La Macanita’s sixth recording.
Jerez singer Tomasa Guerrero “Macanita” has just released her sixth recording, “Sólo por eso”, with the company Nuevos Medios and producer Ricardo Pachón. The record contains nine themes that include classic cante such as soleá, bulerías, siguiriyas and tientos-zambra, the latter being a tribute to Paquera. There are also some pop songs of the type she tends to include in her recordings. This is a record that aims to please, possibly with the goal of making Macanita’s name a household word among the general public.
The record sounds good and the musicians are top of the line. The guitars of Manuel Parrilla and Diego del Morao are pure Jerez, the bass of Manolo Nieto adds weight to the pieces and the accordion, which for some reason is little used in flamenco, gives a melancholic and mysterious air to the zambra.
In classic cante, such as soleá, Macana is right at home like she says, “with her eyes closed”, the guitars are right on and dialoguing, and she serves up soleá de Alcalá in a way that few other of today’s singers could. In bulerías de Jerez, Tomasa places her bets on traditional verses, short and to the point, and the palmas and guitar are just right. Nevertheless, although the guitars sound very flamenco, it seems they don’t let the cante have continuity, chopping off each letra with a guitar variation, thus taking away the feeling of the cante (this is not a guitar problem, but the fault of the editing). In siguiriya and cabal, although Macanita claims not to be a specialist in this area, her voice sounds gypsy, and recalls the sound of Juan Talega in the cabales, with his way of managing each note.
The tientos-zambra titled “Maldigo tu Ojos Verdes” with which the memory of Paquera is conjured up, has a contemporary sound in which flamenco, lyrical song and Argentine tango are present, as well as a subtle wink to the jazz standard “Caravan” on the accordion.
1 . VOLVER A VERE 4:45 – bulerías
The record contains two songs, the first, which opens, “Volverte a Ver”, by Fernando Terremoto, and a version of “Cai” by Alejandro Sanz, popularized a few years ago by Niña Pastori. Macanita sounds fine here, but I don’t think full advantage is taken of her particular vocal texture, and frankly, it leaves me cold. The same thing occurs with “Cobre Viejo”, soleá dedicated to the memory of el Chocolate, which has little to say, lacks strength, and although the arrangements with electric bass, drums, piano and guitar are good, and the verse is beautiful, the overall result is not moving. Another song composed by Fernando Terremoto is “Déjame Volar”, with a nice half-whispered chorus, which remind us of more than a few other songs from other groups.
The global effect is a carefully constructed record with some rather good moments (I most like the zambra), and others aimed at pleasing a wide range of tastes. Perhaps that’s the mistake, trying to make Macanita into a mainstream performer, since this is precisely a minority art-form. When you seek to please all, you inevitably lose something in the process, and you sell your soul. Cante, like jazz, classical music and other genres, is for a select and limited group, and this is precisely where Macanita can be so expressive and truthful.
La Macanita in DeFlamenco.com