November Madrid Shows Wrap-Up
December 1st, 2014
On the plane, en route to Guatemala, once again. Here are my final observations on the rest of the shows I caught while in Madrid this time:
Augustin Carbonell, “el Bola,” released his recently published book on Ramon Montoya—the legendary guitarist from Madrid and uncle of the infamous Carlos—at Fundacion Casa Patas. He gave an interesting lecture which was followed by a solo recital of mostly Don Ramon’s music. Bola is a wonderful player. The recital was outstanding.
An evening of jazz at Circulo Bellas Artes. Randy Weston (American pianist) played a mesmerizing, inspired set with Jerry Gonzalez (trumpet) joining him as guest artist. Jorge Pardo, Josemi Carmona, Javier Colina and a percussionist whose name I didn’t get, followed up with a set which clearly indicated just how far jazz still has to come in Spain. Ouch!
Back to Fundacion Casa Patas to hear Guadiana accompanied by Diego de Morao. He sang really well and Diego was nothing short of SUPERB!
I returned to Club Juglar in Lavapies (my barrio!)for another enjoyable evening of cuadro flamenco.
Once again, Josemi Carmona and Javier Colina and unnamed percussionist, this time at Cafe Berlin. I’m kinda over these guys but I continue to learn from them.
A truly successful Jazz-Flamenco encounter! Dani de Moron (pretty amazing young player, forging a new style of flamenco guitar) along with Aaron Diehl, American pianist, and his bassist (didn’t get his name). Spanish drummer who couldn’t cut it. Mr Diehl is bright, fresh, virtuosic, beautifully educated, inspired: in short, thoroughly enjoyable. I could not contain myself! A high point of my trip. Borgui Jazz in Chueca.
I went to Candelas (in Lavapies, oh the memories!) where Miguel Rubio was unable to sing (“esta muy mal”)but Miguel Hijo was fantastic and not at all like his father. Camaron de Patita is a fine guitarist, Luky Losado is a very fine cajon player. Bad sound hurt the performance and dancer Barbara Martin could not execute at the level of the other artists. But, over half the crowd were enthusiastic friends of hers who cheered ecstatically. WTF?
A last return to Fundacion Casa Patas, this time to hear Jesus Mendez accompanied by Miguel Valencia. Mendez is a great singer but Valencia left me feeling a little disappointed. He did a work-man-like job, a little complacent, only lit it up a couple of times. Still, a lot of talent there. Is this what the singer demands?
Sixteen shows in a month. I’m satisfied. Even played a couple of house concerts myself.Celebrated my birthday in grand style. Thank you to the many friends who emailed birthday greetings. It meant a lot.