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Prog Folk • Spain

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Gualberto biography
Gualberto (Garcia Perez) has developed a unique manner to play a mix between flamenco and fusion rock music. He created flamenco sitar which consists to perform flamenco basic scales on sitar. He first introduced his musical "fusion" approach in his first band Smash in the early seventies. Two albums of progressive rock will be published under this name. During these recent years he appeared in Woodstock festival and also met Frank Zappa. In 1975 he started his career in solo, recording his first album personal album "A La Vida Al Dolor" ("To the life and the pain") a monumental progressive psych album. It features an important use of electric rock guitar next to acoustic parts delivered by flamenco guitar, sitar and violin. In 1976 he released his second official album called"Vericuetos", one of the major contributions for the development of Spanish rock music. After these two classic albums, Gualberto worked for numerous projects with others musicians, notably with Ricardo Mino for a serie of albums more in the genre of traditional flamenco music composed with an evident use of sitar and Hindu's accents ("Puento Magico" in 1983, "Sin commentario" at the beginning of the 90's). He recently released an album "Resistances" (1998) with the great flamenco guitar interpreter Ricardo Mino.

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GUALBERTO discography

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GUALBERTO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.51 | 29 ratings
A La Vida / Al Dolor
3.49 | 30 ratings
3.67 | 3 ratings
Puente Mágico (with Ricardo Miño)
2.50 | 4 ratings
Sin Comentario
3.33 | 3 ratings
Contrastes (with Ricardo Miño)

GUALBERTO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GUALBERTO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GUALBERTO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GUALBERTO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A La Vida / Al Dolor by GUALBERTO album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.51 | 29 ratings

A La Vida / Al Dolor
Gualberto Prog Folk

Review by Thandrus

5 stars Gualberto's name might not tell much to non-conoisseur of Spanish rock music. Even the fact that up to that point he'd been the leader of Spain's arguably the best hard-psych band's Smash, won't rise his credit in the eye of a casual foreign music lover too high. When this kind of musician attempts to do folk-rock album sung in English, one can mostly expect a mere Celtic folk-approximation with second-rate lyrics; and if he or she is good enough, we usually give the musician extra courage by saying something like "it's a lot better than expected". But when a listener meets something like this album, this slightly cynic approach falls at the seams.

Gualberto, after having left Smash, traveled to USA to take some advanced music classes and upon returning to Spain commenced his solo career. He took two American musicians with him and one of them could sing very well, so the English-vocals-problem was easily solved.

But what about music? It's excellent. The album consists of two song cycles. Songs, despite mostly being sung in English, are named in Spanish. First song cycle features soft, pastoral and sunny music, sometimes reminiscent of Anthony Phillips' best output, but adding more Classical continental European folk-approach. This kind of music is enjoyable anywhere and anytime, from summer day to winter night. Melodies are complex and beautiful. Also typical patterns and clichés are avoided. In one song even a sitar is used, without sounding Indian.

The second song cycle is more diverse, bringing heavy-psych (but more progressive than Smash) and Flamenco music into apposition. Again all stays on Top level here and when Enrique Morente (one of the legendary Flamenco singers, who sadly died in 2010) steps in, it just takes your breath.

Album ends with two instrumental pieces. The first one is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, and features some heavy Symphonic Prog built on repetitive but dramatic violin theme and presenting excellent electric guitar work. And the last one is beautiful Classical piece (by this I mean progressive musicians approach to classical form), which in the end has many very beautiful violin lead melodies, one of which will be featured in a piece on Gualberto's second album, and given more Rock decision.

I was the one who heard Gualberto's second album "Vericuentos" prior to this one and I thought nothing in his discography (sadly not very big one) could top that instrumental masterpiece. Now it seems I was very wrong, as this debut work is at least on par. My rating to this would be 4,5 from 5. But 4 stars would seem too low, so I'll round up to 5 ? it deserves that!

 A La Vida / Al Dolor by GUALBERTO album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.51 | 29 ratings

A La Vida / Al Dolor
Gualberto Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Gualberto Garcia Perez was born in 1945 in Sevilla and one of the original members of the legendary Spanish psych/hard rock band Smash.After the demise of Smah,he travelled to USA for music studies and even composed a rock opera entitled ''"Behind the stars".During his trip he came in touch with musicians from different music approaches (jazz,classical,folk etc.) and in 1974 he returns to Spain along with two American musicians,Arthur Volh and Todd Purcell,with the help of whom he records his debut solo album ''A la vida, al dolor''.Notice the guest appearance of Carlos Carcamo of Granada on flutes.

The album is an amalgam of Gualberto's studies,an intense trip through the different fields he came in touch with,an eclectic mix of various civilizations,based mostly on Gualberto's flamenco guitar.''Cancion de la primavera'' is a pastoral acoustic/flamengo ballad with romantic vocals,while ''Cancion del agua'' is a blend of Folk and Classical Music with nice violin passages.''Cancion de las nieves'' is a big surprise,a soft orchestrated piece reminding of early KING CRIMSON and ''Cancion del arco iris'' comes like a sitar seminar,showcasing Gualberto's Eastern Music influences.''Cancion de las gaviotas'' is actually the first trully Progressive Rock track of the album,a beautiful number of Classical,Folk and Prog Rock with a fine second part where violin scratching,pounding bass and jazzy guitars offer some cool interplays.Notice all above five tracks are sung in English.

From now on Gualberto present his Andalusian roots more.''Terraplen'' is actually a constant slow jamming between flamenco guitar,sitar and violin with TRIANA-like Spanish vocals.The follower ''Prisioneros'' has some SMASH vibes with long guitar solos,before returning to a flamenco/psych-based drama with expressive vocals,this time in English.''Tarantos'' is more of a symphonic piece in structure,a great instrumental with fantastic violins again,passionate guitar playing and a smooth rhythm section.''Dialogo interior'' closes the album in a classical way with (no surprise) a constant dialogue between Gualberto's guitar and Arthur Vohl's violin,maybe this one is a bit too long.

Gualberto's debut offers some trully interesting and adventuruous moments and will easily appeal to fans of Progressive Folk,Acoustic Prog and generally the softer side of progressive music.The only negative point dominating the album is the absence of some trully masterful tracks,but again it has plenty of good material to be purchased.Recommended.

 Vericuetos by GUALBERTO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.49 | 30 ratings

Gualberto Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Gualberto is the name of the guitarist-sitarist that achieved success in the early 70's with hard-rock group Smash, whose first two albums serves as reference in the Hispanic world! During the recording of the latter (where Gualberto Garcia Perez played on sitar, guitar and fused Smash into weird psych rock), he started to work on a solo album that was not to see the day until the late 70's, but after he split away from Smash, he changed directions dramatically turning more towards Indian music and more adventuresome progressive rock. His group took on his name but from the writing credits on this album it seems a fairly democratic affair.

This totally instrumental second album (actually the third if you count the one recorded during Smash) is actually a very symphonic affair where the Indian influences are sometimes felt but well integrated as not to shock the mostly ultra-symphonic nature of the music. The opening track (winter Light in English) is a weird cross between western classical music, Arabic influences and sitar-laced themes that escapes further description, but it must be heard to be understood. Continuing Dialogue (English title) fuses romantic classical into rock rythms full of synths layers and can fit the term ultra symphonic, so much so that it is a bit awkward/corny to my ears. The third track rounding up side 1 is more energetic and can be considered as one of the highlights as the middle sections allows for good musical interplay.

Side 2 picks-up on the ultra-symphonic rock prog of the first side but clearly from the second track's first moments, the latter is the main attraction with a good droning violin and a slowly evolving moody crescendo.

Although a good symphonic album dating from Spain's liberation of its ugly dictatorship, this album is of a correct level but has failed to raise my excitement more than on a few minutes at a time.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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