Alicante de Montoya & Flamenco Ensemble

Flamenco Fire

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Four of these ten tracks feature El Pili on vocals with a group of unidentified musicians; the other six feature Enrique Montoya, El Nino de Alicante, Anita Ramos, and Mario Alvarez. It's decently recorded and moving flamenco no matter who's featured. "Flamingos" has a beautiful sad melody and fluid (alas, unidentified) guitar; "Torremolinos," by the Montoya-led ensemble, has a classic melody line that's instantly identifiable, from the Doors' "Spanish Caravan" if nowhere else. Anyone who thinks it's superfluous to credit dancer Mario Alvarez as a full member of the group need only to listen to "Zapateado de las Campanas," in which Alvarez produces an amazing sequence of percussive taps and stomps that are as rhythmically assertive as those of almost any conventional drum kit.

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