Up to now I hadn’t spent much time with the Vicente Carillo ‘Tomatito’ guitars, so I thought I’d take a page out of Scott Wolf’s book and try out a new piece I’m writing on a couple of different models – seemed like a great idea to work out some new material on some cool guitars. The difference, of course, is that Scott is actually prepared when he comes in to record and I was kind of winging it with a bunch of new Alegria falsetas. At least now I know what I need to work on (all of it), and I’ll post a better version of this piece in a little bit when I get it worked out.
I called Joey Heredia to come rehearse with me. Joey is a legendary drummer in jazz, fusion and Latin circles, and a few years back he got sucked into the flamenco thing. I’ve been fortunate to be working pretty steadily with Joey for a few years now.
What these guitars have in common is that you can really push them, and they give back everything you put in. They definitely feel closer to Madrid guitars than to Granada – more punch and bite and a sturdier feel overall (this isn’t a judgment for or against either – I’ve always felt that it’s one of the choices you make as a player, blanca/negra, Madrid/Granada, etc…). And they’re loud.
p.s. my studio is very dead (took a while to get it as dead as I wanted), so I did add a little reverb to the guitars, but other than that I didn’t mess with the audio.
This is the ‘La Cañada’ blanca, the least expensive of the group. The basses on this model don’t yield at all to those on the more expensive models, but you do get more range in the trebles on the other models. That said, it recorded beautifully, and if I needed a guitar for a gig and you handed me this one I’d be pretty happy, which isn’t something I can say about all guitars in this price range.
This one’s the ‘Aguadulce’ blanca, and I really liked it. Very growly and aggressive, which I think mostly comes through on the recording. Very much a ‘now’ flamenco sound, as opposed to a more old-school flamenco sound. Joey really liked this one, too.
This one’s the top-of-the-line ‘La Chanca’ negra, with cocobolo back and sides. At $5,799 this one’s competing in a much more crowded market, and I think I may have been a little biased against it at first (I rarely like negras as much as blancas – it’s just a personal thing). I don’t know enough about cocobolo to know if it’s the wood or the construction, but this guitar seemed to walk the line between blanca and negra, which is a cool thing in my mind. The basses were very loud and growly, and while the trebles did have that sweetness and clarity you can get in a negra, they also had the sizzle you get from a good blanca. I didn’t think I would, but I ended up really liking this guitar.
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