Text: Sara Arguijo
Photos: Remedios Malvarez
'Dicen que fue un te quiero' – Guitar: José Quevedo “Bolita” Palmas: El Torombo and Los Mellis. Jueves Flamencos Cajasol de Sevilla
'Dicen que fue un te quiero' – Guitar: José Quevedo “Bolita” Palmas: El Torombo and Los Mellis. Cajasol Foundation.
Argentina, honesty in flamenco singing
Ok. What Argentina came to do at the Seville series Jueves de Cajasol, could have been called “Dicen que fue un te Quiero”, or any other title whatsoever. In fact, some people were unhappy with the scant originality of the work, a remix of her previous record and one about to come out, little more than a selection of songs recorded live by the singer. But of course, what does it matter if the feeling is different?
In her press conference, Argentina admitted that with “Un Viaje por el Cante”, she had learned a lesson. That it wasn't necessary to water down her flamenco in order to open doors and become known artistically. Perhaps for this reason she is now able to sing better than ever, as she herself commented at the entrance, and perhaps this is why she is now able to give us more listening pleasure. Because, although she had beauty in her voice from the beginning, her singing is now full of adventure and knowledge.
In other words, to speak of Argentina is to recognize her career, see the evolution and admire her with no ifs, ands or buts about her art. Or about the range and variety of repertoire and styles (tangos, seguiriyas, martinete, malagueñas, cantiñas, fandangos, serrana, milonga…) that kept the audience consulting the program at every step of the way. Or about sweetly perfect and serene tones. Or about the elegantly perfect staging. Or about her image, and everything it represents.
This singer is entertaining, in the best sense of the word, with no need to get up from her seat, nor deform the songs, nor resort to being histrionic, nor even resort to flourishes aimed at easy applause. On the contrary. She comes to sing flamenco, with honesty and discipline, as if she'd never heard of playing up to the audience. And this is precisely what keeps the audience alert, because no one expects any fireworks. It's simply about listening and going with the flow, even improvising the chorus of fandangos de Alosno as happened in the theater.
And all backed up with the excellent compás of Los Mellis and Torombo who constantly trigger cheers with their enthusiastic palmas, and with the inspiring guitar of Jesús Quevedo “Bolita”, who not only accompanies her, but adds a universe of imagination and dream-space where the singer's self-confidence floats freely. In other words, a recital we would enjoy seeing again and again, with any title.