Pansequito y Antonio Reyes
Cante: 1st part: Antonio Reyes, 2nd part : Pansequito; Guitarras : 1st part : Manolo Herrera, 2nd part: Diego Amaya; Palmas :Diego Montoya, Pedro de la Chana.
Text : Gonzalo Montaño Peña
The series Flamenco Viene del Sur brought a cante recital with two singers from different generations, both of whom were influenced in one way or another by Manolo Caracol. In the case of Pansequito, because it was Caracol who discovered him and gave him the opportunity to become known, and in the case of Antonio Reyes, because of the influence of Caracol’s recordings on his singing style.
The first part of the show corresponded to Antonio Reyes, who began with a dry “Good evening…I’m going to sing por soleá”. Staring at the floor, and thinking only of his cante, Antonio went through styles from Alcalá to Los Puertos, exhibiting knowledge, but a lack of self-confidence. And no wonder. This was his chance to jump to a higher professional level, that of the big stars, however, he seemed intimidated by the dimensions of the event.
Reyes has a rhythmic command that allows him to mix cantes like fandangos with tangos, always on tune and with a wonderful flamenco voice that occasionally reminds one of singers like Chiquetete.
There is scant communication with the audience, and conversation is reduced to announcing what cante will be sung next, which has the effect reducing the connection with those present, which is so important for a singer. The singer from Chiclana recalled Manuel Torre por siguiriya, with clean tones and good breathing that allowed him to draw out the lines without delivering any emotion, and he seemed only to be giving a tonal speech instead of feeling the cante.
Generally speaking, this entire part of the recital involving Antonio Reyes was marked by lack of expression, possibly due to the weight of responsibility the singer felt in front of a demanding audience. Special mention for Manolo Herrera, who proved to be a knowledgeable, patient and experienced accompanist in all the cantes.
The disappointment of the first part caused the second part to be all the more hopefully awaited during the intermission that preceded the performance of José Cortés “Pansequito”, one of the current greats of Cádiz cante. “Panseco” opened with alegrias, a cante where he can really lay his cards on the table, and where he made full use of his famous capacity for drawing out the lines at will. Alegrías seems like a cante that would be difficult to modify because everyone does it the same, but Pansequito brings out his personality and creative force giving a new twist to these well-worn styles, returning again and again to the lines and bringing out his wonderful low register.
In soleá, he continues to deliver expressive power with melodies that are halfway between weeping and chanting, although some styles are repeated or not adequately concluded.
Next was taranto, with the accompaniment of Diego Amaya that was occasionally deficient. Important cante returned with the bulerías, showing this singer’s capacity for elongating lines, a specialty of José Cortés that makes the cante barroque, moving, somewhat predictable but effective, and which is only accessible to those with a great voice and impeccable internal metronome.
We left the theater with the feeling of what could have been, but was not, a night of high expectations that weren’t met….maybe next time.