Guitar Maestro Celebrates the Land of Sherry Wine

Paco Cepero - Abolengo
Paco Cepero – Abolengo
Paco Cepero

Abolengo (Bujío, 2007)

Flamenco guitarists are not very prolific so when one of the top performers releases an album, it is quite a treat. Paco Cepero is one of such masters. He is a native of Jerez, a city renowned for its lively Flamenco scene and its sherry wine. It is also a city that has produced great guitarists.

Cepero’s first album in nearly seven years is titled Abolengo (ancestry) and it is clearly a tribute to his beloved Jerez. Even though the guitar maestro uses viola and violin arrangements in some pieces, the compositions stay away from Nuevo Flamenco flute and sax arrangements. Nevertheless, the music does not sound old fashioned. Cepero uses bass, palmas (handclaps) and cajón as well as fellow guitarists as accompaniment.

Abolengo manages a careful balance between virtuosity, tradition and accessibility by playing a combination of highly skilled pieces and beautiful melodic compositions. Bulerías, a Jerez Flamenco favorite, are one of Cepero’s specialties. He treats the listeners to two bulerías and one soleá por bulerías. There are also delightful pieces such as "Capricho,"  which is dedicated to Chari, Cepero’s wife.

Flamenco rumbas are always easy on the ear. Cepero has recorded one titled Varadero, where one can sense the meeting point of Flamenco with the sounds that Spanish sailors brought back from the Americas.