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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of dog's breakfast, but..., 31 Aug 2007
By 
Paul Magnussen (Campbell, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: His Essential Recordings (Audio CD)
I must make it clear at the outset that I don't possess this album, which contains 28 of the 66 tracks Paco has recorded in his five basic (i.e. not anthologised) recordings for Nimbus. I do, however, possess those five albums (in fact, all of Paco's albums since his first in 1968); and since as I write no other review has appeared, I venture to add some information.

I should also say that I contributed both booklet notes and a cover photograph to the Nimbus albums, so I refrain from comment on the quality of the music or the recordings.

As far as I can make out, this selection comprises the following:

7 tracks from Music of Ramón Montoya & Niño Ricardo, 1987
7 tracks from Azahara, 1988
7 tracks from Encuentro (with Eduardo Falú), 1989
2 tracks from Misa Flamenca, 1991
5 tracks from Arte y Pasión, 1999

making a total time of just over 2 hours 10 minutes.

The main problem with this album is its title, which should be "A Representative Selection of Paco Peña". What the essential recordings are will of course depend on your taste.

If that taste is for Flamenco Guitar, then you'd be better off with the double album of that name, which comprises Montoya/Ricardo and Azahara.

If you prefer flamenco singing and the ambience of a live performance, you may prefer Arte y Pasión*.

If you like the flamenco mass, then you can see it as well as listen to it.

If you want music of Latin America — in which Eduardo Falú is certainly one of the greatest names — then most of this album will be of little interest.

If, however, you have no overriding passion but like a lot of variety, then this compilation could well be ideal.

*Update 2008: To this we may now add A Compás, which I personally think is the better of the two albums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of Spanish Guitar, 5 Feb 2011
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This review is from: His Essential Recordings (Audio CD)
If you are a fan of Spanish guitar music, flamenco and more, you couldn't do better than listen to the great Paco Pena. Much revered in his home country and with fans worldwide, this selection of recordings displays his unique playing talent, passion for the music and versatility. Virtuoso performances for a very modest price. Thoroughly recommended.
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His Essential Recordings
His Essential Recordings by Paco Peņa (Audio CD - 2007)
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