Paco Renteria is a virtuoso on guitar, and on Gitanus and Océano he melds classical, flamenco, and rock through his unique ‘freeplay' style.
Paco Renteria - Gitanus and Océano
Gitanus: Obertura, El Ritmo de la Sangre, Gitanus, Una Luz en Mi Vida (Dedicada a Mi Hija), Embrujo, Dunas, La Leyenda de Zorro, Gitano de Mala Rama, Nochesde Fiesta, El Tren de la Vida, Zamba de Paco (bonus track)
Personnel - Gitanus: Paco Renteria: Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Orchestration; Emmanuel Macías: Violin, Vocals, Orchestration; Benjamin "Chemin" Santillanes: Trumpet, Chorus; Roberto Quintero: Percussions; Victor Aguilar: Bajo; Luis Quintero: Harmonica, Guitar, Chorus; Lidia Madrigal: Percussion (Tablas, Djembe, Dumbeck, Darbuka); César Rojas: Congas, Bongos; Luis Palacios "Loco Box": Electric Guitar, Chorus, ; Aída Quintero: Castanets, Palms; Rafael Berrueta: Drums; Mary Carmen Camarena: Vocals
Océano: Caribe, Vallarta Nights, Océano, Playa Las Estacas, Nunca Te Olvides de Mí, Sueño Oriental, Luz en el Medio Oriente (Tigre), Andalucia
Personnel - Océano: Paco Renteria: Acoustic Guitar; Emmanuel Macías: Violin, Keyboards; Luis Quintero: Guitar, Harmonica; Victor Aguilar: Bajo; Roberto Quintero: Percussion, Vocals; Mónico Avila: Percussion; Hector Aguilar: Percussion; César Rojas: Percussion; Darko Palacios: Drums; Alonso Guerrero: Flute; Yolihuani Curíel: Citar; Luis Marinez: Electric Guitar: Aida Quintero: Palms, Zapateado (Spanish Dance)
Gitanus and Océano, produced by Paco Renteria with arrangements by Paco Renteria and Emmanuel Macías, was released under the Ren Records label. So, who is Paco Renteria? Paco is a guitar virtuoso from Mexico whose style as he states is ‘freeplay,' which translates into letting the music, the venue, and the audience's aura and vibes dictate Paco's improvisational flow. He is an extraordinary classical and flamenco guitarist, and his musical interpretations are pure genius.
I had the unique opportunity to meet Paco and to hear him in concert during a trip to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Read the Paco Renteria - Interview in the Music Scene section. During our discussion, Paco emphasized that each live concert is different as he takes his lead from the audience and his surrounding, thus his ‘freeplay' style. His band has learned to follow the flow of Paco, and seeing and hearing them in concert, you feel their enthusiasm and energy take hold of you.
The concert was an evening setting on the beach with sand in our toes, the sound of the rolling ocean at our backs, and the powerfully intoxicating music of Paco Renteria onstage. The audience was waving white napkins, dancing in the aisles, clapping their hands, and tapping their fingers on the tables; they were captivated by the concert heart and soul. He played many of the songs from Gitanus and Océano, and I experienced the Paco Renteria ‘freeplay' improvisational style firsthand.
Paco is a person who immerses himself into his surroundings to soak up the flavors of the people, location, and culture, and through his arrangements he releases these elements. Océano (released 2003) opens with the magical track Caribe that was inspired from his travels to Cancun and Brazil. The track starts off fast and keeps the tempo pulsating as he mixes the hot beat of the samba with his scorching guitar; the sun, beaches, and people have a way of creating beautiful memories to draw from. Vallarta Nights is about enchanting Puerto Vallarta and the aphrodisiac that is the Vallarta nights. If you have been to Puerto Vallarta then the music will speak to you, if you have not been, then get ready to book your trip after listening to Vallarta Nights. Océano and Playa Las Estacas are inspired by beach life as Océano starts off with the faint mesmerizing background sound of ocean waves breaking on the beach, and he closes Playa Las Estacas with the same passage. He segues between the tracks with the sounds of seagulls singing their familiar welcome to beach goers. The arrangement's violin and guitar passages convey a feeling of peace and joy. Each track within Océano is like a short story, and through the arrangement you ‘hear' and feel the story being told. This is a full and rich release where each time you listen to it, you will pick up a few new elements and nuances.
Gitanus (released 2005) is a trip through genres as well as world music as Paco and the band swing and sway through rock, flamenco, classical, folk, Middle Eastern, and other genres. The opening tracks, Obertura and El Ritmo de la Sangre, moves through a short overture with a drum sounding like a faint heart beating its time to a techno background and segues to Paco on classical guitar. The title track Gitanus lights up the release with Paco's guitar complemented by the fiery violin of Emmanuel Macías. The track Una Luz en Mi Vida (Dedicada a Mi Hija) showcases the beautiful voice of Mary Carmen Camarena set to a rock, folk, and classical sound. The track Embrujo draws on a Middle Eastern tempo and is lead by the violin; while the track Dunas (dunes) is a salute from one musical genius to another, as Paco pays homage to David Gilmore of Pink Floyd and the sound made famous on the release The Wall. With the track Dunas he takes his ‘freeplay' influence from the audience within himself and creates an arrangement that would have fit nicely on the release The Wall. La Leyenda de Zorro turns to Paco's Spanish roots with a powerful flamenco arrangement complete with palms, castanets, and that distinct horn that salutes and calls the dancers to attention. Gitanus is an eclectic arrangement that only touches the tip of the creative iceberg that is Paco Renteria.
Paco is all about the music as his arrangements are a tapestry of styles, sounds, and influences; he draws from his inner being and lets the music speak for itself. He crafts the arrangements to allow freedom not only for himself, but to feature the excellent musicians that he has accompanying him; the sum of the pieces is the total sound.
Website where you can procure Paco Renteria's - Gitanus and Océano is Paco Renteria.
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