Paco de Lucía

Live in America

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Recorded live in 1993 when Paco de Lucia was touring with his sextet, this is real artistry. De Lucia has never been afraid to push the boundaries of flamenco, and with his sextet he does just that. The music is moved by the spirit of the tradition, but never constrained by it. Like his show, the music builds, as he begins solo on "Mi Niño Curro," then other members join him before it all culminates in a gloriously grinning "Buana Buana King Kong." There's plenty of well-known de Lucia material here, like "Zyryab" and "Tio Sabas," but on-stage there's more freedom to stretch out than in the studio. That he's been influenced by his work with other guitarists is apparent in his approach, which sometimes takes on the colors of a jazz-flamenco fusion. But there are still plenty of moments of duende, the transcendence that's all important in flamenco. And time and time again, de Lucia effortlessly proves he's the world's greatest living flamenco guitar player, with ideas, runs, and shifts that stagger the imagination. About the only fault to find with this album is that it's not long enough.

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