With Soy Flamenco Tomatito felt free to browse an impressive variety of styles and forms that meet alternately or simultaneously, the spirit and the letter of flamenco. He is the composer from seven of ten tracks on this album which is flamenco today at its highest level.
Anyone who has every witnessed the torrential solo performances of Dominican Republic piano maestro Michel Camilo might assume there wouldn’t be much room on stage for an equal partner, but his partnership with flamenco guitarist Tomatito has been compatibly maturing for almost 20 years. On their third album, they wind discreetly around each other on romantic themes such as the octave-pinging Agua y Vinho, and dance gracefully together on willowy Spanish love songs.
This third installment comes 10 years after the success of Spain Again (2006) and completes the trilogy of this magical duo, which pioneered the union of a Piano and a Flamenco guitar.
The CD-book ‘Flamenco: Patrimonio de la Humanidad’ journeys through the history of jondo music. In November 2010, UNESCO decided to include flamenco on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural World Heritage, which is the greatest international distinction for any cultural expression. There have been somewhat more than 200 years of history, according to the documented information which is currently held, in which flamenco has continually grown thanks to the creativity of mighty, brilliant, courageous artists who have gone beyond the limits of diverse kinds (territorial, social, political) in order to offer a type of music too beautiful to be ignored.
Tomatito is always pushing the envelope and perception of the parameters of flamenco. Several of the songs reach into the jazz idiom as on the rumba "La Vacilona" that features George Benson on guitar trading licks with Tomatito to the background of hand claps. The disc is very mellow for the most part but interrupts into flights of fiery guitar work that dazzles with top-notch flamenco style cuts (both with and without vocals).
A powerful and organic fusion of Latin jazz and flamenco. a hugely dynamic record with moments of great delicacy, but when they unleash a unison barrage the intensity is nothing short of overwhelming. "Spain" won the 2000 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
"Spain Again" reunites Spanish flamenco guitarist Tomatito with American jazz pianist Michel Camilo. Camilo is a classically trained prodigy whose influences range from Art Tatum to Keith Jarrett, while Tomatito reigns as one of his country's brightest stars, citing Paco De Lucía as one of his key inspirations. The success of this collaboration does not lie in the differences between their musical heritages, but rather in the common ground these two masters forge within the parameters of this recording. Although virtuosity is certainly not something both musicians are lacking, one never senses that the two are competing with one another. Instead the listener hears a deep and profound camaraderie between the two which amicably encompasses the music on this disc. The delicate interplay and intuitive sensitivity the artists share recalls the seminal sixties collaborations between Jim Hall and Bill Evans. Throughout their adventurous melodic excursions and thrilling improvisations, Tomatito and Camilo never lose focus of the inherent beauty of each composition.