This three-disc set comes nicely packaged with a 48-page booklet. It provides an interesting introduction to the art, although it is heavily weighted toward the ultra-modern style. Indeed, some of the material isn't considered flamenco at all by its performers. The first CD focuses on individual singers, and includes a great soleá by La Niña de los Pelnes, a blazing bulerías by Terremoto, and tangos by Jose Menese and El Indio Gitano. But beyond that nod to tradition, the emphasis is on New Flamenco. There's a soleá by Camarón and a fandango by Duquende, who follows Camarón's approach. The remaining eight cuts – by Lole y Manuel, Susi, Diego Carrasco, and others – are hot off the press, figuratively or literally.
Juan Rodriguez known as Juan El Flaco is a flamenco guitarist born in 1973 in France (Lyon currently resides) to a Gypsy family (The Marians and Los Bolecos), originally from Almeria. Self-taught guitarist, he has performed with leading figures of modern flamenco and Potito, Guadiana, Enrique The Piculabe, David de Jacoba, Saul Quiroz, Rafiki Madrid, Miguel El Rubio, Pack, Piranha, Manolo Franco, Vicente Amigo, Esperanza Fernandez, Chicuelo Miguel Poveda, Paloma Fantova, Jose Maya, Belen Lopez, Karime Amaya, … and their performances have been featured on numerous European stages (Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Germany, France, ….).
Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez has made a jazz career in exploring its connections with the flamenco of his native Cadiz. On previous offerings, Dominguez has carved out a place where the various dance rhythms and sung cadences of flamenco find equal voice with jazz lyricism, exploration, and harmonic adventure. Flamenco Sketches began as a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. The album is a re-visioned reading of the compositions on the iconic Davis album – in different order – as well as two other Davis compositions, "Nardis" (which he never recorded) and "Serpent's Tooth," from the trumpeter's Prestige years.
Jazz, flamenco, classical music and tango come together in this musical proposal created in 2004 by the cellist Jose Luis Lopez, saxophonist and flute player Ramiro Obedman and the piansita Pablo Suarez, who made his debut at the Singapore Arts Festival. And since then they have made multiple tours and edited three albums in their name.
Jazz and flamenco first crossed paths not in Spain, but in the USA when Miles Davis and arranger/composer Gil Evans recorded “Sketches of Spain” in November 1959 and March 1960. It became one of the most successful jazz albums of all time. And the jazz musicians in Spain? They attempted to emulate – as did their colleagues world-wide – the American model. Jazz stood for open-mindedness; national folklore was thought of as too parochial. Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde was the only musician who, under the influence of “Sketches of Spain”, added a couple of flamenco melodies to his repertoire as he toured Europe accompanied by two Germans and a Swiss. That’s why Joachim-Ernst Berendt sought him out to play at the 1967 Berlin Jazz Festival. With the festival’s motto “Jazz Meets the World”, Berendt was looking for a jazz-flamenco combination to fit the bill.