About Track 4, Barcelona

As often happens, this song idea came about from me just strumming the guitar. People often think there's a wide gap between the way different styles are played... but usually the big difference between say, a funk and latin track, is the final production, the arrangement, the instruments. This initial Dm and C chord could almost be the beginning of a funk track, but as you hear a few more seconds, it's clearly a latin track. The style that the Gipsy Kings have made famous is what many people call Flamenco, but by the Flamenco community this style is know as Rumba. Good for parties, clapping and shouting!

Multi-instrumentalist Alex Wilson: Around 1990/ 1991 as I was starting my course at York University in French and Linguistics, I was for the first time trying out the electric guitar skills I'd been practising in my bedroom for the previous three years! I joined a rock band called Otis Elevation, and one of the members of that band suggested I play in some sort of Afro-Jazz band... I wasn't sure what that was but on the first rehearsal I met Alex, who was playing bass at the time. I learnt later that he not only played guitar to a high level, but that piano was his main instrument! One thing we had in common was that we were both studying other subjects (he was doing Electronics) but we both loved music! More than 20 years later, he has achieved great things, recording several albums, toured the world with top artists and become a great educator in Latin jazz... so I'm lucky he had time to play piano on this track!!

Fernando Pellon: I met Fernando in about 2005, we both performed in Amir Akbari's flamenco fusion group El Aire. Fernando is not only a great singer but can also hold his own on the guitar, and amongst the network of flamenco musicians in London, I count him as one of my guitar teachers (whom I also thank in the album booklet). On the day of recording his main vocals, he said that he had a bit of a cold, so we tried a couple of takes to see how his voice sounded. We were pleased with what we heard... his gravelly voice expressed the pain of his lost Cuban love all the more with the vocal chords being roughened by a cold!

When mixing this song, I was in two minds about how loud the guitar solo should be. I'm glad I decided to make it pretty loud! I like the interaction between the outro guitar solo and Fernando's "jaleos" (vocal encouragement, cheering, flamenco style!)


Listen to an excerpt of Barcelona

NEXT: Track 5- Need For Love

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