Filmed in 1994, the hourlong documentary Light and Shade paints a compelling portrait of modern flamenco icon Paco de Lucia.
Filmed in 1994, the hourlong documentary Light and Shade paints a compelling portrait of modern flamenco icon Paco de Lucia. Born and bred to the tradition, the Spanish guitar virtuoso helped revolutionize the art by incorporating influences from jazz and Afro-Caribbean genres. The film covers the guitarist's Andalucian musical family and traces him from his earliest exploits to artistic maturity, including his collaborations with late flamenco singer El Camarón de la Isla and such international jazz stars as guitarist John McLaughlin. The dignified De Lucia comes across well in extended interview segments; it's unfortunate that other commentary is mostly limited to a flamenco expert and the guitarist's sister. (Input from one of his high-profile collaborators would have been interesting.) Much performance footage is here, showing De Lucia in rapt tandem with Camarón as well as playing Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in an inimitably rich manner. The DVD-Video's excellent sound provides a wonderful showcase for De Lucia, with his playing alternately percussive and poetic, florid and elemental. Unfortunately, there are next to no extras, with the lack of a discography betraying a lack of thought in the DVD production. Still, the film is an apt introduction not only to De Lucia but to the art of flamenco. Distributed in the U.S. by Naxos/ HNH.—BB