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1. Lagrimas Negras
$9.99 $9.98 list($18.98)
2. The Best of the Gipsy Kings
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3. Gran Hotel Buenos Aires
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4. Roots
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5. Volare! - The Very Best Of The
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6. Montréal
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7. La Semana
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8. Friday Night in San Francisco
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9. Legends of Gypsy Flamenco
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10. Cositas Buenas
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11. Masters of Flamenco Guitar
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12. Barcelona Nights: The Best of
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13. Guitar Trio: Paco de Lucia/John
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14. Cafe Romantico
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15. Romantic Dreams
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16. Guitar Greats: The Best of New
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17. The Hours Between Night &
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18. Cantos de Amor
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19. Flamenco on Fire
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20. Passion, Grace and Fire

1. Lagrimas Negras
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0001EKZOQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1086
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This album pairs one of the greatest flamenco singers of today, cantaor Diego El Cigala, with one of Cuba's finest Afro-Cuban pianists, Bebo Valdes. With Valdes (father of the great Chucho Valdes) born in 1918, there's a 40-year age difference between the pianist and the singer, but they do a fine job crossing generations and oceans to discover the commonalities between Caribbean and the Iberian music, coming up with a romantic marriage of the two cultures using rumbas, guajira, sons and boleros. All the songs are classics out of the Latin music tradition, using just a handful of players in support. Valdes's fingers are delicate and prone to dramatic flourishes; Cigala's voice is pure flamenco in its hoarse intonation, cadence and emotional outpourings. The two masters make the union work by focusing on the drama of the love songs--"Veinte Años," "Inolvidable" and the title track are just three amazing examples--as fuel for some of the most exquisitely passionate music to come out in ages.--Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime
That's pianist Bebo Valdes, one of Cuba's great jam session players of the 1950s (and still a potent force on the music scene) and flamenco vocalist Diego "La Cigala," whose half-croaked, Arabic-tinged inflections offer a fine counterpoint to Valdes's trademark sleek, supple piano runs. Cigala sounds like he, too, must be an ancient old-timer, un viejo, like all those Buena Vista dudes... But in fact he is a youngster, a ponytailed whippersnapper who just happens to channel weight of the the ages... Quite a lot of gravitas, subtlety and artistic firepower is assembled here; just to spice things up, they bring in some highpowered guests, such as jazzman Paquito D'Rivera, Milton Cardona and Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso, who duets with Cigana on a version of "Coracao Vagabundo," which closes the album. Also included are classic compositions by Miguel Matamoros, Maria Teresa Vera and other Latin American and Iberian legends. Mighty classy material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Master Bebo Valdes, El Maestro...
Bebo Valdés is not only a superb piano player, he is a great composer of Cuban music.
Exile in Switzerland, and great cuban gentleman.
Qué siga la tradición, Bebo!
Gracias.
José Porcell Sr.

4-0 out of 5 stars Musical Paradise for Latin Music
2 Bad Cigala sings . Otherwise is Perfect .

5-0 out of 5 stars Is there anything else?
This is the question I would like to ask to Mr. Valdes if I have the opportunity. And I'm sure that he would answer with a "yes", because music is always changing, because we must be ready for such nice surprises as long as musicians like "Bebo" and "El Cigala" are among us. My grandparents used to listen to some of these boleros, and because of them I like this music. Now, I have the chance to listen to them in a different way. I'm pretty sure that they didn't imagine this deep and marvelous interpretation, and that it's not going to be the last one. ... Read more


2. The Best of the Gipsy Kings
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Asin: B000005J38
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 747
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Hailing from the Reyes and Baliardo Gypsy families, this ensemble from the south of France has been playing "rumba flamenca" since the late 1980s.With this 1995 compilation, the songwriting talent and virtuosity this unique group possesses were gathered together in one comprehensive CD. Notable inclusions are the anthemic hit "Bamboleo," from their debut, Gipsy Kings; the slowly emotive "Trista Pena" the Italian cover "Volar&eacute," from Mosaïque; and assorted live cuts that wonderfully capture the wild energy these players spark onstage. In short, the Gipsy Kings are a celebratory bunch who know how to rock with a rhapsody of acoustic guitars, passionate vocals, and walls of congas, timbales, cabasas, and bongos. Check this caravan out. --Karen Karleski ... Read more

Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars Baila, Baila!
Though I don't remember much from high school Spanish, when I hear this CD, "Queiro bailar!" (I want to dance!) This is my favorite CD to listen to while stuck in traffic on Southern California's freeways. You can't help but be "moved" by the music. All of the songs are great (maybe that's why they call it the best of...) It's almost guaranteed that you will not be disappointed in this album.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection for Neophytes
I'm not a Latin music fan, so I've got to review from the point of view of a pop fan. This is a very good collection of Gipsy Kings numbers, featuring most if not all of the tracks I liked best from their body of work - "Moorea", "Volare", "Viento del Arena", "Bamboleo". The mega-mix at the end is rather unnecessary, and points out how much some songs sound like others. Honestly, eighteen tracks tend to max my attention span, and the songs begin to run together. This may be an indication of my shortcomings rather than the albums, however. People looking for a Gipsy Kings album (or some Latin flavored music to add to their collection) probably won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars !Excelente!
This CD was a bargain at this price! Unlike previous reviewers, I feel that the music on the two different CDs is well-arranged. The first CD is more uptempo, while the second CD is a bit more minor-keyed, a litter darker. Both are excellent! I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new atmosphere
I've been listening to the Gypsy Kings since i was a kid and now that im 21 i still listen to them. I have these group of friends who also have been listening to the GK's music since their childhood days. It's practically our theme song whenever we go to the beach and soak in the sun. We can't get enough of the songs 'cause they bring us to a new world where life is just so relaxing. We even put the songs on during any of our dinner parties. It makes us feel like we are all in Spain and relaxing with a glass of sanggria and having just a good time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Always great listening and never fails to cheer me up.
This is so unlike most music I buy. Most of the stuff I listen to is rock, and I tend to like loud music. However, I've always liked jazz and classical, so I've got my ear open for sounds outside of my normal listening diet.

At one point in college I was going to sit in for a few friends who had an informal flamenco gig. I wanted to get an ear for what I might be playing, so one of the guitarists recommended this disc.

Am I ever glad he did.

Somehow, this album is one I can always get into. It's got great rhythms all the way through, and interesting guitar lines (if you're into King Crimson/Guitar Craft, this may scratch an itch for you). But what's great about this album is that it's very song-driven. Great, usually upbeat songs that make you feel cheerful, even if you don't know what's being said.

The sound on this album is good -- varying in quality in places (some live tracks; tracks from different albums). But you never miss anything important.

The greatest compliment I can give this album (besides the fact that after having owned it for years it still gets heavy play) is that it it's one of the few recordings I hear with totally innocent ears. I don't try and pick apart its production, I don't try and analyze every bit. I just sit back and enjoy -- which is perfect virtually any time.

Strongly recommended -- no matter what you're into. Just listen to a sample. ... Read more


3. Gran Hotel Buenos Aires
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Asin: B0001DMUNQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2360
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Young Argentine guitarist Federico Aubele became transfixed with the music of Astor Piazzolla even as he listened to the cool lounge sounds of Thievery Corporation and the Six Degrees label. Incredibly, he put these influences together for an exceptional debut album entitled Gran Hotel Buenos Aires. It's produced by the Thievery guys, but one gets the sense that this really came from Aubele. He surrounds his downtempo beats delicate acoustic guitar figures, an array of sexy women singers (all vocals are in Spanish), and a rich tapestry of sounds and tones. Pushing flamenco and various styles of Latin music to the fore, he also draws upon dub and ambient, and it's the grace of this hip fusion that puts Aubelle up there with such genre benders as Manu Chao and the Gotan Project. Highlights include the upbeat "Ante Tus Ojos" and the rich Latin groove "Esta Noche," but the album is strong from beginning to finish. A truly impressive first effort.--Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars hypnotic music
Federico Aubele's album on ESL comes as a refreshing twist in the downtempo/international music scene. Taking guitar-rich songs from his native Argentina, packing them onto the thievery-built sonic cruiser and stopping off in Kingston to drench it all in dub.

There are plenty of dub records out there, and plenty more from Argentina, but this may be worth your time if you dig mellow, haunting downtempo songs with both live and sampled vocals. Good music for chillin'.

The one drawback, I guess, is that this music can seem too-much like wallpaper or fashion music. But taken as part of a deep collection of music or for inclusion in mixes - I'd say this record rates as a classic of its genre. B+

4-0 out of 5 stars Great album from ESL
Thievery corp have chosen another winner!

Federico's album is lush - full of downtempo, dubby sounds with a latin flair. Love the guitar work on all the tracks!

1-0 out of 5 stars GOOD CD BUT OVER PRODUCED
The Thievery Corp guys try to steal the album from Federico Aubele whom when left alone to play the guitar is spectacular.
All he songs start off the same and it becomes boring after the second cut, too much going on most of the songs, I bought this cd after listening to Los Amigos Invisibles produced by M.A.W. and was really looking forward to a Thievery produced cd.
I BEEN ROBBED.

5-0 out of 5 stars Check out this CD
I first heard of Federico on the latest ESL compilation Den of Thieves. I loved the track "Postales" by him so I picked up this cd. I was amazed; his tracks really get your attention. It's a mix of groovy guitar, sensuous lyrics, and mellow drums. This cd is at its climax when they throw in a trumpet as well. I strongly believe that fans of most genres will enjoy this cd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great album from ESL!
Take 1 part Up, Bustle, & Out....1 part Gotan project...and 1 part Theivery Corp. And you get Federico Aubele! This album is smooth from start to finish! Great beats, & other worldly vocals.
ESL can do no wrong!! ... Read more


4. Roots
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0001ADATW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1678
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The Gipsy Kings are never going to have the kind of critical acclaim that Paco de Lucia has, but their popularization of poppy rumba flamenca among non-Spanish speakers is nothing to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, here on Roots, the octet turns back to the tradition while making their own imprint on it. Having the band record in an old farm house, producer Craig Street, it seems, simply told them to sit down to play their bittersweet songs. Without electric instruments or a drum set to clutter the mix, brisk acoustic guitars will sweep listeners up in the driving rhythms as lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo soars overhead, particularly on the instrumental songs. When Nicolas, Canut and Patchai Reyes take turns on lead vocals, Street adeptly captures the timbre and nuance of the singers' voices while also delicately balancing the guitar, hand percussion and bass. No pop songs or bombastic rock beats:here's one that purists cannot argue with. --Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gipsy Kings Rule!
I love this album. I wasn't sure if I would like the acoustic style since I am not much into the "unplugged" type of sound but this CD is wonderful. My favorite track is #5. I don't understand a word they sing but this is great music!

5-0 out of 5 stars Roots, Firm & Deep
The concept of this new recording of the Gipsy Kings has been long-awaited... Yes the acclaim they received in the 80s with Bamboleo, etc, and the heavy synth & drums & bass that go along with that sound has boxed them into a pop-flamenco-gypsy-rumba mode, that they own, mind you, and is appealing no matter what, but gives the uninformed & shortsighted critics fuel to chastise & insult them and their vast heritage of talent. It doesn't end there people! and Roots proves it... This recording attempts to hearken back to the days when all one had was one's guitar, one's brothers &/or cousins [hopefully with their guitars] and PURE rhythm & music! add a little campfire, a few dancers & lots of willing listeners/participants with some thunderous & tight palmas [rhythmic clapping] and you've got a party!

The question is, however, are the Gipsy Kings successful in this recent endeavor? YES YES YES! This time around, instead of rushing off stressed to a studio in Paris like they normally have, they chose a sweet little property, Mas de Gourgoubes, in a town not too far from their own homes. The atmosphere was relaxed & loose~ permitting creativity to flow... Tonino Baliardo's bulerias, called "Bolerias" is crisp & masterful [seriously, what else COULD it be?]... and his cover/tribute to Django, 'Nuages' is cool & flowing just LIKE a cloud... although Nicolas' voice is a little broken due to weathering & let's say, 'a bad habit', it triumphs, and nails every note melodically. Canut as well has some wonderful songs~ that man can convey such passion... Patchai's fandango [the first one] although brief, captures the pain of the 'voice' of the subject well, as does Nicolas' fandango later on. My only mild disappointment was that Andre, the youngest brother [and most musical of all his brothers, in my opinion] with the high voice, didn't have a solo this time, but yes he was a-harmonizin'! He does that well too! My GREATEST and most pleasant surprise was the very last song, with an unfamiliar, untrained, sometimes slightly off-key voice leading out~ 'Petite Noya', belonging to none other than: Diego Baliardo, older brother of Tonino!! In the past he has refrained from touring due to some minor health problems, and he's certainly never had a solo, but it seems they saved the BEST for LAST! and I hope during this summer's tour he joins them to perform it! This amazing jam puts you right in the middle of a juerga in the South of France, probably after some yummy paella & vin rouge~ maybe some nice crème brûlée infused with lavender for dessert... [get the picture?] you're instantly UP & working off those calories! go Diegooo!

Although these gentlemen have refrained from adding the heavy presence of a 'band' per se on this recording, as they refreshingly accomplished on the earlier "Allegria", I miss the charming in-between-song french chatter, evident in the older recording. Even though there is some back-up, the instruments used are pure & raw, and don't sound 'plugged-in'... Also, one has to remember they are not *trying* to repeat "Allegria". This is definitely something NEW, while retaining the OLD~ going BACK to those proud, Gitan Roots. Pray that it never ends, and continues with their sons & nephews, and on, and on... OLE!

5-0 out of 5 stars GK Roots ---- Newer than you think
Already a GK fan, I read the reviews before I bought this CD because they haven't recorded for a while. Consequely, and in all honesty, their complex and varied nature are what enticed me to buy the CD and decide for myself. Listening to the album now, I see why there were so many sides to the commentary. Its not an album for musak tekies because its more story than independent works. To my thinking, what is new about the CD is its brave & determined exchange of passion for tenderness. You won't get it if you disect this album track for track. you have to stand back abit. This is really evident in the CD's sequence from legende (a surrender to love) on to Amigo (the friendship of love) and then to petite noya (the product of love) told with departures and returns across connecting and ascending rithyms. Truely a story of....exito. If you're a fan, buy it. If you're not, become one.

5-0 out of 5 stars back to basics!!!!!!
there's not much more than i can add to the previous reviews. this album is what the last two albums have been hinting at, a return to their original acoustic style! This is what their two first albums Allegria and Luna de fuego sounded like, a bunch of guitars, voices, handclaps, and not much else (although they've added a bass guitar now). Although the new album doesn't have the same level of energy that their first ones did, it's still very nice to hear their guitars and handclaps again. If you can find it, there's an import version of this album with a bonus dvd on it with a short documentary of the recording of this album and an interview with the album producer. Although it's not real long, it does provide a glimpse into how this album was made and shows the recording of four tracks from the sessions. Since the dvd is an import, it might not show on you dvd player, although it definitely will play on your computer's dvd-rom.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cd from one of my all time favorite Flamenco Band
I have always loved the Gipsy Kings, have all their other C.Ds, including the ones that they recorded under the name Los Reyes. My favorite cds honestly have to be their earlier works as, their later cds were becoming a little to "World Pop Music, and it lost much of "El Flamenco." But this cd really picks up where they left off on their earlier works. This has to be the best cd they have recorded in a long time.
This cd has every thing for all styles of Flamenco, some Canto Ondos, Bulerias, and Rumbas.
I have been waiting for a cd like this from these guys for a long time, and yes I am pleased.
The cd starts you of with.
1. Aven Aven, a festive Rumba, beautifully sung buy Nicolas, strong, hand clapping, and very rhythmic.
2. Legends. Very Canto Ondo beautifully memorizing.
3. Fandango. Strong guitar, and solo, a reminder of the Flamenco styles of the early 1920s.
4. Bolerias. Pop Guitar, strong style. Great just awsome.
5. Rythmic. One of my favorite tracks on the cd, the hand clapping, very Gypsi. Everytime I here this track i get goose bumps. One of my all time favorite Gipsy Kings song, buy far.
6. Como Siento Yo. This is one of those romantic songs that the Gipsy Kings are well known for, sure to please those who are romantic at heart.
7. Amigo. Good song, not one of my favorite, but still a good song, none of the songs on these cd, can be concidered bad, they can not go wrong with this cd, although this is not one of my favorite styles, i still like it.
8. Tarantas. I do not know, at least for me and my tastes, I prefer the songs that have words, this is just guitar, soft, very Sevilla mixed with Jazz and pop. This one is okay, although their guitar style is superb.
9. Fandango. Wow, take me to Sevilla please, actually France because this is where they are from. But still, very Sevilla style Flamenco. I love Canto Ondos, and especially the way Nicolas presents them.
10. Boogie. I was a bit worried about this track, because of the title. Do not let the title fool you.
11. Nuages. A little to soft, no singing, soft guitars. Shows the range of style in guitar playing these masters can do. More Pop, flavored than traditional Flamenco but still very good.
12. Como Ayer. They have to add one of their melow pop songs for those fans who like that sort of style. Not one of their strongest tracks, but still good. Very South of the Border style.
13. Soledad. Soft, warm, excellent for just kicking back and relaxing with that special someone.
14. Tampa. Guitar styles, with other interesting instruments. Sure to be a pleaser.
15. Hermanos.
16. Petite Noya. Wow, excellent way to end a really good, although I am not a Samba music fan at all, this is still good.
Although my favorite tracks are in the beggining of the cd, the ones I listen to the most, this is an all around great cd, and if you love the Gipsy Kings, this is a must have. Although I wish they return to their earlier styles, this is as close to it that they have gotten in a long time. ... Read more


5. Volare! - The Very Best Of The Gipsy Kings
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.99
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Asin: B00004WZOL
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2637
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

There's very little doubt that the Gipsy Kings are good at what they do--they've become the brand name in Sevillana, the pop-oriented flamenco style. Since 1989, when the single "Bamboleo" and their Gipsy Kings album broke through and went gold in the United States, they've found a willing audience in America for their style, which, while flashy, doesn't demand a great deal of the listener, unlike more hardcore versions of flamenco. This double set collects 37 of their biggest tracks, including a version of the Eagles' "Hotel California," into one package guaranteed to satisfy fans of their precise, jubilant playing. And there's no denying they have the power to move people with their singing and fretwork, making this a must for those who want to experience all the familiar material in one sitting. Like the band themselves, the record is an unqualified success as a greatest hits package. --Chris Nickson ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fabulous, comprehensive insight to Gipsy Kings flamenco!
I had heard of the Gipsy Kings, but had never heard any of their music before. After watching "El Amor Brujo" I knew I had to run out and buy some flamenco music fast--I was hooked on the passionate flamenco guitars and rough, soulful wail of cante jondo. I looked at all of the Gipsy Kings' available CDs before deciding on "Volare," and I haven't been able to put it down a week later!

"Volare" is a fabulous 2 CD, 37 track "best of" (there is an earlier "Best of the Gipsy Kings" but it is only one CD and most of the earlier songs are also on Volare) that features several live and unreleased recordings. The songs include a lighthearted cover of "I've Got No Strings" from Pinocchio, an intriguing Spanish version of "Hotel California" that fits in perfectly with the Gypsy flamenco sound, "My Way," an upbeat Spanish/Italian version of Volare, and many wonderful flamenco tracks ("Bamboleo," "Bem, bem Maria," "Tu quieres volver," "Mi corazon"). Simply put, there is not a bad track on "Volare."

Lead vocalist Nicolas Reyes possesses a voice of raw passion and power, a hoarse cry that is at once melancholy and passionate, the soulful song of the Gypsies. The Gipsy Kings are from two different Gypsy families in France, the Reyes and Baliardos. Their songs are in Spanish and gitane, or Gypsy dialect. Their music is a blend of cante jondo, Sevillana and modern sensibilities that is easily accessible to the casual listner.

If you're already a Gispy King fan or you're new to the crowd, you can't go wrong with the sure-to-please "Volare." The only thing I was disappointed in was a lack of liner notes: only the song credits/origins were given. There was no biography or background on the group or the songs themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Volaré, Best of the Gipsy Kings
Great compilation! a MUST CD for any old and new fan of Gipsy Kings. As a lady from the South of France I have appreciated Gipsy Kings for many years. I have just seen their show at Radio City Music Hall in NYC and let me tell you they are better than ever! The inimitable strength of their guitar combined with the smoky flamenco voices really talked and transcended the NY audience. An excellent CD for people around the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars An "upper" in music form
For me, music is a drug and I use it to level out my moods, stay motivated, and involved in the world.

This collection seems to make me get up and go without distracting me from what I'm doing. Since I don't speak Spanish and they don't sing in English, the lyrics become part of the sound and not part of the message. The rhythms and strong male voices combine to a "war cry" for working.

It's "new drug" in the Huey Lewis sense of the word and I'm loving it!

4-0 out of 5 stars NOT the very best of the Gipsy Kings.....
38 tracks (on the import anyways)over two cds, you'd think they'd get all the best, but unfortunately this isn't the case with this collection. I don't know who's in charge of compiling the Gipsy King's cds, but they sure don't do a good job of it. While I can't really complain about the first disc, the second one is majorly flawed. The first disc's ("Fever") uptempo tracks are pretty representative of the Gipsy King's greatest moments, the second disc's (Passion) are not really good choices. Este Mundo? Ternuras? El Camino? Passion? Some good choices would have been Mi Vida (este Mundo), Queda te Aqui, Montana (Love & Liberte), any of the instrumentals from the first cd. Why I've Got No strings.... and Hotel California are on disc 2 and not on the first cd, while A Mi Manera is on disc 1 and not on the second disc are anyone's guess. I think someone just looked at the song titles and heard how fast/slow they were and just assigned them to a disc without really listening to the songs and compiling two good discs. The previous collection (Love Songs) suffered from the same problem, many of the songs just did not fit on them, and they were placed there based on their names. This collection would have been improved by including the songs mentioned above plus Los Peces en el Rio, La Quiero, La Fiesta Comenza (Single remix - it does exist), Galaxia, some of the ballads from Compas, etc....you get the point. While there's nothing really bad about this collection, the songs it omits really stop it from being truly "the best". This would definitely be the best place to start your Gipsy Kings collection, my advice would be to get all the other albums, and compile your own Best of with your cd-burner. It'll make for a far more satisfying listen!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Earned 5 Star Effort
I was a relatively early joiner to the Gipsy Kings bangwagon as I "discovered" them in 1991 when I was introduced to them via their "Mosaique" CD, which in my opinion is by far the best non-greatest hits release that this group has put out. Although I speak Spanish, many of the songs don't require knowledge of the language to feel the power, although it's a plus. I get nostalgic everytime that I hear "Caminando Por La Calle" or "Triste Pena" because they are so powerful and remind me of an extended bitter-sweet moment in my life.

This 2 CD set expands on 1995's Best Of (which was a single CD) and as is the case with very few artists, the Gipsy Kings fill every second of both CDs with their joy and emotion. Not a dud in the bunch, which covers the band's nine-album discography with some bonus tracks. Lead singer Nicholas Reyes has a fiery, throaty singing style and is backed by the most beautiful and emotional sound with elements of world music and flamenco that may annoy flamenco purists (get over it).

I give this release my highest recommendation. I've seen the Gipsy KIngs in concert twice and they are just as good live so check them out if they hit your town. Please note that with the exception of "Mosaique", I would not purchase individual releases as this collection grabs the best and none of their other releases has a uniting theme that would get lost in a compilation. ... Read more


6. Montréal
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0006V6TMG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6624
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Jesse Cook is a worldbeat musician in the truest sense of the word; he doesn’t just pick a style and repackage it, he is respected both by listeners and players alike for constantly seeking inspiration and tutelage from all over the world. A longtime fan of music from Spain, Africa, Egypt, Brazil, France and Cuba, Jesse Cook’s Montreal evokes each of those countries and then some on this, his sixth CD and first live disc.

Cook has a history of hooking up with talented players; previous contributors to his million-selling catalogue include cellist Ofra Harnoy, fellow Canuck Holly Cole, and Brazillian jazz phenom Flora Purim. His choice of players for Montréal are equally talented; that point is made clear right from the opening cut, "Beloved." Fellow Canadian, Maryem Tollar sets the stage with her incredible, ghostly Arabic vocals; from that romantic, moody brilliance right to the disc’s undulating climax of "Baghdad," the perpetual motion of Gypsy Kings-meets-Cirque du Soleil sounds resonate throughout the disc. The audience’s adoration of the performer and his wonderfully percussive live show (recorded at Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal) allows the feverish applause to carry the enthusiasm over to the live disc itself.

There will always be a debate among purists as to whether accessible worldbeat or jazz is too easy-listening; ultimately, Cook is one part gifted guitar player, another part masterful showman. Even in the context of listening to a live CD, the energy that he gives to and subsequently receives from his fans on Montréal is contagious and musically rewarding.--Denise Sheppard ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's close but not quite there
In general I like live recordings and I certainly like Jesse Cook.Good performers and good audiences create great performances.For an example of this synergy, try the bonus video tracks of "Mario Takes A Walk" and "Rattle And Burn" on Jesse Cook's "Free Fall".The energy in these performances is, literally, hair-raising.

In "Montreal: Live" the audience is clearly ready to help the performers, much of the band's work is impressive, and Jesse Cook's playing is technically superlative but... The overall feel is Jesse Cook and the band are basically going through the numbers, albeit with some gusto.There are some flashes of fire in the violin and percussion on occasion but nothing that's sustained.It isn't until "Dance of Spring" (track 11 of 13 tracks) that the playing really catches fire despite the obvious energy from the crowd all through the show."Baghdad" continues the feel started in "Dance of Spring" although the intro lets some of the steam out before it's restored.Then comes "Fall at Your Feet".Placed elsewhere into the performance it would have been acceptable.It's not an encore number and it's not a big closer - it's just plain in the wrong place in the set.

If you do not know Jesse Cook's work, try "Free Fall" or "Gravity" first.If you like his work, buy "Montreal: Live" but don't expect a stunning performance.It's close but not quite there.

---

Technical asides: Live albums and crowd noise first.Drunks yelling "play bleepin' 'Freebird', man" in the middle of an inspired acapella rendition of "Seven Bridges Road" should be strung up by the neck and left dangling, as an example for other would-be fools.But an auduence that's into the performance and is with the performers becomes an integral part of the performance and not just a flaw to be ignored.I can think of live albums where audience sounds are all but lost and the result is more like an odd studio album without the immediacy of the audience keeping time or cheering brilliant playing.

Jesse Cook's runs in "Montreal: Live" are, as best I can tell, backed by the percussion section and not solely the result of pickup noise or overloading.Where he's playing on the fingerboard, the notes, on even the best of guitars, simply lack the ring of lower registers.In a lesser player, the runs might seem flawed but I'm confident that what's played is played by choice.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Decent Capture of a Live Performance
If you like live recordings, this is a very good one for the most part. For me personally, I don't enjoy the sound of yelling and applause when I listen to music at home or in my car. It is just not the same as being there (DVDs do a much better job of preserving a live performance's excitement). I admire Jesse Cook's guitar work and writing ability very much, especially his first four CDs. He is my favorite guitar player, and I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.

I saw him perform live very shortly after this recording was made but with a much smaller and more modest version of the band (Art Avalos, Kevin LaLiberte , Chris Church, and a female vocalist who's name escapes me). It was one of the very best concert experiences I have had. This recording at times lacks that intimacy that I remember. But for the most part, it captures the feeling and beauty of the music as I recall it performed live. Of course Jesse's guitar work is exceptional and the band is always terrific.

I did not understand the necessity of adding Danny Wilde's vocals later for "Fall at Your Feet", and personally I found it distracting knowing it was done that way. When I saw them perform this song live, they performed it without any electronic amplification. Chris Church and the very talented female vocalist (not Maryem Tollar as on this recording) did an outstanding job of singing and the feeling was beautiful, intimate and real. Nevertheless, it sounds beautiful on this recording. I cannot say enough about Chris Church's beautiful violin playing, he truly is a wonderful and inspired musician.

The only other pet peeve I have about this recording is when Jesse gets going very fast in those blazing parts of the solos; the pickup on the guitar that he uses for live performance just does not handle it too well! The tonality becomes drowned out by the percussive sound of the striking of the strings. I noticed this when I saw him live and thought it was a shame. Does Jesse mean for this to be the case?? Otherwise, his playing is outstanding and full of emotion. At times I have to just stop what I am doing and listen.

All in all, I feel that if you are a Jesse Cook fan, this CD is a must for your collection. If you have never heard his music before, buy Tempest, Gravity, Vertigo, or Free Fall first.
... Read more


7. La Semana
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Asin: B0002PYS38
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4515
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For the last five years, guitarist Ottmar Liebert has been regurgitating his career: variously re-recording, remixing, and remastering his older songs. Initially, La Semana, which translates as "The Week," sounds like a stylistic return to that early sound. No electronics, orchestras, or smooth jazz combos--only Liebert on multi-tracked guitar with bass, and percussion, just like on Nouveau Flamenco. Songs like "Caroussel" and "La Luna" feature Liebert's upbeat mix of deft, precisely picked melody and flamenco groove.But other tracks, notably "Cocteau," recall the quieter moods of The Hours Between Night & Day. As it moves along, La Semana gets trippy at the edges with snarly electric guitar textures on "Cave in My Heart" and trumpet bleats and backward ambiences on the expansive "Echoes of a Caress." Liebert stretches out on the asymmetric rhythms of "Longing" and creates a minimalist samba with poly-rhythmic palmas (hand-claps) and guitar strums on "Underworld."This is not only Liebert's first album of all-new materiel in five years, it's his most satisfying. --John Diliberto ... Read more


8. Friday Night in San Francisco
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Asin: B000002AHM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10691
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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This live recording from 1980 matched fusion guitar heavyweights Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin with Spanish guitar whiz Paco DeLucia. The result, a dazzling technical display, also earned jeers as the international summit of world-class finger-wigglers by critics who felt it was long on chops and short on heart. John McLaughlin's importance to the development of the jazz fusion scene can't be overestimated: as the guitarist on Miles Davis's seminal Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson, he was the first significant guitarist of the electric jazz era; on his own, he brought power rock, spiritualism, and lush orchestration to the scene via his Mahavishnu Orchestra. DiMeola, the most commercially successful next-generation fusion guitarist, achieved stardom with Chick Corea's group Return to Forever and on his own records. DeLucia, virtually unknown in the U.S., is a fine flamenco guitarist, and it is that orientation more than anything that colors Friday Night: even when playing straightforward non-flamenco compositions, the phrasing and sensibility lurks behind every note. Still, the passion of the music is frequently marred by the participants' inability to play at anything but the most breakneck pace. --Fred Goodman ... Read more

Reviews (49)

4-0 out of 5 stars Live Virtuosity!
I saw the Trio perform at the Warfield in San Francisco the night after they recorded this outstanding album. I've been to a fair number of concerts over the last thirty years, but that one is indelibly etched in my mind as the best by far that I ever saw. Another reviewer makes an excellent point in commenting that it's difficult if not impossible to capture completely the greatness of a live performance on record, and this album is no exception. As good as it is, the actual concert (or, at least Saturday night's version of it) was unbelievably good, with emotional depth some critics of the album say is missing on the recording. Never before or since, not even with future tours of the Trio, have I experienced such a magical interplay of performers, audience, and breathtaking sound quality. But "Frevo Rasgado" perhaps comes closest to capturing it. It's magnificent! I think McLaughlin's solo on this relatively obscure but wonderful piece is one of his finest ever, a stunning example of the kind of rare, preciously transcendent moment he says he lives for. His interplay with Paco throughout the piece is telepathic, and the ending will drop your jaw. If you're a guitar lover and don't have this album already, buy it. It's the next best thing to having been at one of the greatest concerts you ever did or didn't see.

5-0 out of 5 stars Energetic Improvisation
What happens when you bring together two great improv jazz guitarists and an incredible flamenco player? The answer is this album: an acoustical tour de force of flamenco and Latin flavored jazz tunes. Three great guitarists, each in their own right, come together to provide a little over forty minutes of mind blowing music.

John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola are improvisational giants with a great understanding of the music that they are playing and seem to be able to play new ideas with simple ease, always surprising to the listener. Paco de Lucia had never strayed from the proper form of flamenco music before joining his compatriots on this album. Night after night of trying to play the notes that reflected his feelings, instead of the same way each time, left Lucia with headaches after each show. The improvisational skills Lucia learned from these two masters would help him change flamenco to reach a wider audience.

The album opens with "Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho", a powerful duet between DeLucia and DiMeola that explores lightning fast runs and a flamenco style rhythms. This is the showcase tune of the album, which turns out to be more of a cutting contest of seeing who can play their phrase the fastest. Nevertheless, this is still a fun piece to listen to. DiMeola and McLaughlin team up for a cover of Chick Corea's "Short Tales of the Black Forest". "Frevo Rasgado" finds McLaughlin and DeLucia trading phrases at blinding speed. This was the piece that piqued my interested in this album. Very flamenco sounding. All three get together to play the remaining two songs. "Fantasia Suite" is simply amazing. There isn't a dud on this album.

Normally, I will purchase a live album over a studio because the performers play at a higher energy level. Although this is true with Friday Night in San Francisco, there are parts where the audience is too loud and drowns out the musicians. Hearing adults "shushing" is annoying, and reminds me of being in school.

If you like great guitar playing, especially with a flamenco sound, definitely purchase this album. Your jaw will drop and your head spin trying to comprehend how fast these three virtuosos play.

5-0 out of 5 stars To the guy who thinks this is a poor recording....
You're joking right?!! Technical proficiency is not a sign of poor playing, you moron! The fact that each one of these incredibly talented musicians is able to PLAY WITH EACH OTHER is already saying so much about their abilities. If you actually gave the recording a good listen, which you obviously didn't, you would notice that the quiet, slow sections are just as beautiful, if not more so, than the lyrical, speedy sections. Frankly, if you were really a musician, or knew anything about music at all, you would realize that the mark of a great musician, is the ability to play softly, and slowly. You sound like a jaded Berklee student who is trying to find himself and is so insecure in your own inability to develop a sound you have to crap on other people. Oh and by the way...the pressence of arpeggios is included in only about 1/1,000,000 of the playing, most of the runs that Paco plays are augmented, but maybe you skipped that class at music school.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lets Play Extremely Fast Scales Over Paco's Arpeggios!
If you love to hear extremely fast scales being played up and down, up and down, up and down over relatively simple chord changes then you will love this. (It also sounds like they are using the same scales, not much variation.)

It was very surprising to me that these brilliant musicians did this. Where was the importance of trying to convey a mood? Or the subtle sophistication that great musicians possess?

If you're a musician who's advanced musically beyond being dazzled by very fast technique than you would be better to go and check out a musician who really knows how to make the guitar speak, "Moro". A classical guitarist with an enchanting original musical ability. See MoroMusic.com

To sum up this recording: Three 115 Ampere sewing machines plugged into 220 Ampere outlets. Unbelievable...

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss the point.
I first heard this on vinyl. Properly awed, I promptly listened to all the other instrumental guitar music I could find. Now, twenty years or so later, I'd challenge critics: Name the OTHER acoustic guitar recording that even meets, let alone surpasses, the standard set by "Friday Night in San Francisco." I love Leo Kottke and Allan Holdsworth and Phil Keaggy and all the rest, but this is still the pre-eminent acoustic recording.
Here are two points to consider:
(1) Critics talk about the emotion and beauty being lost in the fireworks. Certainly the fireworks take up the majority of the CD, but listen again to the quiet moment right before the conclusion of "Short Tales of the Black Forest," where one of the guitarists even tells the rowdy crowd, "Shut up, now" (and, by the way, when was the last time you heard a live performer have to tell the crowd to curb its enthusiasm?). Or what about the haunting, eerie melody of the middle section of "Fantasia Suite"? You'll hear it in your dreams.
So, first of all, this recording does have the "beautiful" moments. But that leads into the second response:
(2) Don't miss the point! This is not supposed to be a meditative hour to play in the background while you eat your tofu meat loaf. These three guitarists clearly wanted to have fun with each other, to provoke each other to better performance, and, primarily, to blow away the listener who never thought acoustic guitar could sound remotely like this. If judged by these criteria, "Friday Night in San Francisco" deserves seven or eight stars instead of five. ... Read more


9. Legends of Gypsy Flamenco
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Asin: B000058T8K
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4643
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The real deal
No one does flamenco better than the gypsies. The artists on this cd are renown flamenco musicians/performers. This is high caliber stuff we have here, ladies and gentlemen. What you will hear here is what the performers do for themselves after the tourists have gone away. Like what we do here in Sevilla on the weekends in our courtyards with just family and friends. Pure flamenco with soul and passion, no commercial performances for the tourists. This is a great cd with famous artists and "Legends of Gypsy Flamenco II" follows in its footsteps. I would highly recommend starting here for people who are beginning to listen to flamenco music before they hear "nouveau flamenco".

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Flamenco
It's good to hear a disc of traditional sounding acoustic flamenco music unpolluted by electric or electronic instruments and fusion hybrids.

5-0 out of 5 stars Folk Flamenco, Down and Dirty
This is a great introduction to the true flamenco. The flamenco sung in the coffee shops long after hours, when the singers, dancers and musicians are doing it for themselves, not for the tourists. Of course, there are some studio recordings here, but you do get a sense of the real folk flamenco. Of particular interest to me are the tracks by La Paquera De Jerez and Manitas De Plata. La Paquera De Jerez is something of a female counterpoint to Camaron de la Isla, a voice that cuts through the ordinary and carves out a niche of its own. Yes, it's unfortunate that Camaron is not represented on this CD, there are others, too, but this is a good representation anyway. Listen to track 6, "Temple Y Alma". Who are the back-up guitarists? There aren't any. That's the point. There is no overdubbing either. That's Mantias De Plata. Move over Andres Segovia, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards... There are other guitarists out there! ... Read more


10. Cositas Buenas
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Asin: B000174LVQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3829
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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For four decades, Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia's jazzy, Mephisto-liketechnique redefined flamenco. This CD, which means "Good Small Things," isde Lucia’s first release in five years, and it's been worth the wait. Most of theeight tracks feature just de Lucia, a chorus of vocalists, percussion, andthe zesty handclaps called palmas.Lucia and company take you throughthe Moorish, Jewish, and Gypsy inventions and dimensions of flamenco, fromthe buleria "Patio Custodio" and the torrid tientos "ElTesorillo" to themoody, mid-tempo buleria por solea "Antonia."Guitarists Juan D’ Anyelica and Tomatito join de Lucia on "El Dengue," and"Que Vengo el Alba," which also features a vocal track from the late singerCamaron de la Isla. The last song, "Casa Bernardo," with bassist AlainPerez, jazz trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez, and Latin pop star Alejandro Sanz onthe guitar-like tres, foreshadows the future of this ancient andinventive art form.--Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Master Returns
I had the great privilege of seeing Paco perform at UCLA a few months back, and it was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life. Paco de Lucia is, indisputably, a visionary of flamenco, the guitar and music.

Cositas Buenas is a very good album. There are a few tracks that feel a little too "smooth" to me, but overall, they are what I've come to expect out of Paco--perfection. As he's gotten older, his music has gained maturity, so he's not as concerned with nonstop 128th notes as much as the overall structure of the music, and he has been going in this direction for the last decade or so.

It's a very melodic album, to be sure, and I think he utilizes vocals and compas-clapping more than in his previous albums. Listening to Paco play his guitar, it is so evident that he has long since gained a complete control over the technical aspects of it, and subsequently, can bend the will of his instrument in whatever way he sees fit to advance the music. Always a visionary, Paco's superhuman musical abilities allow him to create music that is simply impossible for most people to play (a nice aspiration for those of us who play flamenco to dream of). This kind of skillful and subtle technique is especially evident in such tracks as Antonia (a buleria por solea) and El Tesorillo (tientos) very beautiful, deep tracks that embody the essence of Paco's contribution to flamenco. I also really like Casa Bernardo (rumba), which showcases Paco's tightly-knit band working together in harmony very well. Dig that sax! It's inspiring to know that not only is the man himself amazing, but so is the rest of his group, and I can tell you, from seeing them live, that they have an almost telepathic-like connection, full of energy and spirit.

I don't think it is quite as good or solemn as his previous album, Luzia, which was dedicated to his mother, but that's pretty hard to top.

5-0 out of 5 stars cositas buenas, indeed...
This recording is nothing less than astonishing.
Whether the listener is a flamenco guitar snob, a lover vying for seduction, a lonely adolescent, Joe lunchbox cruising down the highway, a too-cool college babe, or a hopelessly romantic cubicle rabbit like myself, this is very satisfying and inspiring music. Life getting you down? This will turn your head around, strike lightning in your soul. Shrinks should prescribe this music instead of Prozac.
An incredible vitality infuses these recordings, very upbeat. Especially track 7 (Que venga el alba, or Here comes the dawn) with Tomatito and Camaron playing with Paco (the ghost of Camaron visits, thanks to modern technology) - it made the hair stand up on my neck. Even with the little easy-listening lounge piece at the end, Paco pulls it off nicely, flamenco purists be damned.
In these tragic and cynical times (as of this writing, another bomb in Baghdad killing 21 today), it is so refreshing that wonderful and surprising things can still happen in our lives, like this latest music from Paco. How someone as good as Paco de Lucia can continue to improve is a marvel to witness. With these original pieces, the "Good Little Things" (Cositas Buenas) is a humble understatement. This is a masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is really weird . . .
. . . I initially felt I wouldn't like this disc. After all, I didn't want vocals, "palmas" (handclaps), and various other distractions.

Yet what the inimitable Paco de Lucia has done here is to definitively demonstrate the absolutely essential role vocals, "palmas," and percussion play in Flamenco music.

These seemingly extraneous elements provide the rhythmic ground and metrical interest that serve to invest Flamenco music with the energy that makes is so special--even unique--among world musics.

No, we DON'T just want to hear the guitar going off; we want, instead, to hear the guitar situated in a rhythmic context that both frames it and provides it with the occasion to shine.

That is the genius of the absolutely remarkable and even revelatory disc: Paco de Lucia has completely understood and imagined the optimal setting for his spectacular music and rendered it with a faithfulness and lucidity seldom if ever encountered before.

Pass this one up at your peril.

5-0 out of 5 stars Totally flamenco, complete mastery
I had to shake my head when I read one of the reviews expressing disappointment, even though the reviewer's disappointment was due to misinformed expectations. I hasten to add, however, that that misinformation is likely not the reviewer's fault.

The ultimate authority for American English, the Merriam Webster Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, defines "flamenco" as "a vigorous rhythmic dance style of the Andalusian Gypsies," or "a dance in this style," or "music or song accompanying or suitable to accompany such a dance..."

Contrast that with the ultimate authority on the Spanish language in Spain, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, published by the Royal Spanish Academy. Among many other meanings, it gives this definition of the art: "[as an adjective] Indicating that which is Andalusian and which tends to reflect Gypsy characteristics. [as a noun] - Andalusian song or singing, the style or feeling, [of] the category FLAMENCO." (My own translation.) So note carefully: In its country of origin, "flamenco" is first and foremost a type of singing, not dance or guitar; it is "Andalusian" and not just "Gypsy" (which is included in the idea of "Andalusian"); and it literally goes without saying that dance and guitar are included.

Considering Merriam Webster's misinformation, it's no surprise that the disappointed reviewer criticized this album as showcasing the singing rather than the guitar - even though it doesn't: when the singing is up-front on an album the guitar stands well to the back, not what Paco does here. But it remains that the singing IS flamenco. That's part of what makes Paco so flamenco: He is the most "complete" guitarist in flamenco's history. He knows accompaniment backwards and forwards, both for the singing and the dance; his rhythm is always driving and flawless; his technique is complete and unexcelled; and he has incredible creativity. But what keeps that creativity so "flamenco" is Paco's thorough knowledge of the singing. In fact, there's never been a flamenco guitar soloist worth a damn who was not first an accompanist.

This album is superb, probably the finest album Paco's put out since the seventies. It combines old with new in wonderfully subtle ways, and is filled with surprises even for the most knowledgeable aficionados - but that was obviously one of Paco's goals in doing this album. For example, even though Paco has complete mastery of all the many flamenco guitar techniques, the one for which he is most noted is his powerful yet blindingly fast picado ("scale runs"). Yet on this album he hardly uses any - and it STILL rocks! The thumb technique on the first cut, one of several bulerías, is both mind-boggling and just incredibly "flamenco". It is in this first cut that the singing tells us something: The last verse says that there's an impromptu party with seven people, some to sing, some to dance, and Uh Oh! we forgot to bring a guitarist. "No problem" Paco joins in the chorus, "just play hand claps!" (The hand clapping in flamenco is an art in itself and requires a thorough knowledge of the particular rhythms - and Paco's right, you can accompany everything without guitar just using hand claps.)

The second cut, the title cut and a tangos, begins so simply but builds to explosive proportions. (The flamenco tangos are derived from Afro-Cuban rhythms brought back to Spain in the 19th century, very different from the Argentine variety.) The Gypsy singer says "for as much as you loved me, for as much as you adored me, and as much as I used to value that, now I value nothing; so the pains that you give me are not pains but good little things ('cositas buenas')".

The third is a soleá por bulería with incredible power and texture. Here Paco sings again to his own accompaniment, for as his song tells us, "Neither pain nor joy can exist without song, so that's why there's more singers than drops of water in the sea and grains of sand in the desert." The fourth and last cuts are the obligatory rumbas for the crowds - excellent but still my least favorites, and are certainly the least "flamenco" on the album. The fifth cut is my personal favorite, a meticulously metered bulería that is filled with surprises and joy - you can actually feel the smiles of Paco and his accompanists. The seventh cut is also a bulería, but with Tomatito as second guitarist (and Paco is the only guitarist for whom Tomatito will play second guitar) accompanying a previously unpublished recording of the deceased Camarón - rather spooky, and with more never before done flourishes on the guitar, this time using rasgueados. And the sixth cut is a tiento (a type of slow, slightly differently inflected tango) done in a manner that is completely different than any tiento done before. It's a revelation in itself, and the singer, El Cigala, returns to the theme of the album: "Come sit at my side because I have to tell you about an ocean of good little things."

So there's nothing on this album to be disappointed about. It's filled with surprises for the die-hard aficionado - but those surprises are completely lost unless the listener has a sufficient base of knowledge against which to compare. This is not Paco with DiMeola and McLaughlin, which period in Paco's career was actually a segue for the purpose of expanding his own knowledge. Paco wanted to learn jazz and other concepts since he had done everything in flamenco and needed to be revitalized. He brought those ideas back to the fold of flamenco, refined and then reshaped them. Rhythmically, jazz and rock had little to offer flamenco - actually, quite the reverse. What jazz in particular did have to offer was a great harmonic expansion, and Paco has taken full advantage of that knowledge, transforming and tremendously enlarging flamenco's harmonic scope in the process. And now he has completely absorbed that knowledge and brings to us these wonderful, "good little things," these Cositas Buenas.

4-0 out of 5 stars An unaffected beauty infuses this CD
What a striking CD this is! It is easy to stand in awe of De Lucia when you listen to him with Al De Meola, but until you get down to him in his own element, flamenco, you just don't appreciate what a compelling and passionate musicians he is.
This is not a set of fireworks, but more the smoldering intensely passionate burning of a heart and soul dedicated to a sublime expression of the human heart. Acoompanied simply by the handclapping palmas and the singing of a small chorus, this is an intimate recording, not a big production showcase, and thus comes its seductive allure.
Images of women dancing flamenco will whirl through your imagination. intercut with reflections on Spain's Sephardic and Moorish cultural vestiges. Soul music of the most sublime order! Throughout it is as though you do not even notice the craft and skill of De Lucia's fretwork, fingering and plectum; yet, in the end he has nourished your soul in ways you were unprepared for and unaware of.
If you are an afficianado of flamenco, I can't imagine that you will find a finer exposition than this CD. If you have an avocation for world music, this is a master expressing himself with such power and grace that you must pick this up. ... Read more


11. Masters of Flamenco Guitar
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B000005HA9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9873
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Many subtly varied kinds of music fall under the rubric of flamenco, which is a style of singing, dancing, and even living, as well as playing the guitar. This collection presents a good guitar selection, highlighted by the polished technique of Sabicas, the profundity of Manolo de Huelva, and the sheer brilliance of Melchor de Marchena. There is a drastic change of atmosphere in the transition from track 10 (a zapateado played by Nino Ricardo) to track 11: Manolo de Huelva accompanying the voice of Manuel Vallejo. Suddenly we are in a cuadro, the natural environment of flamenco, with a group of participants clapping, stamping their feet, and shouting encouragement to the musicians. No longer is it just a man sitting alone on a stage or in a studio, playing the guitar fluently and flawlessly; this is cante hondo, the heart of flamenco, intense and astringent, and the best of this disc's many flavors. --Joe McLellan ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars For all lovers of true Flamenco
With all the 'Neuvo Flamenco' and its accompaning popularity. It is nice (and a relief) I might add, to hear the flamenco guitar in its purist form. Not only does this cd contain Sabicas and Nino Ricardo. It also contains four very rare perfomances by Manolo de Huelva. Which are difficult to find anywhere. Also included are Melchor de Marchena performing six pieces. This is truly Pure Flamenco at its best.

3-0 out of 5 stars Carlos Montoya
to the reviewer who asked if anyone heard of Carlos Montoya. I not only have heard of him but i saw him in person perform at Miss State University for a Lyceum event.It was about 1960. I have never seen anything like it, one man on a stool all alone, and music and percusion sounds from his finger nails and fingers that is not describable, you have to be there to understand. That one evening turned me into a true flamingo fan, but I have never found anything that compares to Carlos Montoya. He was spiritually moving.

2-0 out of 5 stars Have you heard of???
To all of those who have heard many flamenco styles. I have but one individual. do you remember Carlos Montoya Let me know if you have any music of him. he is a rare bred indeed. I learned to play his music when i was but 12 Hope someone has heard of him He was discribed has having the fastest fingers in the world. Ty

5-0 out of 5 stars RAW, hard core, Flamenco Guitar!!!
If you are looking for something along the lines of Gypsy Soul (HIGHLY recommend it) or Gypsy Passion (also wonderful music), which I was, this most likely is not one for you.

This is R-A-W & hard core Flamenco guitar without much, if any, other vocal or instrumental accompaniment. I guess, the title says it all.

The masters can sure "pick'em".

I am warming up to it......slowly ;-).

5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!
absolutely wonderful. this cd is just what i was looking for. beautiful music performed by some of the most talented artists i have ever heard. this is a treasure. OLE'! ... Read more


12. Barcelona Nights: The Best of Ottmar Liebert, Vol. 1
list price: $17.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059T5L
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2668
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This compilation project's official title is already longenough, but for true accuracy it should read, The Best of OttmarLiebert's First Two Recordings, Volume 1. Barcelona Nightsstrings together the more upbeat and animated selections from his twoearliest recordings, Nouveau Flamenco (hisfamed debut) and Borrasca (plus onetrack, "Festival," from Poets and Angels). Thepackage serves as the first installment in a two-disc series; thesubsequent Surrender to Love will patch together romanticallyinclined selections of those early 1990s recordings. It's the samemusic, but with different sequencing and different packaging. As such,it offers graceful and pleasant listening, though the similarity intempos gives the disc a slightly homogenous feel. Many like-mindedguitarists have traveled the path that Liebert originally blazed, andBarcelona Nights offers an appealing reminder of the qualitiesthat elicited such a huge initial reception: nimble, articulatefingerwork; charming, uncomplicated melodies; and just enough flamencoauthenticity to convince maturing pop listeners that they haddiscovered something exotic. Highlights include the beckoning cheer ofthe well-known title track, and the earnest, uplifting energy ofanother early hit, "Heart Still/Beating." --Terry Wood ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice melodies, very beautiful music from the guitar great.
This music is very relaxing to listen to. I'm a big fan of Liebert's, so I knew that this would be a great album even before I listened to it...and I was right. It is not your typical Liebert flamenco album but should be given a listen none the less. Check it out, I don't think you'll be disappointed at all.

4-0 out of 5 stars don't listen to the fanatics
I read reviews from fans of traditional flamenco. One objection was that these songs are instrumental. The alternate artists recommended were indeed great guitar players, but the singing in some cases was comparable to a cat being electrocuted. This may not be "real" flamenco music, but it is wonderful music in its own right.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Ottmar and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...I also downloaded some of the free MP3 downloads that are available on Amazon.com.
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Ottmar Liebert fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice music, Ottmar is very talented!
I don't understand why people so closed mind, this is new millenium, think out of the box, there is no right or wrong about music, there's only about good or bad, who really care about so called "real" Flamenco, as long as easy listening, and creative, I think Liebert is very talented. I like "Barcelona Nights" very much, I play it in my car, at home, never tired of listening. Keep up your good work, Liebert, play more new song!

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't bother.
Disappointing all the way. You can call Mr. Leibert a sort of 'Yanni' of the guitar. Need I say more? ... Read more


13. Guitar Trio: Paco de Lucia/John McLaughlin/Al Di Meola
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B000004756
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11918
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This was only the second recording for the Guitar Trio, coming a full 16 years after 1980's Friday Night in San Francisco, but it's a fitting sequel. Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola, and John McLaughlin once again demonstrate extraordinary virtuosity, accelerated runs tumbling over one another until identities blur. Repeated listening, however, starts to focus on the subtle differences in nuance, especially in the compositions. Though DeLucia grew up in a tradition of Spanish flamenco guitar, Brazilian rhythmic touches often appear in his work, beginning with the opening "Estiba." The American Di Meola seems influenced by music of the Middle East ("Beyond the Mirage"), and the English McLaughlin has strong affinities with the music of Northern India, most apparent here in his "Letter from India." Ultimately, the impression of dazzling techniques gives way, revealing the group's deeper empathy. --Adam Rains ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's not Friday Night in San Francisco.... but still great
Okay, so the energy that was there in FNiSF is not present here... but how could you expect that without it being live?

The three guitarists hold back on some of the tracks here, and while they still have amazing technique and showcase it often, there are slower moments here. This may make it "boring" to those that expect it to burn thoughout as with FNiSF, however for the true fan of the acoustic guitar, this album never fails.

It is obvious that the three have come a long way (at least in their compositions), as they are far more sophisticated than in their previous recordings. Two songs from Al's "The Infinite Desire" are here, and a third, "Espirutu" which adds some percussion to the guitars. Paco adds two strong flamenco pieces, of which I preffered the uplifting "Cardeosa". John's fun "Midsummer Night" brings back some of the energy of FNiSF and is a highlight of the CD, while his other two compositions (particularly Letter from India) are also very good. Finally, John and Al play the beautiful Manha de Carnaval, the slowest piece here.

If you're not a fan of flamenco/jazz, or are expecting the same energy as showcased in Friday Night in San Francisco, don't buy this.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some flaws, but worth the price
When I heard that McLaughlin, Dimeola and De Lucia had once again picked up their guitars together, I could barely contain my excitement. Friday Night in San Francisco is one of the most magical guitar albums I have ever heard. Though the trio has, on this record, certainly not lost any of the virtuosity of the 1980 release, and has in many way improved the quality of composition and the maturity of the music, they have failed to recapture the excitement of that one night in San Francisco. That being said, the technical mastery of their instruments alone is worth the price of the album and still I cannot help but be awed by the brilliance displayed in the performances. I have played for 25 years now and can never hope to match the level these three men have attained. They are phenomenal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful, someone help me out though
We all know how brilliant and hard working each of these musicians are and it shows in the music. I fully recommend the album and due to my love for Eastern and more specifically Indian music, I enjoy the piece, "A letter from India" the most. Does someone know where I can get the sheet music to this cd though? I really want to get it and play with some friends of mine but I haven't found any yet. If you know anything, please Email me at Changewiththeseasons@hotmail.com.
Yea, long mail I know.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and beautiful...
"Friday Night in San Francisco" is both among one of the greatest live recordings of all time and among the greatest classical/flamenco guitar recordings ever. The interplay is stunning between John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, and Paco De Lucia, three of the greatest musical geniuses of our time (and I do not say that lightly...the music these three produce on their own is always full of rich texture, technical brilliance, and musical quality). This '96 recording, while not possessing the same magic as the "Friday Night..." recording (how could it, when that was one of those magical nights when everything looks, sounds, and FEELS good?), is still a wonderful piece of work. It's clear that between these three guitarists is a rapport that stands the test of time, a collaboration the likes of which most bands can only strive for, that sense of mutual cooperation and enjoyment that just enhances the goodness of the music they make. Each person has their moment to shine, either as a soloist, or as a songwriter. I am partial to "Espiritu" and "Azzura," both penned by Al DiMeola, but the opening track, "La Estiba" by Paco De Lucia tells you, right away from the first notes that this is going to be a beautiful listening experience.
This is the kind of music for any occasion. Need background music for a party? This is perfect. Need to unwind after a long day at work? Or maybe you need something to hear while at work? Pop this in. Need to feel good after feeling bad? This music will do it. This is the kind of album that reminds us why we love music in the first place. Of course nothing can rival or compare to "Friday Night...", but this comes in at a close second, and it should belong in any true music lover's collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
"The Guitar Trio" of Paco De Lucia, Al DiMeola, and John McLaughlin join together again to perform their magic again with this stunning album. Although it has the same premise as their "Friday Night Live In San Francisco", there are some big differences. One, it's not live, and two, twenty years have passed. Although it is missing a bit of that live energy, this is an incredible album.

The Trio work well together taking turns soloing over the tune. The liner notes are kind enough to tell which of the guitar virtuosos is taking the solo. On most of the tunes, they each take one solo. Not only do they share the solo work, the share the composition work each taking the pen to write several songs each. The playing moves from fast and furious, to slow and peaceful. The rhythms are almost all Latin with a flamenco feel to them. "Le Monastere Dans Les Montagnes" is a good representation of both of these feels. The song is sometimes quiet, and nearly passive, and then with a burst of finger, the notes leap out at you in a rapid fire pace. The album opens with a very flamenco sounding "La Estiba". Add in highlights like "Midsummer Night", "Manha De Carnaval" and "Espiritu" you can't go wrong with this album.

Once again, these three show the unique chemistry they have between them. It would have been interesting to see how this album faired if it was recorded live. These guys get better with each passing year, and I look forward to their next collaboration. This should definitely be added to your Trio collection. ... Read more


14. Cafe Romantico
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0006SSN1Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9835
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Music.... but
I like Armik's music and his style, it's very unique and beautiful.
The reason he gets 4 stars but not 5, because an artist like him must have a better website. I recommend getting this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Music!
I have always loved Armik's music and this album was not dissapointing either! The song are absolutely beautiful, they crawled under my skin right away. Being a belly dance artist, I really appreciate Armik's music when I dance a Gypsy style piece! Thanks...
Adry
www.AdrySvraka.com ... Read more


15. Romantic Dreams
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0000E331D
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7493
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Armik and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Armik fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars MUSIC TO SOAR TO!
Armik has captured my heart with his beautiful, romantic, passionate, exquisite flamenco guitar artistry. I've wanted to review ROMANTIC DREAMS for awhile now but is much more pleasurable to listen over and over. Here is another of a very few cds that I struggle to find words to describe the beauty and what it does to my heart. I can say truly that ROMANTIC DREAMS is a cd that anyone who appreciates romantic, soul-stirring, skillful guitar playing full of wonder, compassion, joy, peace and a deep abiding happiness should Definitely own. I've listened to this cd so many times I've lost count. Every time is like the first time--new, fresh, inviting, gorgeous and oh so romantic. Every track is amazing and cresendos deeper into ecstasy with each passing note. My favorite track is "Love Letters." This cd will be with me Forever. ROMANTIC DREAMS...so appropriately titled. Let it take you away to visions of love that may indeed someday come to pass...

Soar!

5-0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY THE BEST
SIX STARS! I have been a long time Armik's nuoveau flamenco fan and have every CD he has released todate. I have simply run out of superlatives. If you don't have one of his CDs in your collection you are missing something special in life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Showcasing guitar prodigy Armik
Romantic Dreams is the ninth music CD recording showcasing guitar prodigy Armik -- who has also incorporated his love of flamenco scales in his outstanding and flawlessly recorded performances. An adventurous experiment in expressing the feeling of romantic love by mixing elements of Latin, flamenco, and jazz into a luminous whole, Romantic Dreams is a treasure to listen to and share. The individual tracks comprising Romantic Dreams include Moments (4:57), Fantasia (4:37), Slow Dancing (4:41), Secret Whispers (5:07), Moonlight Cafe (4:43), Love Letters (5:13), Treasure Island (4:36), Your Touch (5:12), Ocean Breeze (4:35), Amor (2:54), and the title piece, Romantic Dreams (4:51).

5-0 out of 5 stars A discovered treasure!
I overheard the title cut from this CD while shopping. I was mesmerized by it. It was romantic, exotic, captivating and it made you want to move to the beautiful music. I took a chance on the CD and artist with just one song and I'm so glad I did. Until I bought the CD I was totally unaware of the genre 'flamenco nuevo'. The instrumental guitarist, Armik has really made an extrodinary recording. All 11 tracks are incredible and it lives up to it's billing as 'breath-taking and passionate compositions inspired by love and romance'! It will get a lot of playing time! ... Read more


16. Guitar Greats: The Best of New Flamenco
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00004TZB2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7772
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Having witnessed the rise of Tango Nuevo, the refurbishing of Argentina's best-known native music by bandoneon maestro Astor Piazzolla, listeners might muse a bit that "New Flamenco" is an odd renovation to the Spanish guitar music's storied traditions. Odd or not, the music is certainly popular. Guitar Greats: The Best of New Flamenco shares the floor with other compilations of contemporary artists working in the tradition, specifically Narada's Viva Flamenco! and its roster of guitarists playing along with keyboards, drums, and other textures. So the "New Flamenco" isn't a burnishing or rootsy exploration in the vein of Piazzolla. Instead, Ottmar Liebert, Strunz & Farah, Oscar Lopez, Luis Villegas, and eight more artists examine on Guitar Greats how Flamenco shakes the hand of pan-Ethnic music, New Age ambience, and--of course--virtuoso guitar playing. Some of the best moments here belong not to Liebert or Strunz & Farah, though. Dan Young & Lawson Rollins sound dizzying and rhythmically potent on "Scorpion," as does Luis Villegas on "Spider Hugs," with its irresistibly parading rhythmic intensity. Guitar Greats will likely sound old hat to many of the music's enthusiasts, but it'll easily win Flamenco converts.--Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure flamenco or not... enjoy it ! Dance in your car!
*Guitar Greats, The Best of New Flamenco* at first sight might look like one of those 'Various Artists' loss leader compilations you see on Info-mercials or UHF stations at two in the morning. Or you might mistake it for the traditional, Segovia version of flamenco.

But NOoooooooooo! This disc is really quite good! It is a fine collection of energetic, up-tempo, well-rendered and well-sequenced songs in the 'nuevo flamenco' style. Contributions from Govi, Young & Rollins, Strunz & Farah, Ottmar Liebert, Nova Menco, Oscar Lopez, and other artists make it first rate.

I'll guarantee it. Most of these tunes will cause you to dance in your car or your office chair, or just plain get up and dance.

My spouse brought it home after hearing it playing in Borders. We soon discovered this is great car-driving music, especially with the sunroof and windows open, hair flowing in the wind.

I recommend you purchase this CD and put it in your player. It will make your house dusting a little more exciting and go a lot faster. Or you can always put on your best peasant girl outfit, clench a rose between your teeth and let the music carry you away...

5-0 out of 5 stars Acoustics ... the Art of Listening
These 2 months marked my entry into a new genre of musical enchantment. I used to like pop, rock and jazz (still do), but a chance introduction to the romantic and seductive sounds made simply by an acoustic guitar got my motors firing on all cylinders...

I am totally mesmerised and i've fallen in love with the music of the acoustic guitars. I hv. NEVER heard any of these masterful artistes' names ever before in this GREAT album. The music from this album earns 100 stars! (out of five)

Thereon, I have purchased more CDs than i've previously did in 10 months! In a short two months, i've collected the following albums;

Jesse Cook:- "Free Fall" "Vertigo" and "Gravity"

Ottmar Liebert:- "Innamorare - Summer Flamenco"

Armik:- "Rubia" "Rosas del Amor" and "Gypsy Flame"

Oscar Lopez:- "Armando's Fire"

Next, I'm planning to purchase a couple from "Govi"... Is this testimony enough that "Guitar Greats - The Best Of New Flamenco" is a superbly GREAT buy?

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Invigorating!
This CD is absolutely fantastic!!! I have been listening to this almost everyday since I bought this a few months back. Its really great, especially after a long day at work - a fabulous way to unwind..it totally transforms your mood. Its soothing and at the same time invigorating, very rarely can something be both.

Also goes well with a glass of wine, with a book, for a nice evening with your partner, almost anything!! Even my 10 month old daughter just loves it!

And, oh yes, the guitar work is stupendous, out of the world - if you are a guitar aficionado, you GOT TO HAVE THIS.

Worth its weight in gold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Invigorating
This CD is absolutely fantastic!!! I have been listening to this almost everyday since I bought this a few months back. Its really great, especially after a long day at work - a fabulous way to unwind..it totally transforms your mood. Its soothing and at the same time invigorating, very rarely can something be both.

Also goes well with a glass of wine, with a book, for a nice evening with your partner, almost anything!! Even my 10 month old daughter just loves it!

And, oh yes, the guitar work is stupendous, out of the world - if you are a guitar aficionado, you GOT TO HAVE THIS.

Worth its weight in gold.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Lesson
Flamenco solo guitar has always been innovative ever since Ramon Montoya (the father of flamenco solo guitar) started to include classical guitar techniques in the beginning of the 1900's.

Then came Sabicas and Niño Ricardo who by todays standard are considered 'traditional' or 'classic'.

Then in the 70's came Serranito, Paco de Lucia and Manolo Sanlúcar that started to mix influences from other musical styles into flamenco and are the founders to what is modern flamenco solo guitar today.

Countless young guitarists have been influenced by these three guitarists; Tomatito, Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Núñez, Juan Manuel Cañizares.

Just listen to any of the above mentioned guitarists before being duped into buying this poor excuse of a record. ... Read more


17. The Hours Between Night & Day
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000294W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8926
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars THIS MUSIC UNFOLDS!
Of all the music Ottmar has produced over the past 10 years, this is his finest. The musical and emotional depth of this work is remarkable. Upon the first listening I found myself becoming more and more engaged as I was being drawn through this musical journey "...between night & day." It's even better after repeated listenings! I'm still listening 5 years later. -Mark

5-0 out of 5 stars My Family FAVORITE
This was the first cd by Ottmar that I purchased 3 yrs ago & I fell in love with this music! Since then, I have played it every night as I put my kids to bed --they would fall asleep listening to this beautiful calming music and I would have a wonderful evening just listening to it. We recently moved and it was temporarily "lost" but we found it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome, seductive and relaxing
OMG it couldn't be better. The music is relaxing and seductive at the same time. It is the type of music you can play during a perfect romantic dinner, or the one that you can play while you are working and not get distracted. The guitars are just awesome.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Ottmar's greatest triumph!
I happen to be quite a Liebert aficianado and I think that this album represents the hands-down best work he has ever done in his career. The haunting beauty of his Spanish guitar is here tempered with a charming lightheartedness that was no doubt inspired by the East-Indian locale. Works such as Neon-Ghost Sensei provide just the right touch of the experimental Ottmar that we experience in Opium. Alternately fiery and mellow, but always beautiful, Ottmar's composition and playing here display their strongest synergy. I HIGHLY recommend it, if you buy just one instrumental album in your life, you're reading its review.

5-0 out of 5 stars Warm and engaging
I am a devoted Ottmar Liebert fan, and have purchased all of his disks. While I savor most,this (I believe his first) remains my favorite.

It is elegant,and rivetting: Soft, sensual, Latin American inspired acoustical guitar. While it might seem the perfect background music for relaxing with a book and a glass of wine, you will find yourself putting down the book and closing your eyes in order to devote your full concentration to appreciating this work. ... Read more


18. Cantos de Amor
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000009MUO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8120
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

The multi-million selling Gipsy Kings showcase the romantic side of their repertoire with "Cantos de Amor," drawing from their extensive catalogue of albums to date. Many favorite songs including "Un Amor," "Tu Quieres Volver," and "Love and Liberte" are featured, as well as the previously unreleased "Gitano Soy." Gentle but passionate is the tone of these 15 tracks, including several instrumentals, and where the Gipsy Kings may use polished production values, the music of this Gitane gypsy troupe retains the drama and sensuality of their roots. Flamenco style guitars and fervent vocals make this the ideal seductive backdrop, or a backdrop to seduction, understandable across all language and cultural borders. --Derek Rath ... Read more

Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars This CD oozes love in all its forms.
Despite owning 'The Best of the Gypsy Kings' and 'Tierra Gitana', I liked this CD because it sets a mood. Compilation CDs are never a good idea if you own the majority of the artist's work, but if like me, you only have a couple, then this CD is a very good buy. Whether you are in love, want to be in love, or wish you weren't, there's something for you on this CD. I love the pain expressed in Trista Pena and Gitano Soy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Gypsy Kings and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...I also downloaded some of the free MP3 downloads that are available on Amazon.com.
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Gypsy Kings fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Sampler
The Gipsy Kings, who sing mostly in Spanish and apparently live and record in France -- go figure --, are incredibly prolific. Unless one is insatiable for lots of flamenco guitar and gypsy music, the collections, either this one or best of or both, will probably suffice. The disc includes a couple instrumentals and, as the title suggests, all the songs are of love, frequently the leaving kind of love (both leaver -- No Volvere -- and left -- Tu Quieres Volver). My single favorite is the lilting Caminando Por la Calle, love at first beat and some wonderful la-la vocalizing. Other picks: Mi Corazon, Hable Me, Mujer. Some will be interested to know that My Way (A Mi Manera) is better in Spanish, but not by much. Overall, very enjoyable music.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT
THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THE KINGS ARE THE KINGS O FLAMENCO.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gipsy kings are the BEST
All the Gipsy kings albums are great, this one being my favorite. The gipsy kings have a sound like no other. They always relax me and make me feel better. This album is so sensual and romantic. I give this album 5 stars++++++++. ... Read more


19. Flamenco on Fire
list price: $7.98
our price: $7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000I0GR
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 15117
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Artist
I grew up listening to Sabicas on my father's old 78 rpm record. He had Segovia and some others but Sabicas was always his favorite and mine, too!

Over the years, it has gotten misplaced so I am so excited to be able to give him Sebicas, the greatest artist for Christmas.

5-0 out of 5 stars We're not worthy!
WOW!! Legendary playing of beautifully traditional songs. It's impossible to say anything negative about this disc either from a musician or listener view point. We are lucky to have recordings of a genious in action like this. surprisingly good production as well. yeah, the 1st track has a skip - who cares. six stars. Ole!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Flamenco Guitar
This album shows the virtuosity of Sabicas, unencumbered by Cante (singing) or any other accompaniment--it is solely solo guitar. The album includes traditional flamenco styles (like Guajiras, Farruca, and Verdiales) as well as some other styles (like Ritmos del Paraguay) adapted brilliantly by Sabicas for the flamenco guitar. A couple things about the recording: several tracks on this album also appear on "All the Best Spanish Flamenco", but I would recommend this album if you're interested in the guitar as I am. Also, some of the tracks on this CD are identical (like #1 and #11, #3 and #15), but I never mind listining for a second time. There is some skipping on track 1, but track 11 is the same piece and is flawless. I think this is the best solo flamenco guitar recording I own. It is technically amazing, yet deeply musical and soulful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I love this CD. It makes me wish I could go back in time and watch Sabicas play late at night in a dark, smoky club. I imagine him playing "The Siege of Zaragoza", his fingers calling drums and bugles out of his guitar. As with the previous reviewer, I must(reluctantly)subtract one star because of the skating on Track 1. Buy it anyway!

4-0 out of 5 stars A master at work
Sabicas (1913-1990) was a grand master flamenco guitarist. This album features almost an hour of first rate traditional flamenco guitar music. Sabicas' old school style should appeal to traditionalists and fans of "neuevo flamenco" as well.

The only reason I didn't give this cd 5 stars is because of some "skating" on the first track. A friend's copy does the same thing in the same spot, so there might be a flaw in the master from which these were pressed. ... Read more


20. Passion, Grace and Fire
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000025US
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3669
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A confluence of genius
I was blown out of the room when I first listened to this
album on LP. I later replaced it with a CD, after buying
the LP version for 10 friends. When I was burglerized,
my CD player had the disc on it (they left the jewel case
behind -- empty). I looked at the empty CD case for
months, longingly, and when I finally replaced my CD player,
I ordered it again.

The CD is short; it contains only the cuts that are on the
LP. It really doesn't need to be longer. It is a nearly
perfect tour de force by three great players with a
remarkable affinity for each other and the music they
play. I couldn't be without it, clearly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must in your CD collection
The title to this album describes the music perfectly - it is indeed played with passion, grace and fire; sensitivity and ferocity. Usually, I maintain that musicians who play with speed are just displaying technical skill but this album has parts which are so fast its almost unbelievable and yet it portrays such colour and emotion. 'David', for example, is a wonderful piece combining delicate nuances with ferocious flamenco.

5-0 out of 5 stars OH MY LORD...THIS ISN'T HUMAN!!!
Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, and Paco De Lucia produce some of the finest acoustic guitar work ever recorded. Everything about this album is perfect. They play Flamenco the way it's meant to be played. If you're looking for something that obliterates the likes of Ottmar Liebert, "Passion, Fire, and Grace" is it. Don't take my word for it; listen for yourself!

5-0 out of 5 stars Geniuses Meeting
When I first listened to this CD, I was astonished. These three guys are really amazing. This CD is a mix of flamenco, fusion, jazz and classical music, bathed with beauty and compassion. The intermeshing is incredible, technique, feeling, passion, grace & fire. Short, but is the enough. If you like good and inovating guitar trios, this is for ya. Buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars If stranded on a desert isle...I would want this CD with me!
After nearly twenty years, this is still some of the most perfectly beautiful and emotionally intense music ever recorded,played by three of the world's finest guitarists. ... Read more


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