Duquende – Rompecabezas

Duquende is a cantaor from Barcelona who made his début at the age of eight with none other than Camarón de la Isla on guitar duties. Camarón had heard him sing and was adamant that he should reach a wider audience. He has since worked with all the leading guitarists and Paco de Lucía has invited him on innumerable occasions to take part in his shows. His recording career is not exactly prolific but everything he has done has been well received. His new album Rompecabezas, produced by Pepe de Lucía, is no exception.

Rompecabezas mixes very traditional takes on the more serious palos with some lighter rumbas that feature more extensive instrumentation and stronger choruses.

The alegrías Por Los Esteros, with Niño del Pura on guitar are a sort of halfway house on this peculiar journey and work exceptionally well.

There are bulerías with Tomatito, a rumba with Tomatito and Paco de Lucía, a tango rumba with Raimundo Amador and a malagueña with Juan Manuel Cañizares in memory of Enrique Morente, all of which are good, but not as good in my opinion as the stand-out track – a heart-wrenching bulerías with Diego del Morao.

We’ll end this short review the same way Duquende ends the album, a tonás, one of the hardest Gypsy palos, sung here with the strength and desgarro Duquende has always shown when dealing with the rawer end of the Flamenco canon.

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