Contemporary Flamenco


ABC Limelight Magazine – January 2007 Issue

by Anthony Clarke

‘Arrebato’, this group tells us, is a rarely-used Spanish word meaning a sudden and intense burst of emotion. The name is apt as this Australian group, in their debut eponymous album, is an ensemble which draws inspiration from one of the world’s most intense and emotional forms of expression – flamenco. Arrebato, headed by Australian guitarist Greg Alfonzetti, pursue a traditional line of flamenco-fusion, with jazz the main explorative medium, but within a very solid flamenco structure. Greg Alfonzetti’s studies in Spain are clear as we listen. He is an accomplished guitarist, but on show is far more than just technique – he is obviously imbued with the spirit of flamenco. His playing totally resonates with that tradition. His main partner on this largely instrumental recording is cellist and guitarist Damian de Boos-Smith and drummer Lloyd G with Dave Ellis on double bass and Andrew Poniris on alto and soprano saxophone and harmonica. The group creates some fascinating instrumental textures and rhythms. If there is to be a demurrer, it’s simply that to my ear, an alto or soprano sax can’t really compensate for the lack of human voice – nothing can summon up the raw passion and energy quite like an authentic flamenco singer. But the sheer beauty of Greg Alfonzetti’s guitar and the obvious deep sympathies developed with the other ensemble players is undeniable. An impressive debut


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