Sal's flamenco soapbox

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What flamenco is NOT

Two types of flamenco fusion
There are two types of flamenco "fusion" or flamenco "pop".

Type one fusion
The first comes from within the flamenco community itself and expresses itself as genuine flamenco artists experimenting with new ideas. The idea of mixing different musical styles with flamenco is not new. Sabicas played with a jazz saxophonist in the 30s. He also recorded an album called Rock Encounter with Joe Beck in 1966. Carlos Montoya recorded with a jazz quartet in the 50s. In more recent times, Paco de Lucía played with jazz musicians such as Santana, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Chick Corea. The Flamenco-Jazz connection has been highlighted in a various artists compilation album called "SOLEÁ - A Flamenco-Jazz Fantasy"

A selection of type one fusion CD's are listed here . People who show off their Gipsy Kings CDs as the sum total of their flamenco collection are unlikely to recognize too many of the artists on this list. Flamenco fans, especially the younger generation who are actively involved in the art form, will always be tolerant of new ideas and experiments which stretch the boundaries of tradition. It's these young flamenco artists of today, itchy to express themselves in new ways, who are likely to form the punk, pop, or blues flamenco bands of tomorrow.

Type two fusion
The second type of fusion includes the artists mentioned on the chart below. It is this genre, if you can call it that, that is the most confusing as it embraces many styles and encompasses many alien ideas about what flamenco is. To get some idea of what the general public thinks, just start up your favorite file sharing client and enter the word 'flamenco' in the search box. You will find a dazzling array of Mp3's on people's hard drives from all sorts of artists that are wrongly listed as "CATEGORY: Flamenco", or have the word flamenco in the title. I found Miles Davis, Andreas Segovia, Los Lobos and The Eagles to name just a few. Actually Hotel California sounds pretty good in a rumba style, but.....well, you know what I'm going to's just not, that's all.

References to flamenco music can also be found in the pop music of The Cure, Queen, The Doors and Bryan Adams. The Bryan Adams song, "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman," is significant for the unmistakable playing of Paco de Lucía. Needless to say, if you are new to flamenco and are searching the non flamenco CD shops on the Internet in the hope of buying some genuine flamenco, you are pretty much wasting your time unless you really know what you're looking for. That's what this page is all about. To know what you're looking for, you have to know what flamenco is and what it isn't.


I rest my case


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