At last, the long-awaited transcription of the historic CD ''Yerbagüena'' by Pepe Habichuela has been released as an addition to maestro Enriqie Vargas ' ''Great Flamenco Guitars of Today Library''. This two-volume edition, as all others within this Library, carries a hand-written exclusive authorization by the author of the music.
This CD is considered historic for the following reasons: one, it is the first album that fuses Gypsy flamenco with the music of India, the homeland of the Romá (Gypsies). The ease with which Habichuela's guitar blends with the colorful Indian melodies of the Bollywood Strings, full of microtones and oriental embellishments is truly astonishing. Two, this work is a fruit of the combined effort of four different members of this outstanding flamenco family, the Carmona: maestro Pepe Habichuela; his son Josemi, himself a great guitarist, composer, arranger and producer; Juan Carmona, guitar virtuoso and also a great composer; and, last but not least, Antonio Carmona, an extraordinary percussionist.
The music on CD exudes the joy of living, pure and sincere as the ancestral wisdom of the Gypsy, who, through the thousands of years and miles preserved their soul and their art.
The transcription opf ''Yerbagüena'' was complicated by the abundance of Indian instruments, two and sometimes three guitar tracks, singing, etc.. Surprisingly, maestro Vargas not only transcribed all the guitar tracks, but also arranged the most important parts played by the Bollywood Strings, the oud and the mandola for the second guitar. As a result, this work offers flamenco material for solo guitar as well as duos and trios. No need to say, flamenco pieces for more that one guitar have been virtually non-existent on the chart market. It should be added that all the tunes from this CD are perfectly playable on a solo guitar.
As in all of his books, Enrique Vargas offers detailed explanations on the forms included on the CD, foot marking, tonalities, the basics of the harmonic and melodic language of each form as well as the analysis of the most difficult compás, falsetas and technical aspects of the artist's style. This turns each book into a mini-manual of flamenco in general and the personal style of each guitarist in particular.
This transcription is an important addition to the ''Great Flamenco Guitars of Today Library''.
In this bilingual English/Spanish edition, the sheet music is presented in staff and tablature formats with complete fingerings for both hands.
Enrique Vargas is the author of the texts and the transcription, approved exclusively by the artist.
''Yerbagüena (Oriente)'' (rumba)
This piece is a duo of the guitars by Pepe Habichuela who plays with the capo on II in D major with the sixth string tuned down to D, accompanied by Josemi Carmona playing in E without the capo. The singing verse has been transcribed in its entirety for the second guitar or any other instrument, depending on the wishes of the musicians involved.
''Bangalore Krishna'' (bulería)
This is a dialogue between the guitars by Pepe and Josemi and the Bollywood Strings. Pepe plays por arriba (Mi Hijaz) with no capo, and Josemi, por granaína (B Hijaz), with the capo on V. In addition to both guitars, the most important parts played by the Indian musicians, as well as scat improv have been transcribed for the second guitar, which, conveniently enough, doesn't play during the parts in question. This piece is a duo but can be played as a solo, since Pepe's falsetas played here are perfectly independent, meaning, they don't have to rely on any accompaniment.
''A mi chaché Miguel'' (soleá)
This magnificent guitar solo is another demonstration of the depth and beauty Pepe Habichuela is capable of reaching in the soleá, the king of flamenco forms. Irreplaceable for any guitarist.
''Se la llevó Dios' (malagueña de Cádiz)
This is an encounter between two authentic maestros of flamenco: singer Enrique Morente and guitarist Pepe Habichuela. Both the guitar and the singing have been transcribed completely, to the last embellishment. A must for any student of flamenco accompaniment. The synchronicity between the two artists as well as the purity and quality of their interpretation is truly amazing. The singing part can be interpreted by any instrument, turning the piece into a kind of instrumental ballade.