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Album Review

Tomatito may be setting some kind of benchmark standard for fame by association. The flamenco guitarist is known in Spain as the instrumental partner of the modern genre-defining singer Camarón during the '80s. In the current U.S. and Latin world music worlds, recognition comes for his Spain duet collaborations with pianist Michel Camilo. On the global pop scale, it arrives more indirectly for his being the father of the three singers who form las Ketchup. Aguadulce translates as "fresh water" but this is a short drink, clocking in at under 33 minutes. (More than a few flamenco artists appear not to have moved beyond LP-length CDs, something like the ten-track country CD syndrome). The opening "Al Mariyya" makes it patently obvious that it is flying fingers virtuoso display time, plus handclaps. That pretty much tells the story, with the uptempo bulerías style dominating the selections. A touch of percussion on "A Miles," his daughter Mari Ángeles Fernández Torres' vocal turn breaks up the instrumental run on "Dónde Está Tu Cariño?" and "Porque Tú lo Vales" is a solo excursion. Diego "El Cigala" drops in with two other guitars for a guest shot on the closing "Gallibando," but the track generating the most sparks is "En Casa del Herrero," with male vocalists Potito and Guadiana upping the intensity ante. This is deftly performed music fine for flamenco and acoustic guitar virtuoso fans, but not very involving for someone not already into either camp, or Tomatito as an artist himself. The big question: is anyone getting materially more music here than when Tomatito takes his guitar into an outside context, playing in an encounter of equals like, say, his collaboration with Michel Camilo?

Customer Reviews


Really good


Genre: Latino

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the best guitarists associated with the nuevo flamenco generation, Tomatito (born José Fernández Torres in Almería, Spain in 1958) grew up in a family of prestigious flamenco lineage, and at only 12 he had managed to impress none other than Paco de Lucía. Still in his teens, Tomatito began to accompany famous cantaores, such as Enrique Morente and La Susi, but he attained definitive flamenco stardom as the great El Camarón de la Isla's guitarist of choice. Tomatito became Camarón's inseparable...
Full bio
Aguadulce, Tomatito
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