Two Excellent Non-Flamenco Musical Experiences

ABADJI.  A Lebanese exile, multi-instrumentalist/singer whom I heard at the LiceoFrances (Madrid, April 10th) along with dancer Nawal Raadi.  Just a super-musical guy with tons of personality, playing his own music based upon Middle-eastern influences.  He basically blew different flutes and horns and plucked strings utilizing the “maqamat” and it was all of a piece.  Certainly never boring, he created wonderful trance grooves that had me totally relaxed and happy.

Plaza Santa Ana:  a day later, while taking a late-afternoon stroll through the plaza, I happened upon 4 gypsies, 2 Spanish and 2 Bulgarian.  They were sitting at a table, drinking, smoking, and jamming—seemingly oblivious to the rest of Madrid.  I quietly took the table right next to them, ordered a copita, and gave myself up to their intoxicating and virtuosic musical meanderings.  They sang, danced and jammed.  Accordion, guitar and their curiosity about each others music were the underpinnings.  An absolute delight!