07 December 2005


This afternoon I was having lunch and the DJ on WPRB Princeton introduced Enrique Morente's first song from Omega in a manner that suggested he was a Morente novice. The DJ was very cool when I called and big about my corrections and recounted them in detail on the air, except saying that Morente was a guitarist rather than a cantor, which I never said, but repeating my recommendation that the best and perhaps most cost-effective way to stock up on Morente discs is to just go to Spain. El Flamenco Vive has a website but the postage is such that you might get a cheap flight to their store in Madrid for a little more, after which you can browse through their stacks and talk everything over with the staff.

Searching out flamenco is an art, best practiced in Seville and the south coast cities but Madrid has great nights. Many of the great budding gypsy musicians are living in Madrid sprawl. Check out the entertainment guides, ask around, stay up late. If you can't sleep, don't: stay up til 6 in the Plaza Santa Ana (but steer clear of North City Center at that time; if you get in trouble seek out the street cleaners in yellow outfits). Las Meninas and Guernica both look even better red-eyed. One night I had gypsies telling me to 'shut up' my clapping (the rhythm section; people clapping in the audience) but after listening to them for an hour all around me I started up again and they said I picked it up okay.

The best Morente album you can get in the states is "Cante Flamenco", a mellow duende fix. 'Lorca' is another rock album, like Omega, which also has over the top studio production. The whole album grows on you, even if you are a US indie rock devotee used to restrained use of sythesizers etc., but if you are a fan of Lorca's poems you'll want to hear the last song on the album a few times... trust me on this.

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