Homenaje a Mario PachecoPosted on Dec 6, 2010 by Strand |
Mario Pacheco died last week in Madrid. Quietly … as he lived. He was 60 years old.
Modest and staying out of the spotlights, he was nevertheless one of the persons who did the most for Spanish culture in the 20th Century.
His label Nuevos Medios is for New Flamenco what Island was for Reggae or Tamla Motown for Soul: always producing music that was at the edges, reaching new audiences and delivering classic pieces of art.
At the end of the sixties, beginning of the seventies, Mario Pacheco was a music photographer who left the dictatorship in Spain for London where he made pictures of Jimi Hendrix and befriended producer Joe Boyd (the guy that discovered Pink Floyd).
Back to Spain, he became a concert promoter and made the pictures of the undisputed best Spanish record of all times “La Leyenda del Tiempo” by Camaron de la Isla. An album that represented the move from Old Flamenco to the New by mixing it with Jazz, Rock and Psychedelic sounds.
At the time, when Gipsy-only culture was so popular, he decided to sign and release new bands and musicians such as:
- Pata Negra: brothers Rafael and Raimundo Amador who played with Camaron’s electric band. These 2 brothers invented the link between Flamenco and Blues. Since then, Raimundo has shared recordings with Björk or B.B. King.
- Ketama, that recorded the classic album “Shongai” with Toumani Diabaté (the Kora player from Mali).
- The seminal record “Quien no corre vuela” from ex-Ketama Ray Heredia (considered as the equivalent of Prince in Flamenco) was published in 1991 before his sudden death.
- Saxophonist Jorge Pardo (now playing regularly with Chick Corea) appeared in many of these records before delivering his masterpiece “Veloz hacia sus sino” mixing Flamenco and Jazz.
- This list of collaborations also includes La Barbería del Sur, Son de la Frontera and many others.
After Flamenco was declared Unesco World Heritage last week, we have to give credit to the man who give it a 20th Century facelift.