The fusion of jazz and flamenco is not something new – it has been done for some years, going back to Ramon Montoya and Sabicas on the Flamenco side and Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, to name but a few, on the jazz side. But really prominent it became with Paco de Lucia, his early work with Pedro Iturralde in the saxophonists group and then with Jorge Pardo and of course with Chick Corea under his own name or with Touchstone, Chick’s album and group with a flamenco flavour. Others followed, of these most known probably Chano Dominguez and Gerardo Nunez, as well as young bass player Pablo Martin, whose album El Caminero is a perfect example of flamenco and jazz fused into one great music. Or Dave Holland and Pepe Habichuela’s group and their album Hands, in which Dave plays flamenco and not jazz and creates something beautiful with his Spanish friends, including Josemi Carmona, who as well is part of the group OK World, led by Bugge Wesseltoft, and adds a shot of Spanish flavour to the groups music.Or Anoushka Shankar and her album Traveller …. and now Richard Bona, who came to Madrid to work with some young and upcoming Flamenco musicians. The first concert of the group was at the almost full Sala BUT and had Richard bring a bit of African influence into the Flamenco he played with his 7 musicians and one dancer.
Antonio Rey: guitar / Melón Jiménez: guitar / Yerai Cortés: guitar / Sandra Carrasco: voice / Israel Fernández, voice / Tomas Potirón: violin / José Montaña: percussion / José Maldonado: dancer
The combination of the African grooves and the African lyrics with the flamenco feel and singing was an experience in itself and musically it worked extremely well. Guitarist Antonio Rey was the outstanding musician beside Bona and the singers. The first concert showed how much Africa there is in Flamenco and that this project has a lot to look forward to, surely growing the more they will perform.
Dawn is the first collaboration of Mexican singer Magos Hererra and Spanish guitarist, composer and producer Javier Limon and I am proud to have been able to sign them to the OKeh label I am running for Sony Music. The duo creates such an intimate atmosphere and simplicity in music that it is a pleasure to listen to them, whether they play jazz standards, Spanish and Mexican traditionals or their own songs. Magos has this magic in her voice that draws you into the music and makes you listen and Javier simply supports her with his guitar and some flamenco touches that creates the path for Magos to walk on. What works incredible on the record is even better in concert – Magos captures your attention with her impeccable delivery of the vocals, her dramatic movements within the music and her smile when Javier plays something unexpected, but supportive and giving her a direction to go and scat or simply introduce a different idea into the song. Jazz and Flamenco in perfect harmony and when they introduced at the end of their concert in Madrid’s Teatro Galileo the harmonica player Antonio Serrano into the mix, it became something truly special.
Flamenco plus …. it might not be the next big thing … but surely it will give us some great music to listen to, as above few examples already prove.