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GRANADA

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Granada biography
Pioneering early-70's Spanish progressive band, GRANADA (from Madrid...) was the musical project of multi-instrumentalist Carlos Carcamo (flute, violin, acoustic - and electric piano, mellotron, clavicordio, 12-string guitar, percussion and vocals!) and the other musicians Michael Vortreflich (electric guitar), Antonio Garcia Oteyza (bass) and Juan Bona (drums and vocals). GRANADA had a unique style. They remind of the Mexicans ICONOCLASTA, and also other Spanish bands like TRIANA or COTO EN PEL. The British influences come from YES, JETHRO TULL and other Italian bands very present in their sound. The emphasis of GRANADA relies on the keyboards (with profusion of moog and mellotron) and guitar instrumental passages, but with more keys that guitar. They sound like a mix of fusion and symphonic influences.

GRANADA released three albums: "Hablo De Una Tierra" ('75), "Espana Ano" '75 ('76) and "Valle De Pas" ('78). The debut-album "Hablo De Una Tierra" is their most original album. The six compositions sound very varied (from rock and bluesy to latin and symphonic) with strong Spanish vocals, powerful guitar (some biting solos), pleasant keyboards (many beautiful Mellotron waves) and IAN ANDERSON inspired fluteplay. The title track includes a splendid and very unique duet from the Mellotron and flamenco guitar of guest-musician Manolo Sanlucar, goose bumps! Two of their best albums "Espana Ano 75" and "Valle Del Pas" were reissued on 1 CD. They consist of instrumental, melodic progressive rock with occasionally surprising moments, which include the use of orchestration and bagpipes. They are both two excellent examples of Spanish prog and highly recommended. Definitely check them out!!!

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
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GRANADA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.38 | 23 ratings
Hablo de Una Tierra
1975
3.88 | 28 ratings
España, Año '75
1976
3.84 | 30 ratings
Valle del Pas
1978

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

5.00 | 4 ratings
Discografia basica
2003

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GRANADA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 España, Año '75 by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 28 ratings

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España, Año '75
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars With its wiser sonic architecture and a more inspired compositional drive in comparison with the promising debut album, Granada's sophomore effort "España Año 75" installs a proper maturation of Carlos Cárcamo's musical vision. It is from this album onwards that we can properly point out Granada as a major name in Spain's progressive rock for the 70s. Since this album was released in 1976, the title can be interpreted as a humorous allusion to remembrances of a near past time, and the specific title of the suite that fills the album's first half, 'El Calor Que Pasamos Este Verano' ('The Heat We Experienced Last Summer'), enhances this spirit of instant nostalgia for good, funny times that have just passed us by. This suite has 4 sections, with the first one, entitled 'Por Dónde Andamos', providing a magnificent exhibition of symphonic prog with abundant folkloric flourishes and added spacey ornaments. It really starts things on a high note, and so section 2 'Todo Hubiera Sido Tan Bueno' slows down things a little bit and adds certain jazzy nuances to the rhythmic scheme. The soft and well-structured melodic warmth that takes place here is somewhat related to the Mediterranean feel we come to expect also from many Italian symphonic bands. Section 3, entitled 'La Auténtica Canción Del Verano', spices things up in order to state a similar dynamics to that we found in section 1: the cosmic synth solo helps to enhance the most extroverted passages, while the sax solo (guest Jorge Pardo doing an excellent Mel Collins personification) enters during a semi-funky excerpt. The last section 'No Me Digas Bueno, Vale' perpetuates the previous one's dynamics and right away expands on its rockier edge: the opening dual guitar solo is just splendid, while the electric piano flourishes that emerge afterwards provide a moment of Arabic/Flamenco colors. The final jam is catchy enough as to preserve the listener's attention throughout its repetitive cadenza. The album's second half starts with 'Septiembre', a piece with dominantly tranquil moods whose melancholic atmospheres remain a constant elements throughout the motif variations, even in those motifs in which the sonic framework turns a bit livelier. By the way, the final section (that sounds like a mixture of Le Orme and Jethro Tull) is one of the most magical moments in the album? and its weird ending makes it even more special. 'Noviembre Florido' brings a lighter set of moods, mostly based on Northern Spanish folk. After the 3 minute mark, the joy stops for a while and we find a softer passage driven on a ceremonious note: the combination of string synth background and Spanish guitar flourishes is just lovely, I could listen to this musical idea for a full 4 minutes or so, but actually it is quite brief, and things don't take long before they return to the original mood. The 7+ minute long closer 'Ahora Vamos A Ver Qué Pasa (Vámonos Para El Mediterráneo)' is the most folk-centered piece in the album: featuring the mandolin and violin, with a dominant room for up tempo ambiences, it effectively wraps thins up with flying colors. "España Año 75" is, all in all, a big demonstration of the solid colorfulness that prog rock musicians brought out to Spain's musical scene in the 70s: a collector's item to be dearly valued by prog maniacs everywhere.

[I dedicate this review to Spain's National Soccer Team, which recently won the FIFA 2010 World Championship]

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 Hablo de Una Tierra  by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.38 | 23 ratings

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Hablo de Una Tierra
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars 3.5 stars...

Short-lived but worth hearing,GRANADA were the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Carlos Carcamo,who started this project in 1974 in Madrid.Musicians would come and go,before Carcamo found a stable trio for the guitar/bass/drums section,while he was responsible for the vocals and the rest of the instruments,including violins,keyboards,accordion and flutes.

''Hablo de una tierra'' came out a year after GRANADA's formation and it is an album of pure progressive rock with different influences and sounds.In this work mellotrons and pianos battle with Spanish folklore through flamenco guitars and accordion,while a jazzy feeling tries to capture the symphonicism of the album.Carcamo does an excellent job,especially his mellotron playing is dreamy and nostalgic,while he also handles the flutes in a fine way,sometimes in a softer style,while others he marks JETHRO TULL's Ian Anderson as a big influence.I'm not really sure if he is also responsible for the flamenco guitars,but this blending of Spanish sounds with nice keys and backing vocals is also very attractive,not far from what co-patriots TRIANA were trying around the same time.Besides this flamenco stuff,the album contains also a fair amount of acoustic passages with backing mellotron and flutes and a balanced dose of vocals to make it even more interesting and worth searching for,while several Italian bands of the same style come to mind (PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, BLOCCO MENTALE, OSANNA,QUELLA VECCHIA LOCCANDA).This is absolutely fascinating Spanish flamenco-tinged symphonic rock with tons of romanticism and a relaxed but atmospheric dimension.Recommended!

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 España, Año '75 by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 28 ratings

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España, Año '75
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Yet another symphonic fusion instrumental album, this one's main trump card being the flamenco influence which surfaces here and there, although not often enough. The well played orthogonally juxtaposed passages with lots of keyboards and acoustic and electric guitars are mostly cobbled together within and across tracks, with not much unity or fluidity, especially in the opening suite, which nonetheless is reasonably strong, especially in the early going. And both "Setiembre" and "Noviembre Florido" have more good than bad parts, so this album easily rises above the sea of symphonic fusion available out there. And after all, 1975 was a very special year in Spain....

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 Valle del Pas  by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.84 | 30 ratings

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Valle del Pas
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

3 stars 3,5 stars really, I like their previous item Espana, Ano 75 more (would give for this one four full stars at least). But - my present aim is to write reviews to these albums I have just got. So - let's do that just about Granada's third and last album Valle Del Pas from 1978. The most different additions to previous effort Espana, Ano 75 are orchestral arrangements in three themes and bagpipes with celtic folk influences, at least in three tracks. Compositions are shorter and maybe less "wearing" than on Espana, Ano 75. This time my personal faves are compositions with orchestral arrangements (the most important composition for me is surely Calle Betis) - we can listen quite nice bassoon parts here. And as Cesar Inca mentioned, on this record bandleader Carlos Carcamo (fortunately we can listen his fabulous piano and synth playing here again) had changed surely all his band companions - I personally like his band on Espana, Ano 75 more (because of a bit more colourful soundspectrum and a bit more intensive playing). Anyway - nice listening and discovering of Spanish symphonic progressive music.

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 España, Año '75 by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.88 | 28 ratings

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España, Año '75
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by galcalasolis

5 stars Excellent disc of Spanish Symphonic Prog with all caracterist of genre and one of most complete of the history of the symphonic rock in Spain (excelent mellotron). Instrumental Master combination of styles like Canterbury Jazz, Symphonic Prog Classic and RockAndalus.

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 Hablo de Una Tierra  by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.38 | 23 ratings

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Hablo de Una Tierra
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars GRANADA (from Madrid..) was the musical project of multi-instrumentalist Carlos Carcamo: flute, violin, acoustic - and electric piano, mellotron, clavicordio, 12-string guitar, percussion and vocals! The debut-album "Hablo De Una Tierra" (1975) is their most original album in my opinion and a good example of the original Spanish approach towards progrock. The six compositions sound very varied (from rock and bluesy to Latin and symphonic) with strong Spanish vocals, powerful guitar (some biting solos), pleasant keyboards (many beautiful Mellotron waves) and IAN ANDERSON inspired fluteplay. The titletrack includes a splendid and very unique duet from the Mellotron and flamenco guitar of guest-musician Manolo Sanlucar, goose bumps!


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 Valle del Pas  by GRANADA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.84 | 30 ratings

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Valle del Pas
Granada Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars More than a proper prog band, Granada was a prog act led by keyboardist/flautist Carlos Carcamo's iron hand. For their third and final effort 'Valle del Pas', Carcamo got rid of his previous partners and recruited four new ones: Carlos Basso (guitars), Julio Blasco (bass), Antonio Rodriguez (drums & percussion), and Joaquin Blanco (bagpipes and other Northern Spanish woodwind instruments). Blanco's presence is mostly due to Carcamo's interest on exploring the Northern Spanish folklore, in order to add its peculiar Celtic spice into Granada's prog style: this is particularly noticeable in tracks 4 and 7, which are expressions of successful progressive rock translation of folk joie de vivre. But that is not to say that 'Valle del Pas' is your regular acoustic folk album. This is a prog rock album, that can actually rock notably very often. Basso's solos and riffs find plenty of room to come to the fore; Carcamo's synth solos and textures are also featured, but definitely the guitar is the main instrument here. This is pretty clearly stated on the first three numbers: a special mention goes to 'Breve Silueta de Color Carmín', whose captivating beauty makes it one of the album's highlights. It features an exquisite flute piano by Carlos Cárcamo, which in fact enhances the track's evocative mood. No way that the Focus boys wouldn't have been proud of writing a track like this... but this Granada's own making. All in all, the most notable highlights are the most ambitious tracks, namely 'Valle del Pas' and 'Calle Betis'. The former keeps a perfect balance between the pompous tendency of symph prog and the pastoral feel of Celtic folk. The latter is a musical travel Southbound to the exuberant landscapes of Andalusia (this track reminds me very much of Mezquita, actually); on this one, the evocative string ensemble touches enhance the overall epic tone to good effect. There are also some elements that remind me of Aragonian jota, which adds extra colors to the track's melodic development. All throughout the album, the rhythm section lays a solid jazz-rock oriented foundation, adjusting it at times to comply with the ocasional folkish demands. An excellent work that must be considered a great achievement in the history of Spanish prog.

(I dedicate this review to my good friend Augusto Cabada)

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