A couple of years ago, my wife, kids and I visited Madrid and Paris. In Madrid, we saw a great flamenco show in a very small club called Cardamomo near Plaza Mayor. While the emphasis there was on the dancing, this song always reminds me of that night…
Al di Meola is a hotshot whiz-kid jazz-rock guitarist who made his name playing in Chick Corea’s band, Return to Forever. This was during the 1970’s which was absolutely the heyday of fusion. He has won Guitar Player magazine’s best jazz guitarist four times.
Known for having a Latin edge to his playing, he’s toured and played with, among others, Carlos Santana. He has continued to play as a solo act and we saw him for the first time about five years ago at the Newport Jazz festival. I remember him half-jokingly complaining that he needed a better agent as he was the last act on the show, after half the crowd had gone home.
Paco de Lucía was a virtuoso flamenco guitarist who passed away barely two years ago. Wikipedia: De Lucía was noted for his fast and fluent picados (fingerstyle runs). A master of contrast, he often juxtaposed picados and rasgueados (flamenco strumming) with more sensitive playing and was known for adding abstract chords and scale tones to his compositions with jazz influences.
In 1977 di Meola released a solo album, Elegant Gypsy. And while the album is largely electric, my favorite is the acoustic “Mediterranean Sundance.”
This is an incredibly beautiful but – with lightning-fast runs – almost impossible-to-play flamenco guitar duet. In this song, di Meola plays the first solo, right side and de Lucia the second solo, left side. Enjoy. And be transported.