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.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.