Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Latin Music
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Historical & Musical note on Carlos Montoya
L. K. Coleman | New Orleans, LA USA | 12/02/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Disclosure: This is a 2006 revision my review written several years ago.
In his day, Carlos Montoya, a true Spanish Gypsy, was the most famous flamenco guitarist - the operative word being "famous." He was a good showman, and audiences not knowledgeable of Flamenco enjoyed him. However, amongst Flamenco professionals and serious aficionados, Carlos Montoya was something of a joke.
In his very early days as an accompanist (c. 1933 - 1942), he was decently adequate. When he started concertizing as a soloist (due to a twist of fate rather than talent and ability) most of what he knew as an accompanist seemed to disappear: He did things just for showmanship rather than for the music, and his greatest sin was that he constantly butchered the compas - i.e., the particular rhythmic meter that most Flamenco forms demand. Compas is one of the absolutes within Flamenco, and no artist can call him/herself a professional, much less be respected, if he/she cannot keep a decent compas. For this reason alone, Carlos Montoya's playing always drove the real flamencos to distraction.
The true virtuoso of Carlos Montoya's generation was Sabicas, who unfortunately never attained nearly the same degree of fame.
So - many people may well enjoy this and Carlos Montoya's other albums. But be advised that none of his albums represent anything close to the best flamenco guitar playing, either in his own generation or any generation since.
Now another note I'm adding in this revision: All that said, Carlos Montoya still had a passion in his playing, and that, despite the above flaws, is what always came through. And beyond his playing, in my own experience, Carlos was affable, playful and "muy simpatico." The few times I met him he was always very nice. During my Jose Greco days, he sat in the front row at one of our conerts, and he was kind and complimentary afterwards about my solo. That sort of generosity should not go unacknowledged. Now that he and Jose - and Sabicas, Antonio Gades, Juan Maya, Mario Escudero, and so many others - have passed on, the flaws should not be buried, but the memory should be with respect and kindness. I certainly will always remember Montoya in that way."
Carlos Montoya displays his true Flamenco Pedigree!
L. K. Coleman | 04/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carlos Montoya is the most prolific Flamenco Guitarist ever to record. Unfortunately, many of his other recordings are either poor in quality or just bad recordings. Not Aires Flamencos. From his opening Bulerias al Golpe, he demonstates he play when inspired. You will find his Peteneras De Cafe De Chinitas and Rondena particularly inspiring, clean and smooth. The recording quality is excellent as well (these selections where recorded in the early 60s). If you ever get a chance, listen to Carlos Montoya's first US LP recording with RCA, called Flamenco Fire. In 1990s terms; AWESOME."