He came, slept in the studio, and gave us three days and nights of total flamenco immersion. Tao’s CD is
Mapleshade's most extraordinary guitar session to date—and the best guitar sound we've ever laid down. A
passionately committed player, he honed his scorching chops apprenticing for years under gypsy masters in
Spain. For this session, Tao improvised brilliantly original arrangements on each of the five best-known
traditional flamenco forms: bulerias, seguidillas, etc. And he came cradling a stunning sounding $50,000
flamenco guitar, on loan for the session from a wealthy admirer and collector. Needless to say, all this
inspired us to go all-out tweaking equipment and acoustics, in the hopes of making the best-sounding guitar
CD ever. You be the judge.
- 1. Para Olivia [tarantas]
-Listen to Sample
- 2. Para Mi Maestro Eduardo [alegrias]
-Listen to Sample
- 3. Recuerdos (con tremolo flamenco) [classical]
- 4. Las Tres Cruces [alegrias]
- 5. Para Mi Maestro Juan [seguirillas]
- 6. Recordandome de Diego [bulerias]
- 7. Granada [grananas]
- 8. La Carboneria [bulerias]
- 9. Vejer De La Frontera [alegrias]
-Listen to Full Song
- 10. Sevilla [bulerias]
- 11. Soledad [soleares]
Download From iTunes
Click here to download this CD from iTunes.
Digital files of our CDs downloaded via iTunes and other third-party sites, though good sounding, were not created in-house by Mapleshade.
Fans who want to hear the full, uniquely exciting audiophile quality of our CDs should buy original Mapleshade CDs, mastered and manufactured to our
REVIEW by www.tnt-audio.com
First and foremost I would have to define Tao Ruspoli as a man fanatically given to the pursuit of Flamenco.
Son of an Italian noble and an American actress, he is a filmmaker who has several documentaries to his credit
(including one on Flamenco that I am dying to get my hands on).
His passion for Flamenco started somewhere in his early teens, when he had just started to play the guitar.
During a trip to Italy, he was introdued to Keith Richards (of the Rolling Stones) by his father. Upon hearing
that Tao was learning to play the guitar, Keith suggested to the young boy that Flamenco would be the genre to
pursue. Tao has not veered off that course since.
So commited he is to ensuring that his pursuit remain pure, that he does not soil it with an expectation of
financial gain or livelihood. He'd rather make his money elseways (filmmaking), and not pollute his music with
commerce or finance. My hats off to this man...a modern day hero, of Flamenco no less.
This album contains representative pieces from the various palos (forms) of the Flamenco genre. The guitar in
Flamenco is generally considered to play a supporting role...actually, cante (singing) is considered to be the
I had requested an evaluation copy of this album, from Pierre Sprey, simply because the samples on his webpage
sounded fantastic even over dinky PC speakers (and I will seek out anything related to Flamenco). But, frankly
while I expected great sonics, I had set my expectaions low for the content. After all, we are talking about a
Flamenco album that is solo guitar...all my other Flamenco albums have some or a lot of cante, footwork,
castanets and percussion. I was fully expecting a nice sounding guitar album, but lacking the full emotional
involvement of the others in my collection. Boy was I wrong...I cannot recount the number of times this album
has made my hair raise on end. I was quite naive to underestimate the charge I would get from music that is so
passionately played and recorded.
It is worthwhile to note that there also is a classical piece "Recuerdos" [de la Alhambra], composed by Francisco
Tarrega. It is quite ironic that this piece would be featured on an album titled "Flamenco"; since it was Andres
Segovia who played this piece into popularity and Segovia's stated claim was that he "rescued the guitar from the
hands of flamenco gypsies". A sentiment that reeks of bigotry...shame it came from such a brilliant musician.
Nonetheless, the tremolo technique used to play this piece is considered a particular challenge by guitarists,
and Tao executed it beautifully.
What do you get when you take a guitarist as passionate as Tao; with a $20,000 Flamenco guitar; playing
compositions from arguably the most emotionally charged genre; and recorded by Pierre Sprey. A reference
recording of course...both aesthetically and sonically.
My highest recommendation. -Arvind Kohli