Music Reviews

Mondo Flamenco

Various Artists

Mondo Melodia

For those of you world music fans out there who do not know the Mondo Melodia format, it’s simple: take a region, country, or genre, find those artists who are, were, or will be contributing to the culture, and slap together a damned good compilation. So, Mondo Flamenco now becomes self-explanatory.

However, flamenco – like Spanish culture itself – is a tricky thing. The genre bites more cultural styles and flavors than Puff Daddy does artists. There’s Spain itself, Moorish and Jewish traditions, and flamenco’s Romany originators (or: Western Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, and India all wrapped up into one). Yet, all these myriad influences were congealed into one incredibly explosive, entertaining, and innovative musical form – which struggles against codification even as you read this.

Like jazz, flamenco’s tradition is innovation, and Mondo =46lamenco celebrates those artists who are fighting against the conservative move to fossilize the form. Especially with today’s transglobal media, how can any genre or artist not be affected by others? So, here we have a compilation of some of Spain’s best musicians (like Pata Negra, Dorantes, Tomatito, Camar=DBn, El Lebrijano, and Diego Carrasco), who are sprinkling flamenco with dashes of jazz, a pinch of Andaluz, a heap of blues, and some down-home minimalist foot-stomping and hand-clapping revelry. This is a thoroughly wonderful disc that links yesterday with tomorrow in a genre that still entertains today.

Mondo Melodia:

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