Fandangos de Huelva (1 of 6) by Jose Luis (SB Sessions)

Fandangos no. 1 (difficulty level 7)

This is one of the most beautiful falsetas ever written for Fandangos de Huelva. Growing up in Huelva, Jose was exposed to some of the greatest minds to ever play and compose Flamenco including the late great El Nino Miguel. Jose played as a teenager in a tablao with Nino Miguel for several years 5 nights a week and inherited a big part of his musical genius. This falseta plays off of the Nino Miguel falseta that Rafael Riqueni made famous(also a student of Nino Miguel), but then expands on it and takes it into uncharted territory. 

Harmonically, it outlines the progression from the Nino Miguel/Riqueni falseta starting on Amin9, E7/G#, A7(b9)/G, then moving directly to Dmin (instead of playing Dmaj/F# as Riqueni played it and then to Dm), and then resolving to the tonic E phrygian chord.

Let's take a closer look:

Measure 9-10: This measure starts with a triplet style motif that will run throughout the entire piece over different harmonies. This is also the beginning of the progression I mentioned starting on Amin9. Note that in measure 10 he uses a suspension of the minor 3rd as a fill on this harmony.

Measure 11-12: In the second half of measure 11 he begins using different chord inversions so that you have a bass line that walks down instead of using root position chords. Hence the G# in the bass walking down from A. (E7/G#) - first inversion E7 with the 3rd in the bass.

Measure 13-14: Here the E7 chord in first inversion (E7/G#) resolves to an A dominant chord instead of A minor. Being that we are in the key of A minor/ E Phrygian you would think the E7 would resolve to A minor but it doesn't. He plays an A dominant chord in place of the A minor simply because he is going to use it to add importance to the D minor chord. The A7(b9)/G chord is a 3rd inversion chord which will skip the D/F# chord (Riqueni version) that you would expect and then go straight to the D minor by walking down a whole step to the next chord inversion. 

Measure 16-17: Here you see the A7(b9)/G resolve to the D minor for a moment and then into an interesting chord that you could spell multiple ways. One might say that this is a Dmin/F(b5), or an E7(b9)/F. Either way it is going straight to an E7 followed by a version of the traditional Spanish Cadence progression (Am, G, F, E).

Measure 18-19: Here we have a fairly traditional type of progression coming from E7 going to A min which then is followed by a G and a quick borrowed D7/F# that resolves to an F chord. The D7/F# would normally resolve to a G, but he uses it instead as a passing chord to the F.

Measure 22-24: Here we have a beautiful legato section outlining an F lydian harmony which he then ends up tying into the main triplet style motif found in measure 9.

Measure 25-39: Here we have the repeat of the main theme. 

Measure 40-43: This is a fairly typical ending for many falsetas in Fandangos de Huelva. The use of the Alzapua adds strength and flash to the ending.

Link to Jose’s music for download:

Recorded in Santa Barbara, CA by Berto Boyd for more info visit: