España Dia 13

I just returned from the Madrid Rastro (Sunday flea market)—or the Corte Ingles Gitano, as it´s facetiously known.  I try to go every chance I get;  it is such an integral part of the life here, and amazing people watching, too.  Today, I heard a Romanian Gypsy band (accordian, sax, guitar, derbuka) busking, also a violin trio that was excellent, and a jazz quintet.  Assorted rumberos.  A Tibetan guy perched,  about 10 feet up, on a 6 inch diameter pole that was held by another Tibetan in the palm of his hand.  Unchanging, placid expressions on both faces.

Went to the mountains, outside of Madrid, yesterday—an exquisitely beautiful day it was—and returned in time to see Amir John Haddad´s show at Club Clamores.  Mostly flamenco, and virtuosic.  Several of the players are in ZooBazar, a group I really like.  His percussionist, and great player, Pablo Martin Jones is the son of my good friend David Serva.  I´ve gotten to hear David play several times on this trip.  He has been a HUGE influence on my flamenco, in pretty much every way imaginable.

I also heard the Armenian violin virtuso, Ara Malikian, at Club Clamores last week.  Playing with a tango quartet—doing original Tango Nuevo—sort of like Piazzolla with the intensity, rhythm changes, and development but lacking the Piazzolla genious.  It was difficult to watch the frenetic Malikian jumping up and down insanely and running across the stage.  A bit disappointing overall.

Heard another great show at Candelas, Thursday last, featuring the fine singer, Miguel el Rubio.  Of greater interest to me, in this case, was the guitarist, el Bola, whom I knew some years ago.  I forget his actual name—he´s a Carbonell, I know that much—and an absolutely beautiful player.  His ideas were a little jumbled at times, a little less than tranquil, but always well executed.

These are some of the highlights, apart from just being here, walking a lot, drinking nice wine, enjoying tapas (pinchos, actually, its the Madrid thing), hanging out with friends.  And:  remodelling my apartment, which is going to be lovely!