Roger Scannura & Ritmo Flamenco,
Noche Flamenco
(independent, 2006)

Roger Scannura spent his childhood on the island of Malta and was immersed in music from an early age. He was trained in flamenco guitar by gypsy masters like Pepe Habichuela and has toured Europe and North America as a soloist and a music director for flamenco dance companies. He also is the founder and an active part of the Toronto-based dance company Ritmo Flamenco, with whom he released his latest CD Noche Flamenca.

The CD features 11 self-crafted dance tunes including bulerias, rumbas, fandangos and tangos, just to name the most popular styles. The opening track, "Noche Flamenca," invites the listener to clap his hands in the typical bulerias style. The fiery and passionate rhythm of this flamenco dance takes you immediately to some fireplace of the Gitanos somewhere in Andalusia. Valeria Scannura's hand clapping (palmas) and Laurence Stevenson's fiddle emphasize Scannura's brilliant flamenco rhythms.

Another wonderful dance tune is "En Malaga," a verdiales, or a dance with some stunning rhythm changes and the famous sound of the castanuelas.

I also love the more quiet airs like "Solea," "Silencio" or "Garrotin," where Scannura shows his sensible guitar playing. Stevenson adds his mandola to the beautiful taranta "Santuario por Manuel" and Kevin Quevedo Smith's percussions interfere with Valeria's taconeos (stamping the heels) on the wonderful fandango live performance. The CD ends with a last tremendous tango for Angelica, "El Surco."

Roger Scannura is a gifted composer and flamenco guitarist, and his music takes the listener to the fascinating world of Spanish gypsies.

by Adolf Goriup
16 September 2006

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