not long ago, antonio álvarez vélez from andalucia was a baggage handler at barajas airport in madrid and a flamenco singer between flights. then he changed his name to pitingo, coined the term 'flamenco soul' and here i am at a little ice cream shop in arenys del mar, deep in the heart of catalunya, watching him clap and riff his way through roberta flack's classic killing me softly, featuring the black heritage singers of new orleans, on a teeny tiny tv screen. (yeah, i went on another hike up the coast.) the line-up for his album soulería, released in april of this year, includes flamenco soul interpretations of 'no woman no cry', 'let it be', 'georgia on my mind', and 'smells like teen spirit'. gitano guitars, castanets, the passionate flamenco vibrato, the soulful r&b riff . . .
this may just be too much fusion. even for me. but i'll let you decide for yourself. so here's the clip. i do have a few questions, though. actually, this video begs many questions, (not the least of which is, why does pitingo pack up and leave the set before the show is over??) but i'll only ask a few:
1) what is the sister in the close-up at 2:10 thinking?
2) does she know there's a camera on her?
3) is that fine ass flamenco legend and former naomi cambell jump off, joaquín cortés, at 3:27?
4) why the choir robes? aren't they in a club?
5) why don't i hate this?