A strictly traditional flamenco record, Pepe Romero's 1987 recording "Flamenco" features not only his own sterling guitar work, but also singer Chano Lobato's expressive vocals and, in an inspired touch that not enough flamenco artists have thought of, two genuine flamenco dancers, Maria Magdalena and Paco Romero. "Flamenco", after all, is dance music, and as in some forms of English contra dancing, Appalachian clog dancing, and other forms of folk music, the percussive sound of the dancers' shoes (and the female dancer's traditional castanets) is intended as part of the music. As a result, "Flamenco" has a vitality and excitement often missing from classical flamenco records, which can sometimes come off as a bit stuffy and overly serious. Lobato's voice, a dusky alto with a beautifully controlled vibrato, suits the material perfectly, capturing the florid theatricality of flamenco music without going over the top. There are undoubtedly better flamenco records than this, but there are few that are as much fun.
"Flamenco" - Pepe Romero (g); Chano Lobato (voc); Maria Magdalena, Paco Romero (dancers)