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Cositas Buenas

21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 27, 2004
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Product Description

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For four decades, Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia's jazzy, Mephisto-like technique redefined flamenco. This CD, which means "Good Small Things," is de Lucia’s first release in five years, and it's been worth the wait. Most of the eight tracks feature just de Lucia, a chorus of vocalists, percussion, and the zesty handclaps called palmas. Lucia and company take you through the Moorish, Jewish, and Gypsy inventions and dimensions of flamenco, from the buleria "Patio Custodio" and the torrid tientos "El Tesorillo" to the moody, mid-tempo buleria por solea "Antonia." Guitarists Juan D’ Anyelica and Tomatito join de Lucia on "El Dengue," and "Que Vengo el Alba," which also features a vocal track from the late singer Camaron de la Isla. The last song, "Casa Bernardo," with bassist Alain Perez, jazz trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez, and Latin pop star Alejandro Sanz on the guitar-like tres, foreshadows the future of this ancient and inventive art form. --Eugene Holley, Jr.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Thumb
  • ASIN: B000174LVQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,259 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By L. K. Coleman on May 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had to shake my head when I read one of the reviews expressing disappointment, even though the reviewer's disappointment was due to misinformed expectations. I hasten to add, however, that that misinformation is likely not the reviewer's fault.
The ultimate authority for American English, the Merriam Webster Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, defines "flamenco" as "a vigorous rhythmic dance style of the Andalusian Gypsies," or "a dance in this style," or "music or song accompanying or suitable to accompany such a dance..."
Contrast that with the ultimate authority on the Spanish language in Spain, the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, published by the Royal Spanish Academy. Among many other meanings, it gives this definition of the art: "[as an adjective] Indicating that which is Andalusian and which tends to reflect Gypsy characteristics. [as a noun] - Andalusian song or singing, the style or feeling, [of] the category FLAMENCO." (My own translation.) So note carefully: In its country of origin, "flamenco" is first and foremost a type of singing, not dance or guitar; it is "Andalusian" and not just "Gypsy" (which is included in the idea of "Andalusian"); and it literally goes without saying that dance and guitar are included.
Considering Merriam Webster's misinformation, it's no surprise that the disappointed reviewer criticized this album as showcasing the singing rather than the guitar - even though it doesn't: when the singing is up-front on an album the guitar stands well to the back, not what Paco does here. But it remains that the singing IS flamenco. That's part of what makes Paco so flamenco: He is the most "complete" guitarist in flamenco's history.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nick Herman on June 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I had the great privilege of seeing Paco perform at UCLA a few months back, and it was definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life. Paco de Lucia is, indisputably, a visionary of flamenco, the guitar and music.
Cositas Buenas is a very good album. There are a few tracks that feel a little too "smooth" to me, but overall, they are what I've come to expect out of Paco--perfection. As he's gotten older, his music has gained maturity, so he's not as concerned with nonstop 128th notes as much as the overall structure of the music, and he has been going in this direction for the last decade or so.
It's a very melodic album, to be sure, and I think he utilizes vocals and compas-clapping more than in his previous albums. Listening to Paco play his guitar, it is so evident that he has long since gained a complete control over the technical aspects of it, and subsequently, can bend the will of his instrument in whatever way he sees fit to advance the music. Always a visionary, Paco's superhuman musical abilities allow him to create music that is simply impossible for most people to play (a nice aspiration for those of us who play flamenco to dream of). This kind of skillful and subtle technique is especially evident in such tracks as Antonia (a buleria por solea) and El Tesorillo (tientos) very beautiful, deep tracks that embody the essence of Paco's contribution to flamenco. I also really like Casa Bernardo (rumba), which showcases Paco's tightly-knit band working together in harmony very well. Dig that sax! It's inspiring to know that not only is the man himself amazing, but so is the rest of his group, and I can tell you, from seeing them live, that they have an almost telepathic-like connection, full of energy and spirit.
I don't think it is quite as good or solemn as his previous album, Luzia, which was dedicated to his mother, but that's pretty hard to top.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This recording is nothing less than astonishing.
Whether the listener is a flamenco guitar snob, a lover vying for seduction, a lonely adolescent, Joe lunchbox cruising down the highway, a too-cool college babe, or a hopelessly romantic cubicle rabbit like myself, this is very satisfying and inspiring music. Life getting you down? This will turn your head around, strike lightning in your soul. Shrinks should prescribe this music instead of Prozac.
An incredible vitality infuses these recordings, very upbeat. Especially track 7 (Que venga el alba, or Here comes the dawn) with Tomatito and Camaron playing with Paco (the ghost of Camaron visits, thanks to modern technology) - it made the hair stand up on my neck. Even with the little easy-listening lounge piece at the end, Paco pulls it off nicely, flamenco purists be damned.
In these tragic and cynical times (as of this writing, another bomb in Baghdad killing 21 today), it is so refreshing that wonderful and surprising things can still happen in our lives, like this latest music from Paco. How someone as good as Paco de Lucia can continue to improve is a marvel to witness. With these original pieces, the "Good Little Things" (Cositas Buenas) is a humble understatement. This is a masterpiece.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ADK on March 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Paco's previous album LUZIA is all time favorite album of mine and is a beautiful communication of pain, loss, anguish and mortality. A masterpiece of flamenco new, old or however it's percieved. It's been about 5 or 6 years now since the release of Luzia, so what would be the result of Paco's next release? Luzia part two? Well, not really.
I didn't buy Cositas Buenas the first time I saw it in the store. I was concerned about the "neuvo flamenco" sticker on the packaging. Curiousity was gnawing at me and I drove back to the store later that night to buy it. I'm very appreciative of Paco's works from his earliest recordings on, so I knew I'd have to hear it eventualy. While it's not quite the solo guitar showcase that many of his other albums are I find it to be nonetheless captivating and purposeful. On first few minutes of listening I thought to myself "awe, too bad, it's not the same strain and fervor as Luzia", but the more I listened the more it I understood and felt from it. I listened to it in it's entirety twice that night and a least a little bit everyday since then.
Thankfully, it's free of the jazziness or modernisisms that the "Neuvo Flamenco" sticker would've led me to believe. While it's not quite gritty and raw enough to be tagged as Flamenco Puro it is unquestionably Flamenco(!) My only beef with this release is the overuse of studio compressors in the recording process. While this may result in a strong, punchy recording it also sadly restricts some of the openess and reduces the dynamic range. But this has to do with the production, not the performances themselves.
The music here communicates (to me) not quite tranquility, peace or joy but instead, acceptence that perhaps he (as all of us) is not getting any younger and there's no need to prove otherwise.
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