Teatro de la Maestranza, Seville, Spain
Mrs Wells are here in sweltering Seville as part of our Iberian/ Moroccan tour. Tomatino was recommended as a performance we should see as the Flamenco festival alternates between Seville and Madrid and we were lucky to be in town for it.
Flamenco, not usually my cup of tea- can be a bit over wrought but this was a stunning display of guitar and vocals. I can’t possibly do justice to the performance so I am going to paste a translation of a review from El Mundo. Quirks of translation notwithstanding the review is remarkable in its depth of knowledge and stylistically fascinating.
Tomatito with fire and soul with shrimp
REVIEWXX Seville Flamenco Biennial
MANUEL MARTÍN MARTÍN Seville
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SEP 23 2018 09:49
A moment of the performance of the Almerian guitarist Tomatito at the Teatro de la Maestranza. OR. ROSEMARY
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The Almerian played with the depth of sound and rhythmic pleasure that the clubs demand
Duquende once again showed that he is the most qualified disciple of Camarón
‘I will live’
Concert: Premiere of ‘Viviré’, by Tomatito / Guitar: José Fernández aka Tomatito / Second guitar: José del Tomate / Cante: Morenito by Íllora, Santiago Cortiñas and Mari Ángeles Fernández / Violin: Bernardo Parrilla / Percussion: Israel Suárez aka Piraña / Guest artists: Duquende, Arcángel and Rancapino Chico / Place and date: Teatro de la Maestranza. September 22, 2018. Rating: ***
After the incontestable triumph that Tomatito had at the 2016 Bienal, the Almerian composer and guitarist returns with ‘Viviré’, a proposal of the same title as the album that his mentor, Camarón de la Isla, launched in 1984 with the escort of Paco de Lucía and Tomatito himself, and when seven months have passed since he received the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts from His Majesty King Felipe VI.
In ‘Viviré’ Tomatito pays tribute to Camarón de la Isla and puts his range of skills at the service of a musical journey in his personal interpretation of the musical legacy of the guitar. He brings to light his contributions to the instrument cordófono but without forgetting to make a fresh and lively tour of the compositions that are more related to them, besides splashing rhythmic musical beauties clear examples of music inspired by both Don Ramón Montoya and Paco de Lucía .Started supported in six voices with a striking ‘Legend of Time’ Morente version, which presented a memorable composition, then explore the rondeña and give the witness to his son in taranta, both with their deep and seductive falsetas, with passages as wonderful as sensual and keeping the viewer focused on what should be, addressing both then the song ‘Two Much’ that the Almerian recorded with Michel Camilo in honor of Paco de Lucia.But Tomatito was anxious to convey other emotions. So, without further ado, it would be intoxicating to hear the audacious execution that he made of the joys, full of color but also of intimacy, passing immediately to the contagious rhythm that he prints with his guitar for the spectacular closings of the ‘Bulería de La Pluma ‘, where he applied a prodigious ending with a Piranha in a state of grace, or the rumba with jazzy winks and a vehement dialogue with Bernardo Parrilla, with which the spirits and the commotions were permanently present, preserving the historical flavor of the pieces but without the guitar ceasing to yield its protagonism.And it is that the tempos were coincident with the rhythm, but never forced, while the strong grip of tension increased to taste of Tomatito, without forgetting how the pulsation of the right hand and the cadence of strumming gave his expressive speech an elastic definition. Or how the vigor in the closures found liberation in a glorious chain of suspensions, thus creating an attractive expressive world.The reflexive interaction between Tomatito’s guitar and the short list of guests when paying homage to Camarón, where the light sound of Rancapino Chico in the joys (‘Pueblos de la tierra mía’) and the tangos ( ‘Rosa María’) contrasted with Arcángel’s portentous falsetto in the ‘Nana del caballo grande’, so to the limit that the ‘Canastera’ sang to the air of Huelva, emphasizing instead, for its depth and fidelity, the Duquende sabadellense, undoubtedly the most qualified disciple of the genius of the island, both for his skill in Taranto and Cartagena and for his veracity in the tangos (‘Castillo de arena’).The concert was excessively lively and satisfied in its variety of forms to a respectable that filled the auditorium and that explored the riches that the Almerian hides between the six strings, resulting not already pleasant to the ears, but maintaining at the same time an irresistible rhythmic pulse as overwhelming as if it ran through the auditorium like the splash of the twilight moon.
And it is that in the sounds of Tomatito, so rich in timbral nuances and gypsy substance, ignites the spark of Camarón de la Isla but also the flammable brilliance of Paco de Lucía, so present in the closing bulería with the spooky that Duquende imposed in ‘Viviré’, always playing the Almeria with the depth of sound and rhythmic pleasure that the clubs demand, as if the limpid compositions, so familiar already within the tradition, were born at the same time for both beginners and connoisseurs.’Viviré’ is, therefore, a musical proposal tailored to reach not only the world of the followers of their works, but also the general public, those who like the pleasures of music and feel that with Tomatito they have the warmth that It will make your blood run faster. And is that his guitar contained fire and soul throughout the concert.
Seville stepping out. A lot of very Spanish outfits , glamour and streetwear. Informed and appreciative. Cries of “ole” after a particular machine gun rapid run from Tomatito. Loud and sustained applause that increased in volume in successive waves.
It made me think..
The similarities in the vocal performances to Pakistani Sufi music a la Sabri Bros / Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were striking. I will be exploring the music of the singers, especially the red head Duquesne.