Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Vibrant Latin jazz recording featuring Spanish guitar maestro. Jazz and flamenco first crossed paths not in Spain, but in the USA when Miles Davis and arranger/composer Gil Evans recorded “Sketches of Spain” in November 1959 and March 1960. It became one of the most successful jazz albums of all time. And the jazz musicians in Spain? They attempted to emulate – as did their colleagues world-wide – the American model. Jazz stood for open-mindedness; national folklore was thought of as too parochial. Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde was the only musician who, under the influence of “Sketches of Spain”, added a couple of flamenco melodies to his repertoire as he toured Europe accompanied by two Germans and a Swiss. That’s why Joachim-Ernst Berendt sought him out to play at the 1967 Berlin Jazz Festival. With the festival’s motto “Jazz Meets the World”, Berendt was looking for a jazz-flamenco combination to fit the bill. Since Berendt absolutely wanted a guitarist in the band, Iturralde came to Berlin with a 19 year old flamenco musician named Paco de Lucía. He would become an international star as one of the greatest flamenco musicians of our time, and continued to be involved with jazz until his death in February 2014. Paco de Lucía’s participation as a regular band member is what makes this MPS recording so appealing. Iturralde also brought Italian trombonist Dino Piana into the band for this recording as well as the Berlin Festival appearance. Today, Europe’s jazz musicians use the folk and classic music of their countries as sources of inspiration to help shape jazz in the 21st century.
Liner Note Author: Hans Hielscher.
Recording information: Berlin (11/1967).
Photographer: Josef Werkmeister.
Translator: Martin Cook.