Various Artists

The Rough Guide to Flamenco Dance

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All flamenco music is about dance, really, and achieving that moment of transcendence called duende by singing, playing, or dancing. Really, though, although the music of flamenco is revered, especially the guitar playing, it's the dancers who are remembered. Divorced from the visuals, this relies on the music, and it serves as a reminder that much of flamenco is about song, as with the wonderfully raw, hardcore singing of Miguel Poveda, one of a new, younger generation keeping the tradition alive. But the focus of this compilation is younger talent, such as Niño Josele, whose work with singer Salomé Pavón is low-key but mesmerizing, a new style of flamenco guitar. Certainly the most unusual feature here is flamenco flute, courtesy of Jorge Pardo, whose work blends flamenco with jazz (a veteran, he's been involved with innovations in the genre since the '70s). Singer Mayte Martin proves to be an exciting talent, while the former Radio Tarifa singer shows his flamenco roots on a piece that sounds a little like Tom Waits (singing in his style, but still sounding good; different but good). As a way of showcasing the up-and-coming talent who are keeping the music alive and growing in the 21st century, this is an excellent compilation, although probably one for those already familiar with the flamenco styles and the real Spanish greats.

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