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Carlos Lomas, Flamenco Guitarist

Drawing inspiration from years spent in Malaga, and in Madrid where he has worked with the finest of Spain's singers, dancers and musicians, his special technical skills combined with an exciting musical temperament have earned Carlos Lomas  the respect and admiration of flamenco guitarists around the world.

A superb presenter of flamenco, Carlos Lomas employs a precision of technique combined with the fresh harmonies and complex syncopations of the traditional Spanish structures.  This artistic relationship is the vital key in Carlos Lomas' playing.  He has exceptional skill and is a dynamic inventive musician whose artistry and magnetism have an astounding impact on his listeners.  In addition to his remarkable inventiveness, Carlos Lomas plays with an inherent respect for the emotional and cultural heritages of traditional flamenco forms.


Re: Carlos Lomas Plays Flamenco Guitar Improvisations "Carlos Bond Lomas is an outstanding guitarist within the modern school of flamenco.  His approach to the music employs a precision of technique pioneered by the brilliant Sabicas and by Mario Escudero, combined with fresh harmonies and complex syncopations within the traditional rhythmic structure.  The leading proponent of this modern style is the phenomenal Paco de Lucia, whose influence can be sensed in several of Lomas' selections.  This artistic relationship -- personal as well as musical -- is an important key to Lomas playing.  But it should be stressed that Lomas is never an imitator or a derivative player.  His personal creativity is the vital element in his music and it lends a uniquely personal stamp to all of his interpretations...     In addition to his remarkable inventiveness, Lomas displays a keen sensitivity to the real significance of the individual flamenco forms.  He respects their emotional and cultural contexts, so that deep and serious styles retain their profundity, while the lighter forms get an appropriately appealing rendition.  His use of multi-track recording and additional instrumentation -- confined to those styles which can benefit from these modern techniques -- lends an extra dimension..."
-Brook Zern, 1976
Re: Carlos Lomas Chocolate, "Flamenco has transformed itself again into one of the most popular musical genres in the world.  There has always been turbulent relationship between the traditionalists and the innovators of this art.  This fame has motivated many foreign ‘aficionados’ to fall in love with the guitar and that some of them have become magnificent concert artists. Carlos Lomas, originally from the USA, is one of those authentic cases and even though having been in Spain for only seven years has become a consumate artist....to the flamenco aficionado this album is an example of moments that can always remain fresh and endure in time without aging because they are in themselves "eternal" "
Gonzolo Rojo's "Oido al Cante" Sur de Malaga, Spain
Re: Carlos Lomas Adelante, "A fascinating album, originally released in 1984 after several years of recording, that features musicians from Pakistan, Egypt, Spain, North and South America, all anchored by Lomas's flamenco guitar and oud playing.  With all that has happened since, this album remains not only a landmark, but also a very exciting listen, with a freshness and intensity undulled by the many similar experiments that have come after"
 
-Guillermo Juan Christie, Flamenco Connection

“’Adelante reveals the astounding vision of Carlos Lomas, the remarkable energy, synchronicity and respective talents of the broad array of other fine musicians who joined him, and the gifted hand of Lance Quinn at the controls.… I will leave it to the historians to decide whether this is in fact the first true flamenco/world music recording ever made, though I believe it deserves that accolade.. In the nearly three decades since it was made, flamenco has evolved to admit an endless array of influences and it continues to enter new territory each year.  The concept of fusion pioneered by my friend Carlos Lomas, is now the dominant force in flamenco and has found new audiences and millions of admirers around the world…
I think this long-overdue reissue – essentially unchanged from the original – deserves belated recognition as a monumental event in flamenco…”
-Brook Zern, 2007
Re: Carlos Lomas Live in Concerts "A sizable audience came to hear him and cheered his performance enthusiastically--the poetry, soul, and passion of flamenco guitar--raw energy--what flamenco is developing into"

-The New York Times

"His exciting performance had the vitality and innovation that seems to be today's and tomorrow's direction in flamenco music"

-The Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society

"Besides his rich repetoire and mastery of the instrument, Mr. Lomas is an outstanding performer.  He has the great gift of knowing just how to make his music accessible to an audience."

-Philip Arnoult, Director Theatre Project, Baltimore,MD
Re: Carlos Lomas Flamenco Guitar  "The experience in working in traditional flamenco settings is unmistakeably present in the solo work of guitarist Carlos Lomas.  His unerring sense of compas, and the musty flavor of real flamenco permeate his music to an extent that is rare in guitarists these days, and even more so guitarists outside of Spain.  Recommended."

                                                                -Guillermo Juan Christie, Flamenco Connection
Re: Carlos Lomas Al Momento  In 2004 Carlos acquired a digital recorder that made it possible for him to do something he’d been wanting to do for a long time – record himself playing the guitar in those inspired moments that are difficult (if not almost impossible) to occur in recording studios or live performances on stage or other venues.  When he feels the moment is “right” – all he has to do is remember to push the record button and off he goes.  Sometimes he can pull it off with very few mistakes – this is the way it happens.
“The way Carlos plays is what he calls  “inspired improvisation” because he stops thinking about what he is doing and goes into a trance where he can play “free.”  This is the way he wants to play the guitar, and since he’s learned a tradition where he is competent in the acquired skills that he’s had to study, learn and perform with, it’s possible for him to do this.
In the flamenco tradition the guitarist plays “falsetas” that are generally learned or composed and there is little if any chance that most guitarists will stray from this “routine” as it’s too risky to take chances and everyone knows it.  Carlos could “fix” his mistakes by taking the extra time to edit but he chose not to do that on this recording because it isn’t honest, particularly when you’re “putting yourself out on a limb” in the first place.
Over the past six years Carlos has recorded himself and gathered a collection of almost 50 tracks of this kind of playing.  After listening to them for many times with his very self critical process of elimination, he is now presenting what he considers to be the best of all these selections.  There are 10 and they are all on one CD (total time: 51:45).  The title of each selection is the inspiration that caused the piece to happen, and the title of the album means “At the Moment” in Spanish and that’s what each selection is – an “inspired improvisation at the moment”
Mamapacha, 2009
Re: Gioia Tama “Al Amor” "It shall take millions more like us," an Armenian gypsy once told me. I was small. We sat under a magnolia tree and sang together as the voice of freedom. The tree died because an apartment house grew in its place. Since then, I live and will die singing and dancing to God over the shadows and roots of all the trees, free in nature, toward the earth's heart. God tells me everything thing can be simple for eternity.   ! Viva el Amor!

Gioia "La Pastora"

“A beautiful collection of songs that convey a child-like appreciation of life... Sung in Gioia's own "Spanglish", with the always tasteful accompaniment of Carlos Lomas on guitar, oud, palmas”

--Guillermo Juan Christie, Flamenco Connection
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Topanga Tangos
Al Momento
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Interviews

Re:  Clásico y Flamenco  “This recording is a documentation of the formative years of Carlos Lomas as he evolved from being a classical guitarist into becoming a flamenco guitarist and ultimately creating his own style within the Flamenco Genre. He began the serious study of Flamenco in 1965 and rapidly advanced to the level of professional within a few years. By 1969 he was working in night clubs, restaurants, and concertizing in New York City. Also he had begun to perform in “Tablaos” in Spain where he became accepted into the inner circle of the Flamenco community. Then his career really took off; but this recording is about the beginning.

Tracks 1-7 depict the classical stance and popular music such as “Granada” and “Malagueña” and two flamenco compositions – “Rondeña” by Mario Escudero and “Castillo de Xauen” by Esteban de Sanlucar which Carlos learned from Mario.  Tracks 8-13 are strictly flamenco pieces becoming more and more intense and they are what you could call “compilations” of traditional material strung together with “Falsetas” (or Variations) of different guitarists, most of whom Carlos actually studied with. Tracks 14-17 present Carlos as beginning to express his own style although some of the falsetas are still from other guitarists, notably Diego de Gastor and Paco de Lucia.

These last four tracks are immediately different in the sound and reverberation effect as Carlos was playing a Santos Hernandez guitar and the recording was done in a professional studio in Madrid in 1975. All the other tracks were played on a Jose Ramirez guitar in New York City in 1972 on a portable Sony cassette recorder and were a “test” to see if he could be capable of making a record, and after all these years here they are!”

~ Mamapacha, 2010

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