Sabicas (with Joe Beck) – Rock Encounter (1970)

FrontCover1Sabicas (proper name: Agustín Castellón Campos) (16 March 1912 – 14 April 1990) was a flamenco guitarist of Romani origin.

Sabicas was born in Pamplona, Spain, and began playing guitar at the age of four and made his performing debut two years later. His early style was influenced by Ramón Montoya, to whom he was related on his mother’s side of the family. Extensive collaboration with important cantaores (male flamenco singers) of the period helped him develop his personal style.

Leaving Spain in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, he went into exile in South America with bailaora (dancer) Carmen Amaya. He lived in Mexico City, married Esperanza González Erazo and had four children: Maricruz 1944, Carlos 1946, Agustine 1952 and Margaret 1956. Agustine and Margaret live in New York City, Maricruz lives in Alaska, and Carlos is deceased. Carmen and Sabicas toured together several times. Sabicas later settled in New York City in the United States. He did not return to his native Spain until 1967.

Sabicas was instrumental in the introduction of flamenco to audiences outside of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. He was probably best known for his technical skills: blazingly fast picados (scales), fast arpeggios, quality composition for the many forms of flamenco, and infallible rhythm, which was critical if playing with a dancer. Also, he was considered to have perfect pitch. “The finest technique around has got to be Sabicas, the flamenco player,” Chet Atkins told Guitar Player Magazine in March 1972.

Sabicas was one of flamenco’s greatest-ever guitarists, not only in terms of technique, but with major creative contributions, playing flamenco previously unimaginable and giving new tools and possibilities to the solo instrument. He brought this art to concert halls and major theaters where all classes could enjoy. Modern players such as Paco de Lucía, Tomatito, Serranito, Juan Manuel Cañizares, El Viejín, Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Nuñez, Javier Conde and many more claim large influence from Sabicas’ music.

Sabicas died at a hospital in Manhattan, New York, of complications from pneumonia and multiple strokes. (by wikipedia)


This album shows a fantastic mixture of authentic traditional Flamenco, Progressive and Psychedelic Rock by Spanish legend Sabicas and extraordinary electric Jazzrock guitar by Joe Beck with congenial backing band among others Donald Mac Donald on drums, Warren Bernhardt organ and Tony Levin on bass. This is an album for those, who are willing to look over the edges of their progressive and psychedelic horizon. Great guitar playing all over. Unique and hypnotizing! (

Spanish legend Sabicas combined traditional flamenco stylings with elements of psychedelic and progressive rock, with extremely tasteful results.

And don´t forget: This brilliant album was recored in 1966 … four years later … it was released ! A monster album !


 Sabicas with a very, very young Paco de Lucía

Domingo Alvarado (vocals)
Joe Beck (guitar)
Warren Bernhardt (keyboards)
Diego Castellon (guitar)
Anthony Levin (bass)
Donald McDonald (drums)


01. Inca Song 5.15
02. Joe’s Tune 3.49
03. Zapateado 9.38
04. Zambra 4.02
05. Handclaps 0.31
06. Flamenco Rock 6.13
07. Bulerias 7.25
08. Farruca 4.45

All songs written by Sabicas