284

Paco de Lucia: Cositas Buenas

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Most veteran jazz listeners probably came across Paco de Lucia during his rip-roaring '80s adventures alongside fellow guitarists John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola. In that particularly heated setting, each player aimed for pure intensity—and amazingly enough, nobody fell by the wayside.

Diehard flamenco fans probably found Paco de Lucia elsewhere. His first record, 1961's La Fabulosa Guitarra, featured his brother Pepe on vocals and proudly displayed a slicked-back hairstyle on the cover. It fell directly into the longstanding tradition of flamenco, a product of mixed peoples, including gypsy and Moor cultures. As de Lucia has grown older and broadened his horizons, he has continually incorporated styles from the New World and elsewhere, breaking the centuries-old Andalusian mold.

De Lucia's long been recognized as a virtuoso without par on his instrument, and his best recording to date remains 1987's crisp, pared-down Siroco. Now a somewhat shaggier beast, he's returned after a five year absence with Cositas Buenas, which provides exactly the same "good little things" the title promises. He finds willing partners in guitarists Juan D'Anyelica and Tomatito, though for the most part these pieces are uncomplicated, warm songs with the poignant, fiery vocals characteristic of the tradition.

One surprise comes in the form of the oddly melancholy El Tesorillo—a gradually crescendoing tientos with singers Diego el Cigala and Angela Bautista occupying open space above spare guitar. Its unusual simplicity belies a soft mood. The rumba "Casa Bernardo" brings (fretless) bassist Alain Pérez into the mix and features the understated (muted) trumpet of Jerry González, crossing all sorts of boundaries without being heavyhanded about it.

But the four bulerias on the record cling most tightly to de Lucia's roots, and those roots run deep. Despite the relatively novelty of the other pieces (including the tangos title track), the traditional music rings truest. Cositas Buenas may not be de Lucia's best record, but that's not a heavy criticism given the guitarist's high standards over the last forty-plus years. It's certainly refreshing to see him return to record after such a lengthy hiatus. Maybe next time the serving will extend beyond these brief 39 minutes.


Track Listing: 1. Patio Custodio (Buler

Personnel: Paco de Luc

Title: Cositas Buenas | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Thumb Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alto Gusto CD/LP/Track Review Alto Gusto
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Flow CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Originals For the Originals CD/LP/Track Review Originals For the Originals
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Killing Bugs CD/LP/Track Review Killing Bugs
by Kevin Press
Published: November 20, 2017
Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Whispers on the Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "The Cheap Ensemble" CD/LP/Track Review The Cheap Ensemble
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor