Michel_camilo-spain_span3
December 2000

Michel Camilo/Tomatito
Spain
Verve

Ever since Miles Davis did "Concierto de Aranjuez," with those gorgeous Gil Evans tapestries, aficionados have come to know the shared harmonic feeling between flamenco and jazz. Spain, the stirring duet album by pianist-composer Michel Camilo and Spanish guitarist Tomatito advances the "jazzmenco" idea further: it's an intimate and resonating performance.

The two met in the early 1990s while recording with the popular flamenco-pop band Ketama but only recently started performing together. On Chick Corea's "Spain" the duo squirrel through the song's staccato fusion melody and then take turns improvising over its changes with flawless technique.

Tomatito is an amazing player with a strong, graceful style that meshes well with Camilo's Caribbean-flavored piano. Special moments abound: "Para Troilo y Salgan," an inspired upbeat tango waltz by Luis Salinas; Tomatito's "La Vacilona" and an airy rendition of "Besame Mucho." It's a pairing of two virtuosic talents who search each other's souls to create awe-inspiring world jazz.

Originally published in December 2000
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