Camino Latino

Juan Martin

Flamenco Vision, 2002

http://www.flamencovision.com

REVIEW BY: Tammy Childs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/12/2005

Although flamenco is not necessarily a popular genre in the U.S., it is one that must be acknowledged by musicians, artists and listeners as worthy of recognition. Latin flamenco guitarist Juan Martin has earned abundant accolades, including being voted as one of the top three flamenco guitarists in the world by US magazine Guitar Player.

Martin is also the first flamenco artist to record with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed at major international arts festivals, and been broadcasted on BBC and CNN. He has performed in the Royal Albert Hall. He has even formed an international company in London, England in an effort to promote both his own distinctive musical talents and the public's appreciation for high-quality flamenco music. And why not? Juan Martin's talents are evident on CAMINO LATINO.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Flamenco music is full of the history of Spain, specifically for the province of Andalusia (Martin's home territory). It has traditionally been the music of the poverty-stricken and down-trodden. The music tells a story of the people, and brings joy at the same time. Martin explores the flamenco tradition of his country through the guitar,, and has gathered a very talented group of musicians and vocalists to help him.

He opens with "Vuelo," a vivacious tune that immediately strikes sparks with the listener. Bongos are played by Roberto Pla, who contributes a vitality to the song. Fingersnaps (a musical artform in themselves) add to the rhythm, courtesy of Raquel de Luna. On "Bossa Rumba," vocals are performed by Flora Purim. She is puissant and oozes sensuality. This sexy song pulses with energy and although I don't speak Spanish, it was not difficult to understand the sensual nature of the tune. "Maria Angeles" is a softer tune but has a punch that can't be ignored. This rumba piece is a great backdrop to provocative dance. For those talented enough to pull it off, oh baby.

The musical genre of bossa nova was created by blending the Brazilian samba rhythm with cool jazz. Bossa nova means "new beat." Although light and airy, the bossa nova track "Pasion Triste" is no less enthusiastic than its predecessors. Again, Flora Purim performs and her vocals fall into the "passion" theme. "Amante" closes out the album. Flute is played by Nicky Woodward, Chris Karan takes the darbuka, and Steve Dummer proudly performs on the clarinet. This gentle song starts like a lullaby, the flute contriving a picture of cool grass, and builds into a spirited conclusion warm like the sun.

I appreciate the history entwined in flamenco music. Juan Martin, backed at times by Armando Escobar, provides an experience on flamenco guitar that is unlike most that you will receive from music. (For more information, visit www.flamencovision.com.)

Rating: A

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© 2005 Tammy Childs and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Flamenco Vision, and is used for informational purposes only.