1. Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra,
“Hamp’s Jazz Flamenco”
From: Jazz Flamenco. RCA Victor LPM-1422, 1957, 33⅓ rpm.
Lionel Hampton: vibraphone, director; Scoville Brown: clarinet; Bobby Plater: alto sax; Eddie Chamblee: tenor sax; Curtis Lowe: baritone sax; Dave Gonzalez: trumpet; Walter Morris: trombone; Oscar Dennard: piano; William Mackel: guitar; Peter Badie: bass; June Gordner: drums; María Angélica: castanets.
The concepts of “Spain” and “flamenco” in the United States of the 1950s were still inherently linked to Latin-America. Lionel Hampton’s album Jazz Flamenco, recorded in 1956 during a goodwill tour of Spain, is a good example of American public diplomacy in the Cold War and, at the same time, of the idea of flamenco as a kind of mambo with castanets.
2. Tete Montoliu, “Au Privave”
From: A tot jazz. Concentric 5701-SZL, 1965, 33⅓ rpm.
Tete Montoliu: piano; Eric Peter: bass; Billy Brooks: drums.
A tot jazz, one of Tete Montoliu’s first albums as leader, was released in 1965 by Concèntric, an emblematic label of the Catalan nationalism. Montoliu shows here his originality and versatility, moving from his distinctive lyrical and delicate phrasings in “Lament” or “Sometime Ago” to the energy, virtuosity and density of hardbop in this electrifying rendition of Charlie Parker’s “Au Privave.”
3. Pedro Iturralde, “Bulerías”
From: Jazz Flamenco 2. Hispavox HHS 11-151, 1968, 33⅓ rpm.
Pedro Iturralde: tenor sax; Paco de Algeciras: guitar; Dino Piana: trombone; Paul Grassl: piano; Eric Peter: bass; Peer Wyboris: drums.
Pedro Iturralde’s two albums of Jazz Flamenco (1967-1968) were the first systematic attempts to hybridize jazz and Spanish music in Spain. “Bulerías” is an original composition by Iturralde whose title makes reference to one of the main flamenco forms, or palos. In this recording, Iturralde was accompanied by his regular rhythm section at the Whisky Jazz Club in Madrid, the Italian trombone Dino Piana, and a young Paco de Lucía on the guitar (under the pseudonym “Paco de Algeciras” for contractual reasons).