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La nueva banda de Santisteban Sabor a fresa La nueva banda de Santisteban Sabor a fresa La nueva banda de Santisteban Sabor a fresa
  • Sabor a fresa (cd)-1 Sabor a fresa (cd)-2 Sabor a fresa (cd)-3
    CD VAMPI CD 106
    4,00€ buy
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Born in Madrid in 1943, raised on copla and popular Spanish song genres, with a solid classic formation, initiated in jazz and in love with Brazilian music, Alfonso Santisteban is, among many things, different.

He was a session musician and composer for hire from the early 60s for stars of flamenco pop, author of countless soundtracks, many of them patchy, some remarkable. Santisteban also wrote innumerable melodies for an incipient TVE (Spain’s public TV broadcaster) hungry for a liberal modernity. He decided to pay this pleasant toll in order to gain moments of total creative freedom.

Let’s talk about the wonderful and impossible to find “Sabor a fresa” album (Belter, 1971), which Vampisoul is reissuing under its original title for the first time with the addition of an extra track from an ultra-rare 45 of the "Enseñar a un sinvergüenza" soundtrack. Right from the start, the title theme represents the Santisteban canon: female “da-ba-das", sounds reminiscent of copla, spaghetti-western soundtracks, his jazz devotion and the fixation with Brazil. ‘Brincadeira’ directly takes us to the beaches of Ipanema with the unmistakeable cadence of bossa nova. ‘Nuestro ayer’ and its guitar à la “Concierto de Aranjuez” marries, almost in an obscene manner, Santisteban’s obsession and his reality: Copacabana and the river Manzanares, caipirinha and the San Francisco cocktail.

‘Limón y sal’ and ‘Zorongo’, both released on 45, are two bombs that have nothing to envy any of the holy grails of euro groove that mill around the web. The former is woven by an infectious electric guitar swung by a soulish vibe, the latter by a beat that still sounds new and surprising today. Both are embellished by Trío La La La’s trademark female choruses, led by Merche Valimaña. These tracks were official hymns of the Costa Fleming sound, epicentre of the club culture and ultimate place for encounters – social or of any other type – of early 70s Madrid. Clubs such as Bocaccio, Lord Octopus, J&J, where any real artist or wannabe of the scene would hang out.

‘No te acuerdas de mí’, with Martín Carretero’s majestic guitar riff, Pepe Sanchez’s incisive and mighty drumming, its trumpet and flute line by Pedro Iturralde and that chorus is simply… unbelievable. And what’s to say about the playful and child-like ‘Manías de María’, reminiscent of ‘If I Had A Hammer’, or the twilight ‘Vuelve a tu ciudad’, or…

We leave for last that beauty called ‘Persecución’, also included on the soundtrack of “Enseñar a un sinvergüenza” and released on a super rare and highly valued single with a voluptuous Carmen Sevilla at the phone on the cover. The track features a cast of musicians at their peak: scat vocals, jazz a go go, syncopated rhythms… one of the seminal pieces of European jazz.

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