESS.

OTHER PROGRAMS WILL BE ADDED WHEN THEY APPEAR.  (I DIDN’T PUT ANY OF THEM UP AT YOUTUBE.)

DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONTENT OF MOST PROGRAMS WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE IN A SEPARATE BLOG ENTRY.

RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO – A LIST OF THE PROGRAMS CURRENTLY VIEWABLE ON YOUTUBE (MAY, 2014).

PART ONE:  EPISODES WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Agujetas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx8IenwJABE

Amós Rodrígues Rey – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atJZPP6mfww

Antonio Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyR-SO50QuA

Beni de Cadiz – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvKbaysrOg

Bernarda de Utrera – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poZ15CtQJTM

Cádiz y los Puertos – Rito – English Subtitles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzF6Ljdbri0

Camarón – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs82YSmKtOY

Cante Flamenco Gitano – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTKvcON1FvI

Cantes Flamencos Importados – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7WPi4RQS7Q

Cantes Primitivos Sin Guitarra – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVt_-XntIIQ

Cantes Procedentes del Folklore – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EAYlERhTUg

Cristobalina Suarez – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_I1YLle4vM

De Despeñaperros para Arriba – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWPZ-cCTFSM

De Granada a La Union – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4YcxfvcPIU

De Ronda a Malaga – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_owVZbW08AE

De Sanlúcar a La Linea – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gK-wz72Z_c

Diego del Gastor – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rBWG9nr95E&feature=share

El Barrio de Santiaago – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvYNo7w7fIw

El Chocolate – Rito –English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQohL_R1OY0

El Lebrijano – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d4jDh23eEE

El Pali (Sevillanas) – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOp5vKT34SU

El Vino y El Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNzwqLfOdVo

Enrique Morente – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pFz6Cal5nc

Evolución del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5IQbkWMmko

Extremadura y Portugal – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5PRlqPtGaY

Fandangos de Huelva – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5nGoXjMd8Y

Fandangos Naturales – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdjKXnL85Ko

Fernanda de Utrera  – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU1auTmfw_c

Fiesta Gitana [Bulerias] – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNe4viBIL4o

Fiesta Gitana por Bulerias – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcfl3AguJVE

Fiesta Gitana por Tangos – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msQGVhuEhCA

Fosforito – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R80XWvkt3IM

José Menese – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck-QTRVoM4w

La Cantaora – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HsO3xDJCIM

La Casa de los Mairena – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGykopQfD2Y

La Familia Pinini  – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VNdQGgLUMM

La Familia de Los Perrate – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dvq9mdt5z4

La Familia de los Torres – Rito – English Subtitles

La Guitarra Flamenca (1) – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfqYPDFW30U

La Llave de Oro del Cante – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmvRUIqPFHY

La Paquera de Jerez – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr5_7cNWdIU

La Perrata – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTv6NM8ipes

La Saeta – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6uGzO_sPk8

La Serrania – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkhfQ1L-IwQ

Las Tonas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=870qmeQ_BLQ

Lorca y el Flamenco – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQohL_R1OY0

Málaga y Levante – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhepsLiqEQI

Malagueñas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLxwvxdL-Ww

Manolo Caracol (I) – Rito –English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8LF4Vo2f40

Manolo Caracol (II) – Rito – English
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6TyPLiqJyk

Manuel Soto “Sordera” – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfAJOHXkLq

María Vargas – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWeNTQPMrOc

Melchor de Marchena – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAm9XgDBRO0

Navidad Flamenca – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mogUID68cM0

Niños Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXQzCkezezc

Oliver de Triana – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPqk7URFCwA

Paco de Lucía – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHZsOfdi2M

Pedro Lavado – Rito – English Subtitles|
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8gvZ9XqQfk

Pepe de la Matrona – Rito – English Subtitles

Platero de Alcalá – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLnFPHSnXi0

Romances, Tangos y Tientos – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDl8DOU3U_E

Siguiriyas I – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRhISplyAXA

Siguiriyas II – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njckBzmcIu4

Terremoto – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMZiHKTHns8

Tía Anica la Piriñaca – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyLsxXaP-dI

Triana – Rito – English Subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDNSPrYXsc4

Viejos Cantaores – Rito – English Subtitles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StzrmFyZuA4

 

PART TWO:  EPISODES WITH NO ENGLISH VERSION  ON YOUTUBE

Diego Clavel – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-TiSs3KQPo

Difusión del Flamenco – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeimfX8YINI

Falla y el Flamenco – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPNZyaEu1Sg

La Guitarra Flamenca (2) – Rito – Spanish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZaxIJPeOCs

Los Cabales [Aficionados] – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mPB6g0P6Uw

Manuel Torre y Antonio Chacón – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUPmHjtq5SE

Pepe Marchena – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ITnotw2RJo

Pepe Martínez – Rito – Spanish
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCANwYdDU74

Rafael Romero – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meX7eA4-FBE

Soleares 1 – Rito – Spanish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAA47QPYPzM

Tío Borrico de Jerez – Rito – Spanish
(to 31’ 42” – after the original program ends, this version adds material by Tío Borrico from other programs in the same series)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkn_0FgZrlc&list=PL59460051DA1E9F70

 

MISSING PROGRAMS:

SOLEA 2

POR SOLEA

POR SIGUIRIYAS

LA MARRURRA  (MOREEN CARNES)

FESTIVAL DEL CANTE

LOS FLAMENCOLOGOS

ENCARNACION LA SALLAGO

ANTONIO DE CANILLAS

PERICON DE CADIZ

CANTE FLAMENCO
This may be the same as the above-mentioned CANTE FLAMENCO GITANO (with English subtitles) — The program evidently features Gypsy singers performing songs that are not seen as Gypsy songs, and may have been titled CANTE FLAMENCO CON INTERPRETES GITANOS.

NOTE:  THE 100TH AND FINAL PROGRAM WAS PROBABLY TITLED “RITO Y GEOGRAFIA DEL FLAMENCO.”  IT MAY BE ONE OF THE ABOVE PROGRAMS.  [A RUMORED PROGRAM ON SABICAS WAS PROBABLY NEVER MADE.]

May 10, 2014   7 Comments

Flamenco Singer Manuel Vallejo – A 2 1/2 Year Old Recalls a Very Private Last Recital – translated by Brook Zern

by Brook Zern

Last August, the flamenco expert Manuel Bohórquez wrote an unusual and poignant entry in his excellent blog at http://blogs.elcorreoweb.es/lagazapera/2013/06/27/vallejo-y-el-nino-de-la-casita-de-cristal/

Here’s an approximation of what he said:

“I’ve never told the story I’m recounting today in this blog that already takes more of my time than I’d expected.  But if I have to give my life to stay with you for years, I’ll do that.

When my father died I was just thirty months old.  For some time, he had been in the Seville Central Hospital, but leukemia ended his life when he was just 33.  He died at the end of July, 1960.  By chance, while he was dying I was in the same hospital with anemia that was threatening to send me, too, to the cemetery.

Nonetheless, I withstood the Pale Rider’s charge and while my mother took my father to be buried I was still there, where today stands the Andalusian Parliament in the La Macarena neighborhood.  In the room beside mine, a few days before, they had admitted a true genius of flamenco song, Manuel Vallejo, who my father had admired and whose singing he copied.

While I was still there, on the seventh of August, the singer’s heart gave out.  I didn’t know this story until a few days ago when, as I was listening to a recording of Manuel Vallejo in my house, the woman who brought me into the world saw that I was crying and told it to me.  She told me that my father, on his deathbed, realized that the famous singer was nearby on the same floor.  As best he could, he took my hand and led me to the singer’s room so I might see him.  “I present to you the King of Flamenco Song”, my father said.  I remember nothing of that, of course.  When, a few days after she had buried my father, my mother went to the dispensary, a nun told her that Vallejo had twice visited me in my room, the last time just two days before he died.

And now I know why, when one morning my uncle Antonio played a song of Vallejo’s and showed me a picture of him, I felt an incredibly intense trembling and burst out crying.  I remembered that one night I had dreamed  that the man in that photograph drew near my bed and sang me a beautiful lullaby.  And now I knew it wasn’t a dream at all — that in fact on that evening, the genius of song Manuel Vallejo felt pity for a poor child who had lost his father and who was fighting for his life in a little glass enclosure.

I don’t know if the last part of this story is absolutely true or if it’s just a dream, but I do want to tell about it.  And if perhaps it may not be true. I’m convinced that it deserves to be.  Do you understand that, my friends?”

Thank you for the story, Señor Bohórquez.  There is literal truth, there is indisputable truth, and there is something else that rings even truer.

Brook Zern 

March 27, 2014   1 Comment