What flamenco is NOTThe Gipsy
Just so you know, I occasionally receive emails from Gipsy
Kings converts who swear I've lost my mind. How dare I say the
Gipsy Kings are not flamenco artists? I plead innocent your
honor, since I am only repeating what they say themselves.
Information from Gipsy Kings web sites describes their music
like this: "What the Gipsy Kings play today is traditional
Spanish Gypsy music taken one step further. It has been called
Flamenco/Rumba and while its roots are in Flamenco, the more
up-beat rumba is what we know them for."
(Gipsy Kings FAQ)
Nicolas was most profoundly drawn to folkloric styles such
as Cante Jondo while his brothers favored Rumba-Flamenca, which
was easier to dance to. There was no conflict between them as
the band moved in a pop direction while holding onto the raw,
jagged vocals and "palmas" clapped rhythms derived from their
"Flamenco", explains Nicolas, "is the purest essence of our
music - we could compare it to Jazz music. It is the deep shout
and tears of our community. Rumba-Flamenca is the popular
expression of Flamenco.....Today, with the coming of new
technologies, faster development and diffusion and, hopefully,
with the renunciation of racial and social prejudice; it is
natural that traditional music will change."
(Nicolas Reyes interview)
In other words, they acknowledge their style has its
ROOTS in flamenco. That is very different from saying
that flamenco is what they actually play and sing. If you want
to criticize me because of the way I comb my hair, that's fine.
But please don't misinterpret what I'm saying. I'm not
rubbishing the Gipsy Kings at all. I like their music a lot. In
fact, Tonino Baliardo is one of my guitar heroes but.....
here comes the big BUT..... it's not flamenco.