Paco Ibañez doesn't care much for the English-speaking world generally and Americans in particular. He said so several times during his concert last night at the Châtelet. He went off on a long riff aboout trying to eradicate "OK" and other Americanismos from the Spanish language. I agree with Paco's revulsion at "Cocacolonization" as we call it, a world where Spanish children know more about Batman than El Cid, but I also think he could be more open to our many wonderful political singer/songwriters. The United States is more than McDonalds and Walt Disney, Paco!
This being said, this gringa is still loca enamorada de Paco and the concert reinforced this love. Paco performed a mix of old and new materials, brought in younger performers to share the stage with him including his daughter Alicia.
He sang a lot of his Pablo Neruda poem/songs which I love and told of meeting the great poet himself who suggested that Paco ought to sing his works. He also sang a lot of Garcia Lorca and José Agustín Goytisolo. Not so much Rafael Alberti though of course there was the obligatory "A Galopar" as an encore.
He paid homage to the late Mercedes Sosa with the song "Vasija de Barro" and toured Spain musically, including a song in the Basque language and a bit of flamenco with a flamenco dancer.
From France, where Paco lived and worked for many years in his youth during the Franco regime, there were several numbers by Georges Brassens and he offered his French audience a new setting for Ronsard's "Quand vous serez bien vieille, au soir à la chandelle" which I remember learning by heart in grade school here in Paris.
Probably the only song I would have wanted to hear that wasn't in this program was "Andaluces de Jaen" but Paco has a huge and growing repertoire and you can't sing everybody's favorite song every night. Total que me quedé más que satisfecha con el concierto. Gracías, Paco.