Paco de Lucia's new album is dedicated to his mother, which may explain why the music isn't just dazzling and passionate--qualities we've come to expect from the renowned flamenco guitarist--it is deeply soulful as well.
In the album's liner notes, Spanish poet Felix Grande writes that the music constitutes "a dialogue with the terror of our finite lifetimes." If so, it's an exchange that takes myriad forms, turning back and forth between shouts and whispers, melodies and motion, song and dance.
The rhythms alone embrace a wide range of expression, laying the groundwork for de Lucia's fleet-fingered lyricism and the album's shifting moods on "Rio De La Miel," "Me Regale," "Manteca Colora" and other original pieces. Sparsely orchestrated, with little more than percussion and occasional vocals augmenting the guitar, de Lucia is free to indulge himself. Yet the common thread running through all of the performances is emotion, not technique.
As dazzling as his touch is, it's de Lucia's ability to get to the heart and soul of the matter that makes "Luzia" truly special.
Appearing Monday at the Kennedy Center.
To hear a free Sound Bite from Paco de Lucia, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8126. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)