18 September 2018

An aside: Guitares gitanes (Gipsy Guitars), by El Malagueño (Antonio & Marino Cano, guitars, with Isabel, chant). Harmonia Mundi “plus” HMP 390925 (1994), Reissue Harmonia Mundi “Musique d’abord” HMA 190925 (2017). Enjoyable recital of Spanish guitar. Is it “authentic” flamenco ? I don’t know. Purists are very touchy about these things. They scorn Manitas de Plata, not, mind you, because Manitas isn’t musical (they don’t really pronounce on that), but because he isn’t authentic flamenco. Not being a purist, and not even a connoisseur, I can feel free to enjoy the music offered here by Antonio Cano aka El Malageño (the guy from Málaga). Again, what was going to be a very quick and short review – in essence: “not being a purist and not even a connoisseur of flamenco, I can feel free to enjoy the music” – turned out to require more work, time and minutiae than that: first, establishing the sources, from LPs published by Harmonia Mundi in the early 1970s; and then, trying to find out – just like that, out of simple curiosity – biographic elements about the guitarist. On the last point, I failed, and there remains a mystery there. Other than the few recordings made for Harmonia Mundi, the guy seems to have left no trace on the internet.

8 September 2018

Long time no review. I’m back, although for a very “peripheral” review, The Soviet Army Choir on Chant du Monde. Not that I’ve been totally inactive in music all these months, just too busy sorting out the many CDs that I keep buying (there’s something self-defeating there) and working on various discographies. Indeed, I was adding to my Chant du Monde discography when I chanced on the riddle of two different CDs of the Soviet (or “Red”) Army Choir published by Chant du Monde under the same label number, 274.768. The earlier release sold very cheap, so I went for it.

As always, I’m hoping to return for more.