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Paco de Lucia passed away unexpectedly in February 2014 while in Mexico. He was in his mid-late 60s. More or less born and bred as a flamenco guitarist, his father, brothers, uncles - all played guitar - some of them as members of his sextet.
But de Lucia would probably never have come to my attention if it hadnt been for his musical exploration for ways to extend flamenco beyond its traditional Spanish home. From the 1970s, he teamed with the kind of musicians that I would have been more likely to listen to: Back in the 70s and 80s, my musical muses included Al Dimeola and John McLaughlin , who here collaborate to display what may well be the collected fastest fingers in guitar on one stage/album and they do their best to outshine eachother in this clip. My personal favorite of the trio is Al Dimeola, but Paco de Lucia's classical background seems to stand out as "style". John McLaughlin's performance on the other hand carries the inflections of his Mahavishnu influence - a slightly oriental or almost transcendental juxtapositions of notes.
Although he is going to be remembered as a flamenco master, de Lucia also played with other jazz greats besides his most famous trio above, including at one time or another Chick Correa. Like so:
And Larry Coryell:
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