Paco De Lucia: Convite (Rumba)
Paco De Lucia (acoustic guitar)
Castro Marin (Philips 832 023-2)
Composed by Paco De Lucia.
Recorded: Tokyo, December 1979
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Before the worldwide commercial success of the Guitar Trio of Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola, there was the Super Guitar Trio featuring De Lucia, McLaughlin and the great jazz-rock guitarist Larry Coryell, who together had just completed their European tour when De Lucia and Coryell recorded "Convite." The performance is historically important. Though their tour had ended, they were still learning each other's genre's musical vocabulary. Flamenco giant De Lucia was struggling, and would for several years, to grasp the chordal and improvisational aspects of jazz. Fusion player Coryell, who'd never really paid that much attention to Spanish guitar, was now playing with one of its most famous practitioners. The meeting of the two traditions would henceforth become important parts of the music these two trailblazers performed for the rest of their careers.
"Convite" aptly translates to "invitation." The tune is based upon the flamenco rumba style which was influenced by the rhythms of Africa and Cuba. Notwithstanding their claims that they were still struggling to make it all jell, De Lucia and Coryell sound like they have been playing together for years. Coryell is a little more daring. He uses a good deal of harmonics and his chord playing is fuller. His improvisational runs are sharper as well. Those skills would naturally come from his bag. De Lucia is a more rhythmic player. The constant patterns of his forefathers assured he was a master of time. De Lucia was also adding to his arsenal of chords. Traditional flamenco used about four chords and that was it. His improvised solos do not approach the speed with which he would play in the ensuing years. Part of this was probably due to the fact of flamenco rumba's traditional slower tempo. But De Lucia was still learning the ropes as well. The superlative call and response heard from both sides is a true indication that the two styles were well on their way to finding common ground.
When it came time for the Super Guitar Trio to tour the U.S. after this recording, Coryell's personal problems prevented him from staying with the group. He was replaced by Al Di Meola. The rest is world-jazz acoustic guitar history.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky