Last night I saw, for the first time, Paco de Lucia live in concert and I can tell you this was an amazing thing. First, his pure, raw energy is more amazing than just about any other music out there. Certainly this is one of the hall marks of flamenco, powerful, emotive and full of vitality. But then you add to this the unmitigated talent of Mr. de Lucia and what you get is an explosion of suppressed sexual guitar playing. If ever there was a case for a guitar becoming a replacement for the sex act, here is was.
On top of this amazing quality was the incredible range and awareness of other music. Flamenco itself clearly was a bridge among several cultures, Spanish, North African, Iberian native, etc. WIth this as a base of exploration and a structure to hand the cords on, Paco de Lucia adds an amazingly comprehensice understanding of contemporary music, bringing into play some jazz riffs, classical references and even suggesting, at times, the contemporary music of Philip Glass.
In the end, all the enhancements were brought back to the true source, original flamenco. With its whirlwind of barely contained gypsy strains, bedouhin shouts and raucous doings, the music released from his guitar with the accompaniment of 2 amazing singers, a second guitarist, a keyboard/harmonica player, a base player and an amazing percussionist, made for an indelible evening.