Various Artists

Rough Guide to Flamenco [1997]

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An overview of the flamenco tradition from the Rough Guide Networks. Some of the greatest singers and guitarists from the tradition are present: Camaron de la Isla, Paco de Lucia, Chano Lobato, Tomatito. Also, newer wave flamenco acts, such as Ketama and Pata Negra, are present, bringing electric instrumentation and more rock-tinged performances. A nice overview of the tradition, but some things would be even nicer -- say, recording dates in the liner notes. Still, the quality of the music can speak for itself. For purer forms, one can (and should) look elsewhere, to help escape the inevitable tourist aspects of a Rough Guide album (for pure flamenco song, look up Cante Flamenco). If one is interested in flamenco in general, it might not be a bad place to start, but once into the style, one should branch off into the separate styles within (new wave flamenco, traditional, instrumental, etc.).

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