The roots of flamenco, the ancient canteen and its singers


Flamenco roots. Singers at Café del Burrero.
Flamenco roots. Singers in the “Café del Burrero”.

Picture of the booked place Manuel Vallejo, Manuel Torre or Juan Breva are the names of the chancellors who occupy a prominent and prominent place in history of flamenco; not in a legend or in the category of mythical characters, but in real history itself, as recordings have been preserved that allow us to get to know their art, their flamenco singing. These and many other authors are representatives of the ancient bucket, the very roots of flamenco, the guardians of the way of understanding and interpreting flamenco, which some believe is dead or will soon disappear. And they are partly right. They have become something like a spiritual reserve of flamenco. It’s the usual flamenco, most buckets jondo, the one that was heard in their voices. The first recordings the flamenco chants that have been preserved date back to the year 1895. Since then, the nickname has not ceased to be registered on various media in record history, such as wax cylinders or slate slabs. Many of these old recordings have been returned and reworked, allowing us to give later generations the opportunity to know the qualities of singers who would otherwise remain in the category of legends or myths, as is the case with Planet or El Fillo, of which nothing remains written testimonies, but nothing that allows us to appreciate their artistic abilities and the voices of flamenco.

Some ancient singers marked the history and roots of flamenco

Juan Breva
Juan Breva

Among the most eminent representatives of ancient flamenco singing we must mention Juan Breva, as his canteen was the first to register on sound support; at least the first of which we have evidence.

Antonio Chacon is an important figure of flamenco and one of the most complete singers bucket history. The city baptized him as don Antonio Chacón. Pepe de la Matrona considered him a “monster of a monster,” and Enrique el Mellizo personally told him she would call him papa kante, because this has been considered.

Unfortunately, Antonio Chacón’s recordings, which represent the highest quality, were recorded in the last years of his life, when the singer-songwriter had already greatly reduced his abilities. Nevertheless, they allow us to gain an idea not only of the size, but also of the wisdom of the Chacón canteen, the forerunner of the different styles of flamenco that are the roots of today’s flamenco.

Manuel Torre
Manuel Torre

Manuel Torre He is part of a select group of legendary singers. He left his personal and indelible mark on seguiri and saets, and provided the current configuration to some other styles such as tango and tientos. Some recordings by Manuel Torre, recorded between 1909 and 1930, have been preserved. The sound is not too clear, but it allows the quality of the scales to be respected.

Picture of the booked place Manuel Vallejo
Picture of the booked place Manuel Vallejo

Picture of the booked place Manuel Vallejo, winner II The Golden Key of Cante and a stage star flamenco opera, is another great flamenco singer. The recorded buckets by Manuel Vallei make up a total of 250 cans which, with current recovery and remastering techniques, have reached more than acceptable quality.

The girl combs
Pastor Pavón, Girl from Peines

The names of large scales in flamenco are rare, at least in proportion to men. He is one of them Pastora Pavón, «a girl with combs«, Considered the most important woman in the history of flamenco singing so far. Lorca proposed her as a model of the adored cantor and compared her genius to Goya and Rafael El Gall. His voice «shadows, […] molten tin, […] covered with moss ”- which Lorca defined as such – can be heard quite clearly thanks to the magnificent work of remastering the cans of La Niña de los Peines (1928-1950).

Chacón, Vallejo, Torre or La Niña de los Peines are just a small sample of a wide range of singers who knew how to interpret and convey the deep art of flamenco. The list of important personalities in the history and roots of flamenco is very long (see sections of the biography of flamenco and flamenco poems). Today, there are many singers who are trying to recover their buckets and take them as an example. A good way to access them are the collections and anthologies that are currently on the market. They mostly recover and remaster old shots taken from slate slabs.

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