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.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (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.