Fuente y Caudal is a flamenco landmark without precedent. It condenses all the energy, hard work, and invention of an exceptional youmg player who is pushing back the boundaries in a remarkable way, while still recognisably working within flamenco traditions. You hear the innovations of Nino Ricardo, Mario Escudero, but transformed. You have the earthiness and rhythmic accuracy of Manolo de Huelva, but with a sophistication never before realised. This is the negelected road map for flamenco's future. If Paco de Lucia had died the moment the last note of this recording was captured, his immortality would have been assured. In fact, it might have been enhanced. Immediately subsequent recordings fail to recapture the sublime excellence of Fuente y Caudal. The live Madrid recording (1975) reworks old material, Almoraima (1976) already contains the seeds of later musical derangement, Interpreta Manuel de Falla is a counsel of despair, an admission of failure of artistic imagination. At the time of Fuente y Caudal, Paco de Lucia was cruising donw a six-lane highway staight for the Holy Grail; faint, but glimmeringly visible in the distance: by the time of Almoraima, he had turned on to a side road that led to a 2000 foot drop...
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