Bit late for South America week and maybe not to everyone’s tastes, but I’ve just come across this, have fallen madly in love with both the concept and the music and felt the need to post something about it.
Diego El Cigala is a Spanish Flamenco cantaor with something of a penchant for fusing styles. In 2003 he recorded the wonderful “Lágrimas Negras” with the Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés. The result: a fusion of Spanish Flamenco vocals and Cuban jazz piano with both performing a fair way out of their comfort zone. A truly remarkable collaboration between the younger Spanish artist and the Cuban veteran that worked a treat.
Well, he’s been up to his old tricks again and this time at Andrés Calamaro’s behest recently played in Buenos Aires offering his (very) flamenco readings of a number of tango and milonga classics to the discerning and demanding public of the Teatro Gran Rex. He knew very well the risk he was taking. “If just one of them had booed”, he says, “I wouldn’t have been able to carry on.” Fortunately, no-one did and the result “Cigala & Tango” is a joy to listen to.
Three songs to give an idea of why I like this so much.
Garganta con Arena (tango canción) originally recorded by Cacho Castaña. The title means “Throat with Sand” and it was written as a tribute to the tango singer Roberto Goyaneche upon his death in 1994.
El Día Que Me Quieras (tango canción) A Gardel classic.
Los Hermanos (milonga). Atahualpa Yupanqui`s ode to brotherhood and freedom. Duet with Calamaro.
EDIT – I’ve put a longer playlist on my new blog that you can access here