Pepe Romero


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Pepe Romero's 1987 Flamenco disc is drawn from the music's traditional roots and the performances are the real thing. One of the Romero family of guitarists, Pepe is a super virtuoso player with a piercing tone, a stinging attack, and an unstoppable feeling for rhythm. Joining him here are three performers so deep into the Flamenco tradition that they are indivisible from it: singer Chano Lobato plus dancers Maria Magdalena and Paco Romero. Together they turn in performances that are likely to stand as definitive. The combination of Lobato's strong, sweet voice; Magdalena and Paco's stamping, flashing percussion obligato, and Pepe's bone-deep identification with the music is intoxicating, and anyone even remotely interested in the music is urged to try this disc.

A final note on the recorded sound is called for: when it was originally recorded and released on Philips in 1987, the disc's sound was clean, vivid, and colorful. Remastered here for Linn by Winston Ma, the disc's sound is translucent, essentially placing the performers directly in front of the listener. The effect during Magdalena and Paco's cadenzas is uncannily realistic.

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