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The late, great Enrique Morente

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Offline nick

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« on: December 14, 2010, 17:49 PM »
The wonderful and importamt Enrique Morente died yesterday.

Here's what AMELIA CASTILLA in El Pais's English edition said about him:

Quote
Enrique Morente, flamenco’s great innovative force, dies at 68

Enrique Morente, a major figure in the world of flamenco, died at a Madrid clinic on Monday. He had spent several days in an induced
coma following surgery to treat stomach cancer, which then led to hemorrhaging and a second emergency operation. Since being admitted
there last week, Clínica La Luz had become a meeting point for friends of the 68-year-old singer, including other leading figures of the
Spanish music scene such as the singer-songwriter Joaquín Sabina and the producer Javier Limón.
If Camarón de la Isla is credited with popularizing flamenco, Morente was known as the genre’s great innovator. In 1996 he recorded
a seminal album, Omega, in collaboration with rock performer Lagartija Nick. The resulting fusion of flamenco and alternative
rock became a turning point for him, and Morente never fully abandoned the style, even though he went on to blend flamenco with
many other genres.

Like the guitarist Paco de Lucía, Morente was considered an emblematic figure of a type of music that is also viewed as a way of life.
During his hospital stay, Morente was accompanied at all times by his wife Aurora and his three children — including the
successful singer Estrella Morente, whose albums he produced — as well as many close friends, who cried openly when
doctors revealed how serious his condition was. Enrique Morente had been on a stage less than a month ago, and had
recently canceled his mid-December performances. Next March, he had been planning to release El barbero de Picasso (or,
Picasso’s barber), an album and a documentary on the figure of Pablo Picasso, to whom Morente had already devoted
other recordings.

The Granada native had additional projects underway. A little over a week ago, while participating in the mixing sessions
for El barbero de Picasso at the Universal recording studios in Madrid, Morente was already making plans for his next CD.
“As soon as we’re done with this, we’ll get going with the percussionist Max Roach,” he said.
As usual, he wanted to keep pushing the limits.

Perfectionist
The news of his death caused shockwaves among his numerous followers and in the world of music. Just a few weeks ago,
Mario Pacheco, producer of some of the most important flamenco recordings of recent decades, also passed away.
El barbero de Picasso includes songs like El ángel caído, dedicatedto the deceased rock singer and songwriter Antonio Vega.
The accompanying documentary shows Morente at the Reina Sofía Museum singing next to the Picasso masterpiece Guernica
and at various locations in Granada. Morente had created his own recording label, Discos Pobreticos, and before that he recorded
with nearly all the major companies, although he recently signed an exclusive license with Universal.
The people who knew him personally highlighted his importance as a musical creator, besides his undoubted talent as
a singer. He always had a thousand ideas inside his head, and his personal computer in Albaicín, the neighborhood of Granada
where he lived, is filled with unfinished projects. He was such a perfectionist that he never considered anything fully completed, and producers literally had to pull the albums out of his hands to put them on the market.
“I never meant to innovate, just to create and express myself,”he said during the re-release of Omega, the turning
point in his career. Enrique Morente would have turned 69 on Christmas Day.
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 12:49 PM »
New York Times
Enrique Morente, Celebrated Flamenco Singer, Dies at 67
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/arts/music/16morente.html

Quote
Enrique Morente, one of the world’s most celebrated flamenco singers, whose work embraced both traditional styles and contemporary influences as diverse as George Gershwin and Leonard Cohen, died on Monday in a Madrid hospital. He was 67.

Hospital officials confirmed the death to The Associated Press, giving no cause. According to many reports in the European news media, Mr. Morente died as a result of complications of surgery he underwent earlier this month.

Known for his impassioned stage presence and keening, incantatory vocal style, Mr. Morente was for decades an internationally renowned cantaor, as flamenco singers are known in Spanish. To the end of his life he remained a master of cante jondo (“deep song”), the most traditional of the traditional flamenco styles.

But while Mr. Morente kept one foot loyally planted in a centuries-old art, with the other he strode briskly into modernity. Widely described as “the father of new flamenco,” he often fused the genre with an unorthodox spate of musical styles, including jazz, rock, classical, Afro-Cuban, American popular song and Bulgarian a cappella.

His approach incensed some flamenco purists, who considered the form — believed to have originated during the Renaissance — inviolable. Other critics were delighted, however, crediting Mr. Morente with reviving interest in a musical tradition that was homogenized during the years of Franco’s dictatorship and later ossified into the aural equivalent of tourist kitsch.

Mr. Morente appeared on some of the world’s most esteemed concert stages, including Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. (In recent United States concerts, he was known to interpolate verses from Gershwin’s aria “Summertime” into flamenco numbers.)

Among the artists with whom he collaborated are the Spanish rock band Lagartija Nick, the Algerian singer Cheb Khaled, the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, the Bulgarian women’s choir Angelite, and Senegalese and Cuban musicians.

His recordings include “Omega,” which incorporates lyrics by the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and music by Mr. Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter.

“I’ve always liked all extremes,” Mr. Morente told The Chicago Sun-Times in 2005. “I am not afraid to take risks within traditional flamenco. My work with alternative artists has opened me up to other audiences.”

Enrique Morente Cotelo was born on Christmas Day 1942 in Granada, Andalusia, the region of southern Spain in which flamenco arose. From his earliest childhood, he was exposed to local popular song.

“The cante begins inside you when you listen to the villagers singing, to people in their birthplace,” he said in an interview quoted in English on his Web site. “Groups of people that meet in a tavern and start singing, and then you listen to them and start singing as well: you learn that at family parties where everybody sings and everybody drinks and everybody dances.”

As a teenager, Mr. Morente went to Madrid to study with the great masters of flamenco song, including Pepe de la Matrona. He began his career in Spain in the mid-1960s, and performed at the Spanish Pavilion of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. In 1967, he released his first album, “Cante Flamenco,” a traditional compilation that was re-released in 2000.

Mr. Morente’s survivors include his wife, Aurora Carbonell, a dancer; and three children, one of whom, Estrella Morente, is a prominent flamenco singer in her own right.

For all his musical unorthodoxy, Mr. Morente insisted that he was never deliberately trying to be provocative.

“I like doing what comes from inside,” he told The Boston Globe in 2003. “If that means I’m innovating, it’s pure coincidence.”
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 11:36 AM »
Morente with Lagartija Nick covering Leonard Cohen's Manhatten

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOUL80lm0dw


« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 11:37 AM by nick »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
http://iberianature.com/brita