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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Diego Amador

By Michael Stone
Published January 24, 2008

Piano Jondo
World Village

The gypsy heritage of Diego Amador (known to fans as “El Churri”) permeates the singer and multi-instrumentalist’s first piano exploration of his Sevilla flamenco roots. As a drummer for Pata Negra (the flamenco-fusion project of older brothers Rafael and Raimundo), Amador was fascinated with the music of legendary flamenco singer Camarón and the guitar work of Paco De Lucia, but he was also influenced by jazz giants like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Weather Report, and Jaco Pastorius, whose album-closing “Continuum” receives a tango treatment with Miguel Vargas (double bass), Luis Amador (percussion, cajón) and Amador on guitar. In a seeming paradox, Amador is emphatic about maintaining the distinction between flamenco and jazz indeed, his piano approach is deeply conditioned by the unique dynamics of flamenco guitar. Recalling Chano Domínguez, the Cádiz pianist whose first instrument was also flamenco guitar, Amador’s originality is abundantly evident in these evocative interpretations of bulería, rondeña, seguiriya, soleá, tango, tanguillo, and taranta styles.