Book Review: A Time Defying Heritage by Tony Bryant
Review by Terry Clear Málaga April 2012
Another invaluable read for flamenco aficionados! Books on flamenco, in English, are few and far between, and Tony Bryant generously shares his vast knowledge of the subject with his readers.
In a complete change from “Flamenco – An Englishman’s Passion”, this latest book is based on a family tree for some of the most important flamenco families in Utrera (Seville) and it centers on a personal hero of Tony’s, the great Fernando Peña Soto – El Pinini.
Tony Bryant has unearthed a wealth of information by delving into the lives and histories of the people of Utrera, and the people there have taken him under their wing and shared their memories with him and opened their hearts to allow Tony to put pen to paper.
The book opens with an account of a flamenco event in Utrera, “4 Dinastias”, which paid tribute to the four greatest flamenco families, and Tony explains the background of the event, as well as an explanation of who was there and what part they took in the proceedings.
This is an excellent opening to A Time Defying Heritage, and throughout the rest of the book we get a vivid insight into the world of Utrera flamenco through the eyes of an Englishman, and we can only imagine the generosity of these close knit families in allowing Tony to gather so much information.
A Time Defying Heritage is full of rare old photos of performers and family members, past and present and actual family trees are charted in the pages. There is also an extensive biography section that includes all of Pinini’s family that have somehow played a part in this family’s on-going flamenco legacy.
The book culminates in an interesting and valuable discography to allow the readers to experience the sound of flamenco as it should be heard – not the flamenco of the tourist traps.
Tony has also included a guide to Utrera, so that future aficionados may search-out the wonderful wealth of history that this small gypsy enclave has to offer the flamenco fanatic.
A great and interesting read, and a veritable bible for those eager to learn more about this great art called flamenco.
Read the Foreword to Flamenco - An Englishman’s passion.
Read the Introduction to Flamenco - An Englishman’s passion.
To learn more about Tony Bryant – visit his blog at www.flamencoheritage.com