Viva el Flamenco (Voy Sólito)
It's well known that Joe Ely has a keen ability to choose sidemen, and flamenco guitarist Teye is no exception. The eight tracks of originals and interpreted standards on Teye's debut are a powerful tribute to the spirit of flamenco and a commanding calling card. Flamenco, the fiery fusion of Spanish folk, North African rhythms, and the virtuosity of the Rom (Gypsy) peoples, is not an easy style to learn, requiring razor-sharp technique combined with emotional intensity. For Teye, this intensity vibrates boldly like the soundboard of his custom-made, gut-string guitar. Saying Teye's playing is powerful, as in "Bulerías del Pirata," is like saying sangria has a kick. Given his upbringing (born and raised in the Netherlands), Teye seems to recognize the fact that flamenco is flexible enough to intertwine with like-minded percussive styles, the guitarist throwing brief DJ scratch breaks into the rumba "San Valentín," as well as electric guitar flourishes in "El Camino." Different to be sure, but not distracting. Viva el Flamenco
also ably demonstrates Teye's talent as a bandleader, the guitarist leading an accomplished crew of Belén Oliva, Pepa Martínez, Sheila McPherson, and a host of guest performers. Teye -- Austin's Paco de Lucia.