(Partly from : http://www.sevillacultural.com/musica/flamenco/actualidad/25para50.htm)
Gualberto was born in 1945 in Sevilla, Spain. He formed at 17 the rock group The Bats, followed in 1967 by Smash, a standard and pioneering group in Spannish and Andalusian Rock history. After disbanding the group Gualberto leaves for the US to study music. He starts as a composer. His first work was the rock opera " Behind stars " ; in cooperation with the "Good Vibrations Studio" and the "Yoga Symphony Orchestra", he formed a group for it with the famous Hindu sitarplayer Diwan Mothihar. This first solo recording has not been published yet. Returning to Spain he published there two solo works : "A la vida al dolor" ("To the life and the pain ") and "Vericuetos ". In 1976 he remains several months in France and Holland, composing camera music leading to his next record " Other days ". Between 1976 and 1979 he arranged and contributed on several projects, rock and flamenco copositions all brought together on "Inquietudes a compass"(in 1997). In 1979 he records a disc of fusion between jondo songs and sitar called "Gualberto and Agujetas" (included on that disc from 1997 too). In the eighties he makes mostly orchestration adjustments, in which he arranges the flamenco instrumentations and the classical part. From this time he arranged "Casta" (=" Chaste ") for Lole and Manuel and "Cuaderno de Coplas" (=" Notebook of Songs ") and "A través del olvido" (=" Through the forgetfulness)de Carlos Cano ("White Carlos") at and the song "Rimas de Bécquer" for Carlos Cano and " Rimas de Bécquer " for Benito Moreno ("Brown Benito"). He recorded also the disc "Puentes"(= " Bridges "), and compositions for a Trio of clarinetes called " Quartet Biennial ", a work for the Banda Municipal de Sevilla and "Turrunuelo" for an inaugural concert of the second Biennial. Also it directs the Choir Rociero de Triana, with will record in ten years of collaboration several discs. In 1983 after some memoriable concerts with Ricardo Mino he was asked to do a record once more (whic was the very spontaneous Puente Mágico). From 1987 it is introduced in the world of musical computer science, creating his own study, with which it publishes music for cinema and television. In 1990 he returns to the scenes as an interpreter, with several concerts between which they emphasize his participation in the 1st Cycle of the New Music at the University of Seville, from which the disc "Sin Commentario" will come forth (only published later by Lost Vinyl in 1996), and at the International Festival of the Guitar in Cordova, a Festival in Italy, where he played next to Nacho Duato, Encuentos de Nueva together with Wim Mertens. In 1995 it initiates a new cycle of concerts, in which it works with diverse instruments on prerecorded base, combining different styles and tendencies. In 1998 he records " Resistances " with Ricardo Mino. In 2000 he records one more disc with him and with the cooperation of a lot of artists.
Was born in the heart of Triana. Very soon he started to learn the guitar. At twelve he is already a professional, which takes him very soon to his first tour with great figures like Marchena, Pastora and Pinto Pepe, among others. At fourteen years he travels to Japan as one of the advanced ones to take the flamenco all over the earth. Since then he accompanied the greatest interpreters of song and dance, like Antonio Mairena, Pepa Montes, Manuela Vargas or Curro Veléz. As concert solist he has acted in all the corners of the world, and has participated in almost all the editions of the Biennial of Flamenco of Seville. He won several Prizes of the Guitar, like the Nationl Manolo de Huelva, of Cordova, in 1971 and the Prize to the Best Musical Critic in the Aid the International of Guitar of Paris in 1973. As solista he recorded four concert discs for a label in Switzerland. Other recorded works include " Door of Triana ", in 1989; " Jacaranda ", in 1990, and " Resistances ", in 1998, next to Gualberto, followed by "Contrastes" in 2000.
DISCOGRAPHY REVIEWS :
THE SMASH-period 1970-1971 :
The first group of Gualbert was SMASH who recorded with him at first two albums : "Glorietas De Los Lotos" and "We Come To Smash This Time" which some say these two are Classic psych rarities which are now reissued on the Spanish Philips label. The style is according to some sources westcoast inspired psychedelia with some Byrds and Buffalo Springfield similarities with early Moody Blues vocals and superb guitar work. Myself I heard their first album so far and a compilation album, and did not find the group so special., except for a few tracks, "Look at the Rainbow" (psych with sitar) and "Behind the Stars" (with sitar/flamenco). Smash should be one of the first known examples in Spanish (or Andalousian) Music History to make a kind of progressive music with flamenco touches. Gualberto played here guitar and sitar, Manuel Molina sang (-he was a former member of Lole & Manuel-). The early death of Julio Matito let to the breaking up of the group. It is not clear to me from which recording date the third released album from Smash came. Later I found the wonderful Lole Y Manuel album. Worth to trace. Nice emotional flamenco with one Arab-Andalusian Arabian track.
More about Gualberto (his period with Smash,..) at http://www.tristeyazul.com/cronicas/sng02.htm
GUALBERTO : A LA VIDA AL DOLOR (1975)****
The first solo album of Gualbert seems to have two kinds of sites, also musically. "A la vida" is a more Steve Lake (ELP) like songs and "al dolor" contains a flamenco rock song with highlights of like the flamenco with sitar at "Terraplén" and some electric association at "Tarantos (para Jimi Hendrix)" from which it was never clear to me to where the association with Hendrix exactly referred to. But it is probably because for Gualberto he diged inti this new experience of introducing new combination. In that track he introduced (not for the first time in history, but by a flamenco artist perhaps) an electric guitar into the flamenco too, but I wonder if it was more than an ode.
GUALBERTO : VERICUETOS (1975)****°
This album is more general appreciated by collectors. It starts again with an incredible sitar power fusion composition. But then after that I lost my grip at the first hearings because this is followed by very composed progressive music with lots of adaptations (classical music, UK progressive,fusion jazz, ) blended into a new style. This is still very good but somewhat different as it started, so I always preferred to listen to the cd in the beginning in different track order. The composition are based upon describing the atmosphere of different paintings, mostly of Cuadro Gualberto. Most tracks are violin, drums, guitar, electric guitar and electronic keyboards.
GUALBERTO : Cultura Jonda 12 (1974-1979) ****
This album is a compilation of what Gualberto did after having left Smash (from 1974-1979) with arrangements of songs of several flamenco artists and groups (Pepe Habichela, Lole y Manuel, Triana, solo where he also worked with Enrique Morente, with Vainica and Hilario Comacho, Diego de Moron and Granada, Vuleo Blanco) but with most of the tracks with Agujetas, voice, Gualberto sitar and Antonio Madigán guitar. This last group is incredible flamenco improvisation where the sitar is being played as a guitar and the voice of Agujetas grips by the troth.
GUALBERTO & Ricardo Mino : Puento Magico (1983)****
In the highlight of the improvisation Gualberto and Mio were asked to record a record with their collaboration. Unfortunatly not many collaborations there except some tracks very sparece with Pepa Montes, Jose Antonio Galacia and Pepe Leon "El Ecijano". But the recording is strong.
Review from " sin commentario " 1977 ?
(taken from http://www.expose.org/of-reiss-16.html#gualberto) :
On this album, he draws from several inspirational sources and appropriately plays several different instruments as well. With the exception of one song, all instruments on all tracks are performed and programmed by Gualberto. Interestingly, one track features him on sarod and sitar - not the most common of Spanish instruments. The flamenco influences are certainly there, but so also are those of Frank Zappa (check out the last track "Chaparron De Verano" for example) and some of the jazz masters as well. Most of the guitar work is on the electric and clearly that is Gualberto's specialty. He realizes a really wide variety of tones throughout the album. Some of the parts where he plays electric leads on top of traditional- sounding acoustic backdrops are quite nice with an interesting contrast between the long sustain of the electric and the staccato nature of the acoustic. This is an interesting album and should be of particular interest to fans of Spanish progressive rock bands. - Mike Grimes
GUALBERTO & Ricardo Mino : Contrastes (2000 ?)****
Finally another record from this duo. This time with lot of people involved. Most incredible is the rumba with beautiful percussion with one layer sitar and guitar. The added flamenco piano on one track and contribution of Pepe Montes, dance rhythm is great too.
The picture from Gualberto & Ricardo Mino which is taken for designing
the cover of their latest album