Posts Tagged ‘granada’
We have our first guitar coming from Granada luthier Juan Miguel Carmona. Juan Miguel is from Granada and part of the Carmona family that includes Pepe Habichuela, Juan Habichuela, Josemi Carmona and the Ketama guys, and he’s been making guitars in Granada for 40 years now. Our first guitar from him is a spruce and rosewood classical, and you can see photos here of the guitar being built in Granada. The second gallery of photos is of players playing Juan Miguel’s guitars, including Josemi Carmona, Juan Habichuela, Pepe Romero, Ramon de Algeciras (Paco de Lucia’s brother) and Sabicas. The videos are of our friend Vicente Coves in Juan Miguel’s shop in Granada trying out the guitar right after it was finished. The guitar should be here next week.
We’ve got a new guitar coming in any day now from Granada maker Rafael Moreno Rodriguez and our friends Pepe Romero and Vicente Coves happened to be in the shop as he was binding the guitar and later when the guitar was ready to be french polished, so they took some photos for us.
Lucas Martin is just finishing up a new cedar-top classical for us, and he sent some photos. As you can see, the guitar doesn’t have any finish yet, so it’s still a few weeks away from completion. And that landscape photo is the view from Bernd and Lucas Martin’s shop at the very top of the Sacromonte in Granada.
I was in Granada earlier this week and since it’s kind of hard to describe I thought I’d just take a bunch of pictures, so here’s the first batch, which is mostly photos of the Albaicín. (As always, click on the photos to see make bigger).
We’ve just received three new guitars from Lucas Martin in Granada, including this really cool flamenco with African rosewood. I was surprised that it had the snap you usually associate with a blanca but with that negra depth, if that makes any sense. I really like this guitar. So here’s me playing some Granaina stuff I’m writing and obviously need to practice more.
I’ve known Bernd Martin since the mid-nineties when I lived in Granada, and he was making great guitars back then (that I couldn’t afford as a poor young guitarist/English teacher). Now he and his son Lucas are building together in the same shop and I’m really happy that we represent them here in the US. His guitars sound and feel amazing, but Bernd (or Martín, as everyone calls him in Spain) is also obsessed with beautiful wood, and makes some really gorgeous-looking guitars. We just got two more from him – a maple/spruce and a CSAR/cedar, and they’re some of the most beautiful looking guitars you can imagine. I especially like the snakewood for the fretboard and the Caucasian walnut burl head plate. Click on the image for more pix.
The guitars aren’t up on the site yet, so if you’re interested just call David or Dave at 310.586.1100.
Enrique Morente was one of the greatest and most innovative flamenco singers of his generation. I was lucky enough to live in Granada in the early 90′s and see him sing dozens of times, and I’ve always said that that as good as his albums are, they’re nothing compared to seeing him live, especially if you happen to catch him with his long-time guitarist Pepe Habicuela.
He was controversial because after starting out as one of the most promising ‘purist’ singers he spent a lot of his life experimenting, and that of course pissed off the purists. But there’s so much to learn from his early records – I learned many of the more esoteric cantes by looking to his older records. And he recorded an album with Sabicas called ‘Nueva York/Granada’ very shortly before Sabicas died, that to me is one of the best cante records out there – they each seem to have brought out the best in the other.
Not all of Morente’s experiments were successful (in my opinion, anyway) but I think that this is true of most restless musicians, and the stuff that does work is pretty amazing. But there was no denying that Morente was a champion of cante and of cantaores, or that his singing technique was flawless and his knowledge of flamenco encyclopedic. I miss him already.
The Wikipedia article on him is pretty good, and you should search him on YouTube if you’ve never heard him sing.