The style is possibly as difficult to define as the English meaning of their name – “Arrebato”, variously translated as “fury”, “something that rises rapidly” or “a wave of emotion”. It’s fair to say that any and all of these describe the music of this ensemble.
Arrebato release their second CD “Absolucion” in June 2011. Arrebato’s musical roots lie in the flamenco music of the Mediterranean. Co-founder Greg Alfonzetti is an Italian-Australian who studied flamenco guitar in Spain. The other half of this founding team, Damien de Boos Smith plays cello, guitar, oud and palmas – not an obscure musical instrument, but the flamenco technique of handclapping on and off the beat to add rhythm to the music and dance.
The other instruments in the ensemble make for the unusual acoustic textures and styles, superimposed on the flamenco themes, with Dave Ellis on double bass, Stuart Henderson (drums and percussion), and Andrew Poniris playing soprano and alto saxophone and harmonica.
Added to this are an array of guest artists – from Madrid, Indie singers Adriana Lopez and Jose Gimenez and flamenco pianist Pablo Ruben Maldonado. From Sydney – Ukrainian piano accordionist Leonid Beshlai, and the haunting vocalise of Gondwana Choirs.
The result fuses flamenco with jazz, modes from the East and other aesthetics. In a sense, it is a coming home of cultures since Andalucia, the home of Flamenco was variously occupied by Moors, Jews and Europeans through the centuries. Another reason for this very comfortable fit is that jazz, flamenco and much Eastern music is improvisational and so combining these styles is entirely logical.
The tracks are in the style of flamenco dance forms – Soleas, Tango, Bolero, Fandango, Alegrias.
The CD is easy on the ear. The real excitement is in the live performance of this music – and in that, Sydney is fortunate. Arrebato launches “Absolucion” at the Sydney opera House on June 11th. Bookings via the SOH box Office on 9250 7777. Tickets $65 (A)/ $45(B).
The CD is already available through their website: