Gipsy Kings – Mosaique (1989)

FrontCover1Mosaïque is the fourth studio album by the Gipsy Kings, released in 1989 in Europe and Canada. The main difference between both versions is the replacement of the instrumental “Bossamba” on the Europe release for “Niña Morena” on the North American release. The song order also changes on both albums and songs “Caminando Por la Calle”, “Trista Pena” and “Vamos a Bailar” are slightly different versions.
Note that “Viento Del Arena” is a studio album release from the song appearing in Luna de Fuego. It was sung as Turkish by Volkan Konak, Turkish folk singer as “Lilalı Kız” (“Girl with lilac”) at his 3rd album, “Gelir Misin Benimle” (“Do you come with me?”) in 1994. (by wikipedia)

The second major album for the Gipsy Kings on Elektra, Mosaique makes use of a mild range of outside genres and instrumentation that are added slyly to the basic flamenco mix set up by the ensemble. Most notably, modern drum kits and synthesizers make their presence thoroughly known throughout the course of the album. Some rai fusion slips into “Viento del Arena” in a sideways manner, becoming the focus of the sound in turn with the backdrop for the more traditional guitar work. The title track introduces some jazzy guitar riffs mixed in with the proper flamenco palmas to form an exquisite rhythmic structure. The live “Vamos a Bailar” incorporates a Cuban flavor, and the first appearance of the outstanding “Volaré” cover here mixes a tiny bit of Italian song into a huge amount of flamenco power.


The rest of the tracks largely follow a more standard set of the Kings’ brand of flamenco, which is more than formidable on its own. The star of all the tracks, regardless of style, is the duo of Tonino Baliardo on guitar (often outdoing even his own outstanding father Manitas de Plata in his abilities) and Nicolás Reyes on lead vocals. It’s Reyes who really gives the Kings their signature sound, with just enough gruffness in his voice to make a unique sound and enough power to match with any top-league flamenco singer. The incorporation of a number of excellent musicians only sweetens the pot. This is one of the most highly recommended Gipsy Kings albums for anyone coming fresh to the sounds of the group and a fine pick for complete newcomers to the genre as well. (by Adam Greenberg)

And here´s the European Version ….


Diego Baliardo (guitar)
Paco Baliardo (guitar)
Tonino Baliardo (guitar)
Charles Benarroch (percussion)
Chico Bouchikhi (guitar)
Négrito Trasante-Crocco (drums, percussion)
Dominique Droin (synthesizer, piano)
Gérard Prevost (bass)
Andre Reyes (vocals, guitar)
Nicolas Reyes (vocals, guitar)
Amaury Blanchard (drums on 06.)
François Debricon (saxophone on 01.)
Philippe Desserpris (guitar on 06.)
Guillermo Fellove (trumpet on 12.)
Claude Maisonneuve (oboe on 08.)
Jean Musy (synthesizer on 07.)
Dominique Perrier (piano on 12.)
Bobby Rangell (flute on 11.)
Claude Salmieri (drums on 03., 04., 09.)

01. Caminando Por La Calle (Blades) 4.17
02. Viento Del Arena (Los Reyes) 5.27
03. Mosaique (Gipsy Kings) 3.40
04. El Camino (Gipsy Kings) 5.03
05. Passion (Gipsy Kings) 3.01
06. Soy (Chirino) 3.10
07. Volare (Modugno/Migliacci) 3.38
08. Trista Pena (Gipsy Kings) 4.29
09. Liberte (Gipsy Kings) 4.01
10. Serana (Gipsy Kings) 4.19
11. Bossamba (Gipsy Kings) 3.18
12. Vamos A Bailar (live) (Gipsy Kings)  5.09



Alternate frontcover


Various Artists – Flamenco For Beginners (2006)

FrontCover1Okay, I´m back from my trip to Andalusian … a real excellent destination (as Chris wrote) even we had many rainy days …

And I´ll start my spanish weeks with a fine compilation album called  “Flamenco For Beginners”:

Flamenco (Spanish pronunciation: [flaˈmeŋko]) is an artform native to the Spanish regions of Andalusia, Extremadura and Murcia. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping).

First mentioned in literature in 1774, the genre originates in Andalusian music and dance styles. Flamenco is strongly associated with the gitanos (Romani people of Spain)—however, unlike Romani music of eastern Europe, the style is distinctively Andalusian and the fusion of the various cultures of southern Spain is clearly perceptible in Flamenco music. Although there are many theories on its influences and origins, the most widespread highlights a Morisco heritage, the cultural melting pot that was Andalusia at the time (Andalusians, Moors, Castilian settlers, Romanis and Jews) fostering its development over time. Flamenco music, as a theatrical representation of Andalusian musical tradition, was first recorded in the late 18th century but the genre underwent a dramatic development in the late 19th century.

In recent years, flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many non-Hispanic countries, especially United States and Japan. In Japan, there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain. On November 16, 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


There are many suggestions for the origin of the word flamenco as a musical term (summarized below) but no solid evidence for any of them. The word was not recorded as a musical and dance term until the late 18th century.

The Spanish word flamenco could have been a derivative of “fire” or “flame”, as it is connected to the ‘Cante’ and the dance’s solemn, passionate nature. The word flamenco may have come to be used for certain behaviour in general, which could possibly have come to be applied to the Gitano players and performers.

Another theory, proposed by Andalusian historian Blas Infante in his 1933 book Orígenes de lo Flamenco y Secreto del Cante Jondo suggests that the word flamenco comes from the Hispano-Arabic term fellah mengu, meaning “expelled peasant”; Infante argued that this term referred to the ethnic Andalusians of the Islamic faith, the Moriscos, who in order to avoid forced exile and religious persecution, joined with the Roma newcomers.


Palos (formerly known as cantes) are flamenco styles, classified by criteria such as rhythmic pattern, mode, chord progression, stanzaic form and geographic origin. There are over 50 different palos and a detailed description of them can be found in the main article. Some are sung unaccompanied while others have guitar or other accompaniment. Some forms are danced while others are not. Some are reserved for men and others for women while some may be performed by either, though these traditional distinctions are breaking down: the Farruca, for example, once a male dance, is now commonly performed by women too.

There are many ways to categories Palos but they traditionally fall into three classes: the most serious is known as cante jondo (or cante grande), while lighter, frivolous forms are called cante chico. Forms that do not fit either category are classed as cante intermedio.[citation needed] Cante jondo has clear traces of Arabic and Spanish folk melodies, as well as vestiges of Byzantine, Christian and Jewish religious music. (by wikipedia)

Let´s discover this fascinating music !


01. El Camarón de la Isla: Un Un Tiro Al Aire (1987) (Monge/Pachon) 4.41
02. La Paquera de Jerez: Que Dolor De Mare Mia (1975) (Traditional) 3.08
03. Paco de Lucía: Monasterio De Sal (1981) (Gómez/Lucía) 4.51
04. Ramon Algeciras + Paco Toronjo: De Mi Mismo Me Reia (1971) (Sanchez) 3.06
05. Juan Habichuela + Rancapino: La Pureza (1999) (Habichuela) 3.59
06. Paco de Lucía: Recuerdos (1971) (Sanchez) 3.06
07. Carmen Linares: Y Doy Suspiros Al Aire (1996) (Traditional) 5.32
08. Sernita De Jerez: A La Mare De Mi Alma (1959) (Traditional) 4.10
09. Terremoto Jerez: Yo Ya No Soy Quien Era (1969) (Traditional) 2.05
10. Paco de Lucía: Mi Nino Curro (1987) (R.Gomez/S.Gómez) 3.27
11. Bambino: Bambino, Piccolino (1969) (Molina) 2:13
12. José Mercé: Me Cierren los Ojos (1983) (Pernia) 1.57
13. Salmarina: A La Yala Yala (1994) (Evora/Muñoz) 3.29
14. Antonio Mairena: Por Tu Causa (1973) (Garcia) 5.32
15. Juan Peña: Lo Mismo Que Un Loco (1973) (Peña) 3.38
16. El Camarón de la Isla: Romance De La Luna, Luna (1983) (Bermejo/Lorca) 4.00
17. Fosforito: Te Quiero Más Cada Día (1980) (Diaz) 2.49
18. Jacinto Almaden + Justo Badajoz: Hablo Con Mi Dios Y Le Digo (1971) (Traditional) 3.45 19. Rafael Romero: Los Olivaritos Del Valle (1967) ( (Traditional) 1.16
20. Rosa Duran: Zapateado De Las Campanas (1956) (Traditional) 4.07





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





Carmen – Dancing On A Cold Wind (1974)

LPFrontCover1If Dancing on a Cold Wind is not as strong as Carmen’s previous album, it is mostly because the 24-minute suite “Rememberances (Recuerdos de Espana)” is not as tightly linked musically than the second half of Fandangos in Space. The fact that heartbreak and failed relationships provide the sole topic on this album also gives it redundant flavor. Still, this effort showcases the same elements that made the band’s first LP an artistic success: sharp musicianship and the spellbinding blend of progressive rock and flamenco, although this time around the first influence is far more important than the second. It is not obvious in the opener “Viva Mi Sevilla,” though; this frenetic dance is the album’s energy peak. A set of variations on the theme of Fandangos in Space’s “Bulerias,” pushing the Spanish element to new heights, can be considered as Carmen’s best song ever, impressive in every possible way, and John Glascock’s distorted bass rips the tiles off the floor. All other tracks follow a lightly melancholic mood. The pop song “I’ve Been Crying” hints at the direction Carmen will take on its last album The Gypsies. The nine-part suite “Rememberances” follows the plot of an impossible love: a gypsy woman, ex-prostitute who turned her life around, finds and loses the love of her life. All band members are cast, with Roberto Amaral acting as narrator and first singer. The piece features some good themes (“Table Two for One [Sambra],” “Time [She’s No Lady]”) but it suffers from structural problems. This album is still worthy of any prog rock fan’s attention. (by François Couture)

Carmen01Carmen reminds me a lot of Trapeze, the little metal trio where Glenn Hughes (later of Deep Purple’s fame) served as vocalist/bass player. Some of their songs are drenched in heavy metal. Viva Mi Sevilla starts as a heavy “fandango” with some amazing tapping by “bailaora” Angela Allen and hand clapping, and follows with some pure heavy metal or hard rock, characterized by heavy guitar interplay, thumping rhythm and accentuated bass lines; it’s intro is probably the most representative of flamenco music. “I’ve Been Crying” has Angela as lead singer, and she has a great voice, although a bit forced at times; it also develops an interesting bridge (a sort of waltz, later accompanied with castanets and increasing tempo). “Drifting Along” has also a heavy rhythm and great vocal harmonies. “Purple Flowers” starts as a slow blues and amusing chorus, then we’re in for a section in the middle in 7/8 and vocal harmonies a la Queen in the climax.

Carmen02The sidelong suite called “Rememberances” is a collection of ditties revolving on a sort of frustrated love story, and is for me the best side of the album; “She’s Changed” has amazing display of castanets, pan flutes and string arrangements, while “Dancing on a Cold Wind” features odd chord progressions when put together with the vocal harmonies. “Conclusion” reprises the main She’s Changed theme with variations of F#, instead of the G# minor of the main theme. The same theme is also reprised in “Gypsy Girl”, but in an Inlet02Ainstrumental mode; thus it gives a feeling of continuation through the entire side.

Perhaps the most notable member of the band is David Allen, while Glascock sets the rhythm greatly along with Fenton, Amaral and Karan. David Katz is an integral factor in the music with violin casting the “symphonic” sparks of Carmen’s music, along with Angela’s atmospheric mellotron (although I think she would had drawn attention on stage with the dancing, as well as her gorgeous presence). But the guitar, as always, is the main instrument in spanish folk music (second is the vocal). The lyrics might be the only real fault I would find in their music, as it doesn’t really work in the musical context that they projected; the music, as such, works better accompanied with spanish lyrics. but you don’t really need to appreciate the lyrics if only for listening to the amazing vocal deliveries. (by Chus)

The cover is a mock-up of the logo for Gitanes brand cigarette.

Angela Allen (vocals, mellotron, synthesizer, footwork)
David Allen (vocals, guitar, flamenco guitar)
Roberto Amaral (vocals, vibraphone, footwork, castanets)
Paul Fenton (drums)
John Glascock (bass, vocals)
Mary Hopkin (background vocals)
Chris Karan (percussion)
David Katz (violin)
Tony Visconti (woodwind)

01. Viva Mi Sevilla (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 5.07
02. ‘ve Been Crying (D.Allen) 4.06
03. Drifting Along (Amaral) 3.02
04. She Flew Across the Room(D.Allen) 3.32
05. Purple Flowers (Amaral/Glascock) 5.22

Remembrances (Recuerdos de Espana):
06. Table Two For One (Samba) (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 1.55
07. She’s Changed (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 2.58
08. Gypsy Girl (Caravan) (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 1.40
09. The City (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 1.37
10. Time (She’s No Lady) (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 1.46
11. People Dressed In Black (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 3.09
12. Dancing On A Cold Wind (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 1.24
13. The Horseman (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 3.59
14. Conclusion (She Changed) (D.Allen/A.Allen/Amaral/Glascock/Fenton) 2.03



Manitas de Plata – Et ses guitares Gitanes (1972)

FrontCover1Manitas de Plata (born Ricardo Baliardo; 7 August 1921 – 5 November 2014) was a French flamenco guitarist. Despite achieving worldwide fame, he was known for disrespecting certain rhythmic rules (compás) that are traditional in flamenco.

Ricardo Baliardo was born in a gypsy caravan in Sète in southern France. He became famous by playing each year at the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer gypsy pilgrimage in Camargue, where he was recorded live by Deben Bhattacharya.

Manitas de Plata (“Little Hands of Silver”) only agreed to play in public ten years after the death of Django Reinhardt, unanimously considered the king of gypsy guitarists. One of his recordings earned him a letter from Jean Cocteau acclaiming him as a creator.

Upon hearing him play at Arles in 1964, Pablo Picasso is said to have exclaimed “that man is of greater worth than I am!” and proceeded to draw on the guitar.

Manitas de Plata garnered fame in the United States only after a photography exhibition in New York, organized by his friend Lucien Clergue. He had recorded his first official album in the chapel of Arles in France, in 1963, for the Phillips label. It was later re-released, in 1967, by the Connoisseur Society label and sold through the Book of the Month Club. This was a popular LP that brought him to the attention of an American audience. An American manager obtained a booking for him to play a concert in Carnegie Hall in New York on November 24, 1965.

He toured the world from 1967, and recorded discs. He played with the dancer Nina Corti. In 1968 he played at the Royal Variety Performance in London.

Manitas de Plata was the father of Jacques, Maurice, and Tonino Baliardo and uncle to Paul, François (Canut), Patchaï, Nicolas and André Reyes (the sons of his cousin, flamenco artist José Reyes (1928-1979) ), all members of the rumba flamenca band Gipsy Kings. Australian multi-instrumentalist Chris Freeman, his student in 1971, acknowledged de Plata’s influence and teachings.

Manitas de Plata died in a retirement home in Montpellier on 6 November 2014. The cause of death was not disclosed, but de Plata had been in poor health since suffering a severe heart attack in April 2013.

Many members of his own family were also well known flamenco musicians, including his younger brother Hippolyte Baliardo (1928-2009), and his eldest son Manero Baliardo (1940-2012). Another son, Bambo Baliardo, is still an active musician and performer as of 2015. (by wikipedia)

ManitasDePlata4This is one of his countles albums and this album was a very sucessful one.

Manitas de Plata inspired Pablo Picasso to exclaim: “That man is of greater worth than I am!”.

On the cover you can see the guitar, which was autographed by the Painter Pablo Picasso:

PicassoPlata1968It´s time to disover the music of Manitas de Plata again … it´s flamenco time !

Maurice Balliardo (guitar)
Hipolito Balliardo (vocals)
Ricardo “Manitas de Plata” Balliardo (guitar, vocals)

01. Campanitas 2.15
02, Gitano De Quatro Costados 7.03
03. Alegria Del Castillo 2.05
04. Guitarras Morescas 7.19
05. Guitarras Y Tumba 5.00
06. Improvisation 7.00
07. Dos Hermanos 4.00
08. Malaguenita 2.50

Music composed by Ricardo “Manitas de Plata” Balliardo



Manuel Ricardes – Por calles de guitarra (2003)

RicardesPorCallesFCManuel Ricardes is a more or less unknown spanish street musicians, who´s a real fantastic guitar player.

He has a very special feeling for tango music and every night he sit in a corner of a street a play his fantastic music. I met him during my last vactions in Bilbao/Spain.

I was very impressed by his way of playing the acoustic guitar. His repertoire has many colors and it´s up to you to explore and enjoy these different styles of acoustic music.
He told me about the record that it was recorded in 2003 and this is his music he played on the streets of spanish cities.

Together with Beatriz Arbenoiz he although played in small music clubs all over Spain and try to keep the flame of tango music alive !

This entry is dedicated to the street musicians all over the world who gave us so much pleasure by their way to entertain us during our shopping tours through a city.

Manuel Ricardes (guitar)

01. Bourre (Bach) 2.40
02. Canzone d´amore (Liebermann) 2.07
03. El abejorro (Pujol) 1.57
04. El antigal (Toro/Diaz) 3.45
05. El Condor Pasa (Traditional) 4.52
06. Estudio de rovira (Traditional) 2.54
07. La candelaria (Falú) 3.24
08. Madreselvas (Amadoro/Canaro) 2.36
09. Natalie (Moustaki) 1.31
10. Nocturno (Soulés) 3.40
11. Romanza (Soulés) 4.30
12. Saltarello (Traditional) 1.01
13. Choro de texeira (Traditional) 2.12
14. Variaciones de milonga (Falú) 4.09



Paco de Lucia – Cositas Buenas (2004)

FrontCover1Cositas Buenas is an album featuring Paco de Lucía and directed by Paco de Lucía with the collaboration of Javier Limón.

The album has four bulerías, two rumba tracks, a tangos and a tientos.

On his first outing in five years, and the first of the new century, flamenco guitarist Paco De Lucia has given us one of the most sublime recordings in his long career. This collection of “Good Little Things” (Cositas Buenas) is a step away from Nuevo flamenco, and back to the grain of the source music itself. It is a record full of handclapped rhythms, organic spare percussion, and burning, passionate Booklet02Asongwriting and singing. The various singers — including Paco himself — wail, chant, moan, and ecstatically intone his new songs to the sheer rough-hewn grace of his playing. Most tracks are done in the canonical style of guitar, and voice with handclap accompaniment, but there are two — the smoking, burning black soul of “El Dengue” and “Que Venga el Alba,” on which he is accompanied by another guitarist. On the album’s final cut, “Cassa Bernardo,” a rumba, Jerry Gonzalez adds his mariachi trumpet to the proceedings. Cositas Buenas is an album that careens across the history of flamenco. While rooted in antiquity, it nonetheless points the way to a new music, one that extrapolates rhythm and harmony and adds syncopation, texture, depth, and multi-layered harmonics to the original framework. It is transcendentally beautiful if overwhelming in its passion and the sheer joy of performance. Indeed, Cositas Buenas sets a new standard for modern flamenco music and acts as the true bridge between the ancient and the future. No one but a master who cares nothing for his laurels could have articulated such a work. (by Thom Jurek)


Juan D´Angellyca (guitar)
Jerry González (trumpet)
Paco de Lucía (guitar, vocals, lute, mandolin, bouzouki)
Alain Pérez (bass)
Piraña (percussion)
Alejandro Sanz (chordophone)
Tomatito (guitar)
Guadiana, Antonio el Negro, Diego el Cigala Montse Cortés, Tana, Potito, Ángela Bautista (vocals)

01. Patio Custodio (Bulerías) 4.44
02. Cositas Buenas (Good Little Things) (Tangos) 4.23
03. Antonia (Bulería por Soleá) 6.28
04. El Dengue (Rumba) 4.03
05. Volar (Bulerías) 5.30
06. El Tesorillo” (The Little Treasure) (Tientos) 4.39
07. Que Venga el Alba (Bulerías) 4.11
08. Casa Bernado (Rumba) 4.12

All songs written by Paco de Lucias


Paco de Lucia
(21 December 1947 – 25 February 2014)