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Spanish language music: Flamenco


Flamenco Dancer I
Flamenco Dancer I
by Caroline Gold
Buy this Framed Art Print

Flamenco is a song, music and dance style that originated in Andalusia in Spain, though nobody is certain of its exact origins. Its vocals, dance style and instrumental forms are distinctive. Guitar, clapping, and castanets often accompany a singer, a dancer, or both. Flamenco experienced its golden age in the latter half of the 19th century. Today there are over 50 styles. Most recorded flamenco music consists of guitar instrumental pieces. Rarely is a piece ever played the same way twice, for many flamenco musicians neither read nor write music. "Nouveau flamenco" has been influenced by modern more recent music genres like jazz, rumba, salsa, pop, and rock.


Vicente Amigo (Spain)
CD City of ideas [2002] • LISTEN BUY CD | CD Mi amigo el tordillo [1993] • LISTENBUY CD
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Armik (Iran)
CD Best of Armik [2003] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Treasures [2004] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Rubia [1996] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Café romantico [2005] • LISTENBUY CD
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Gipsy Kings (France)
CD Gipsy Kings [1988] • LISTENBUY CD • REVIEW: More than any other band, the Gipsy Kings are responsible for the renewed interest in gypsy music, and this is the album that broke them through to the international mainstream. Although their carefully crafted music is not "pure" gypsy, their impassioned performances create a window for the uninitiated into the deeper world of flamenco and other styles. If you're not a purist, the Gipsy Kings provide powerful, highly contagious, mostly acoustic music that may represent a new form of contemporary gypsy music for the masses; or you can view it as pure pop. This disc lays down their trademark mix of guitars, handclaps, and percussion over 12 varied tracks ranging from intense dance numbers to passionate love songs such as "Un Amor." Linking it all together are the throaty, emotional vocals, notably those of Nicolas Reyes, evoking the smoky campfires of his underprivileged brethren where this highly polished music originated. -- Review by Derek Rath

CD Best of the Gipsy Kings [1995] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Volare! - The Very Best of the Gipsy Kings [2000] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Roots [2004] • LISTENBUY CD |
CD Cantos de amor [1998] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Ketama (Spain)
CD Toma Ketama [2000] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Ottmar Liebert (USA / Germany)
CD Nouveau flamenco: 1990-2000 [2000] • LISTENBUY CD • REVIEW: This is where it all began. Ten years ago, Ottmar Liebert brought flamenco music to the world with a new style of playing he dubbed, appropriately, nouveau flamenco. Ten years later, despite such adventurous CDs as Opium and The Hours Between Night and Day, Nouveau Flamenco remains his most popular CD. The reasons are obvious. Although Liebert is a technically gifted player, he lets the melodies of his flamenco-inspired tunes ring out over his own virtuosity. That's what makes songs like "Barcelona Nights" and "Sante Fe" so memorable. Nouveau Flamenco spawned countless imitators, some of them even very good, but this CD instantly reveals why Liebert has managed to be the top-of-the-brain name for modern flamenco music. On Nouveau Flamenco: 1990-2000, they've remixed everything, extended some tracks out a bit and brought in five additional pieces recorded at the same time as the original CD. The resequencing may throw off your memories of the original, and the mix here tends to be thinner and less reverberant, but one decade and millions of CD sales later, Nouveau Flamenco still lives up to its title. -- Review by John Diliberto

CD Nouveau flamenco [1990] • LISTENBUY CD | CD The Hours Between Night and Day [1993] • LISTENBUY CD | CD La semana [2004] • LISTEN
BUY CD | CD The Best of Ottmar Liebert [2001] • Vol. 1: Barcelona Nights LISTENBUY CD • Vol. 2: Surrender to Love LISTENBUY CD
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Paco de Lucía (Spain)
CD Luzia [1998] • LISTENBUY CD • REVIEW: Though he's recognized as flamenco's premier guitarist--with few contenders save for Tomatito, Pepe Habichuela, and Manolo Sanlúcar--Paco de Lucía has met with decades of controversy for his hybridization of the form with bossa, salsa, and jazz; for influencing flamenco-rock renegades like Ketama and Pata Negra; and for his legendary, cultivated arrogance. Albums like Luzia, named for his late mother, restore the balance: true flamenco puro of the highest order, it's a brooding reinvention from within, particularly in its complex harmonies and polyrhythms, forged around time-honored forms like bulerías and alegrías. The bustling bulería "El Chorruelo" is simply blood-boiling, a surging virtuosity at work over rapid key shifts and melodic firestorms. Written for his late collaborator--bad-boy singer Camarón de la Isla--the closing solo "Camarón" is meditative, joyous, forlorn, incensed, and sublime; in short, the real deal. A startlingly good set from a true master. -- Review by James Rotondi

CD Antologia [1996] • Vol. 1 LISTENBUY CD / Vol. 2 LISTEN BUY CD | CD Cositas buenas [2004] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Entre dos aguas [1986] • LISTENBUY CD
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Carlos Montoya (Spain)
CD Aires flamenco [1998] • LISTENBUY CD
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Jorge Pardo (Spain)
CD In a Minute [1998] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Veloz [1994] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Las cigarras son quiza sordas [1991] • LISTENBUY CD | CD 10 de Paco [1995] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Paco Peņa (Spain / UK)
Live CD Arte y pasión [1999] • LISTEN BUY CD • REVIEW: It's no surprise that the beauty of flamenco's confident rhythms, woody sounds, and wild syncopation come across in this live performance of classical guitarist Paco Peña, the Losada Brothers, and Flamenco Dance Company. Peña, a longtime virtuoso of flamenco guitar, boldly strums through some of the strongest material in his repertoire--setting his classical guitar afire and bewitching the German audience. He and Dance Company fuse well as guitar and boots trade limelight while singers La Piconera, Angel Gabarre, and Antonio Reyes often steal the show with haunting Andalusian vocals. A multifaceted mix of flamenco with expertise and passion in all areas. -- Review by Karen Karleski

CD Flamenco Guitar [2000] • LISTEN
BUY CD | CD The Art of Paco Peña [1993] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Misa flamenca [1992] • LISTENBUY CD
Browse or buy Paco Peña CDs at amazon 

Sabicas (Spain / USA)
CD Flamenco on Fire [1999] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Bolero | Cumbia | Flamenco | Latin Jazz | Latin Pop
Latin Rap / Hip Hop | Mambo | Mariachi | Merengue | Ranchera
Rock en Español | Rumba | Salsa | Tango | Tejano / TexMex

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