1981 Manuel Reyes Negra
Back and sides: Rosewood
This rare, wonderful and special Reyes Negra has found a caring new home, if you are seeking a wonderful Reyes, please contact me…
This is one of the most satisfying Reyes Negras to come through the shop since the 02 Negra of Coral that recently sold. Besides being a great Reyes Negra it has an incredible story. It is owned by a friend of mine who lives in Spain and who has helped me locate many fine Reyes over the years. When he found this one he simply refused to let me have it for the shop, it was just too good! After enjoying it for a few years however he decided to sell it only to help fund the Flamenco arts school he wishes to start in Spain, so the new owner of this guitar will have the double pleasure of owning a fine Reyes with a most interesting history, as well as helping a fellow lover of Flamenco establish a new Flamenco School! Nice. This Reyes is one of those great guitars that we all run into from time to time that needs about 20 minutes of playing to ‘wake up’ to it’s full potential, and when she does, hold on! Capo the 3rd and snap out a bulerias and hold on to your chair, fire off some rasqueados and they are crisp and clean, it has many qualities of a Reyes Blanca but with more complexity of tone, just wonderful…There is one small well repaired crack on the top and at some point it was repolished on the top with absolutely no sanding whatsoever according to the current owner.
As for the history, my friend wrote me the following word for word:
“Before I bought the guitar I went to Reyes’ workshop in Córdoba with the former owner to make sure everything is allright with the guitar.
Manuel padre seemed to be emotionally moved when he saw the guitar and remembered the story of this guitar:
In the late seventies Manuel Benitez “El Cordobés” was a a celebrity in Spain and the hippest bullfighter in the scene.
One day he decided he wanted to learn flamenco guitar.
So he became friends with the hippest flamenco player in Córdoba at the time “El Curri” and asked him to be his teacher.
“El Curri” is the stage name of Antonio Prieto, the son of an important gipsy musicians family in Córdoba.
He is also called “El Cordobés de la guitarra”.
“El Curri” was on tour with Paco de Lucia and he was Vicente Amigo’s teacher for a while.
There are many videos in youtube nowadays with “Curri” alone, with orchestra and with his son..
“El Cordobés”, the bullfighter was a generous man, so one day he decided he wanted to give a present to his guitar teacher.
They went to Reyes’ workshop together and ordered two guitars made of the best spruce and rosewood.
Reyes said he felt flatterd by this order and really put very much care and love in it when he constructed those two guitars.
He used the best spruce and rosewood he had: “Gran Reserva” as he expressed it with a twinkle.
Both guitars resulted to be exeptionally good, when he finished them but one of them was a bit better so he gave it to “Curri” the musician and the other one went to the torero.
A rich lawyer and collector of guitars owns the bullfighter’s guitar now.
“El Curri” kept his guitar for almost thirty years until two years ago, when he had to sell it.
Before Reyes put the guitars together the tops were signed inside by the bullfighter and himself Manuel Reyes the luthier.
Reyes said when he saw the guitar after such a long time, that in his opinion it’s one of the best guitars he has ever made.
Anyone can check this: just ask him about “El Curri’s” guitar which is signed by “El Cordobés”.
Absolutely fabulous Reyes, one of his best by his own admission, and with a history so rich too, a once in a lifetime opportunity for some lucky player.