Gipsy Rhumba - The Original Rhythm Of Gipsy Rhumba In Spain 1965-74
In the Catalan region of Spain gipsies, primarily known as the creators of flamenco, came up with a fascinating hybrid style - Gipsy rhumba - which blended together Latin and rhumba music of Cuba and the Caribbean together with their own flamenco, as well as the emerging rock & roll from America.
As well as a musical overview of this unique art form, the release comes with extensive contextual notes (in English and Spanish) and the photography of Jacques Leonard, who documented gipsy life in the 1960s, creating one of the most important records of their unique world in the 20th century.
At the end of 19th century, gipsies who settled in Southern Spain took hold of flamenco, defined as the ‘Andalusian gipsy’ art. But it was out of the barrios of Barcelona in the North that a new genre appeared in 1963: the Catalan rhumba. A crossroads between flamenco, Caribbean music and rock & roll, Catalan gipsies developed a new way of playing flamenco guitar known as the ‘ventilador’, a technique that combined the strumming of guitar strings whilst the palms of the hand drummed the rhythm on the body of the guitar. The guitar, the handclaps and certain songs originating from the Caribbean give birth to this new style.
The Catalan rhumba built its repertoire on Caribbean songs, especially from Cuba and Puerto Rico, but also from New York. However, its true value is how the essence of these songs were used to build a new style, often with just a guitar and some handclaps.
In the 1970s a new generation of gipsy rhumba emerged, as the scene was enriched by a variety of styles, with keyboards, electric guitars, funky bass and wind sections appearing.