This is exactly what makes it all worth while !! This disc is stunning – buried within the somewhat excessive collection of Flamenco related discs I acquired this week. I am actually completely ignorant of this style of music – apart from modern-variations that I have stumbled upon travelling through spain. Working my way through this disc and some of the others is however totally unlike what I have heard before. This disc is folk music of the Gypsies of Andalusia – ‘canto hondo’ (of the depths).
It is a disc of music recorded between 1920-1930 of one of the greatest exponents of ‘canto hondo’ – Pastora Pavon (The girl of the combs). The fact that these recordings are between 70 and 80 years old is frankly amazing. It has the feeling of listening at times to an early-morning call- to prayer – the sounds drifting in and out of phase as they are blown by the wind. The first track in particular ”Ay, Pilatos’ consisting of a single drum beat, somewhat out-of-key horns, men talking and Pastora Pavons’ voice drifting through the mix is quite unreal (and I always assumed Flamenco was simply fast strumming on a six string!).
The rest of the LP moves through various styles – all sounding utterly amazing – this will be a repeat player in this house for an age – regardless of what the others may think !!