Chicuco (Bujío, 2008)
Until the 1980s, the primary soloists in the world of flamenco music were singers and guitarists. Keyboardists such as Chick Corea, Chano Dominguez and Marcos Mantero (Iman) had approached flamenco from the jazz and progressive rock angle. A new generation of innovative pianists and keyboardists have surfaced in Spain who were born and bred with flamenco in their veins. Pedro Ricardo Miño (the son of guitarist Ricardo Miño) and Dorantes were the best known of the new generation. Now you need to add Sergio Monroy, from Cadiz, to the list. Monroy has that special flamenco inspiration known as Duende.
Monroy’s latest recording is Chicuco, released by a label called Bujío Producciones that is releasing excellent music from southern Spain. The album is a tribute to Monroy’s parents and the fond memories of his childhood in his hometown of Cadiz. All the pieces are fresh self-penned material except for one track. Monroy includes various flamenco palos (genres) in his compositions such as a tanguillo, a rumba, and a bulería. He incorporates jazz elements, Afro-Cuban music and global beats in his music. Unlike other flamenco artists who focus exclusively on saxophone, Monroy uses a full brass section in some of his pieces. The balance of Flamenco, Cuban son and jazz instrumentation works flawlessly.
Chicuco is an extraordinary and dramatic introduction to one of the stars of nuevo flamenco piano.