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Congreso - Ha Llegado Carta CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.85 | 21 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For Gongreso, the Joe Vasconcellos-era was particularly relevant, since it was the time when the band began to expand its musical horizons and reevaluate its core style. Being a musician himself besides the lead singer who was in command of Francisco Sazo's replacement, Vanconcellos allowed the band's instrumental scheme to get further enriched. Of course, the other critical elements were provided by Aníbal Correa's piano and Ricardo Vivanco's percussions, both being talented fusionesque minds. Holman's bass properly enhanced the versatile rhythm section. Up to this moment, Congreso had never been this punchy, and yet, the band was capable of maintaining its delicate sense of melody and texture intact, spotless, immaculate. This is my personal favourite of both Vanconcellos-era albums. The opener (why is it so brief?) is a showcase for funny genius. It's a happy song based on Andean moods but delivered with calypso-like instrumentation: it is as if some Bolivian shepherds had been sequestered and taken to a Central America jungle forest, and they had decided to write a song yearning for their homeland with the instruments that were available, plus a guest just arriving from a Brazilian Carnival. Go figure! On the other hand, 'En el Patio de Simón' is a very melancholic song, a delicate acoustic ballad that seems to hide a burning flame behind its tenuous curtain of sound; continuing with the romantic note, 'El Último Bolero' brings reveries of lost loves. From 'Sur' onwards we are given a present of musical intensity, radiant as the un shining joyfully on an exotic sky. 'Sur' is a mysterious orchestral layer in which the strings portray dense textures, at times slightly dissonant, always dreamy. It is mostly a prelude to the explosion of 'Primera Procesión', a robust exercise on Latin-jazz-fusion delivered with infinite elegance and pristine energy. 'Primera Procesión' is an emblematic showcase for Congreso's artistic finesse. '...Y Entonces Nació' finds the band retreating toward the realms of controlled dissonance of track 4, albeit a bit less mysterious and a bit more contemplative. The perfect confluence among all musicians must also be mentioned as a major asset for this track, as well as for 'Primera Procesión'. Correa particularly shines here. 'Se Desplomen los Armarios' is a jazz-pop semi-ballad that sets a clear candidness in the sung parts, while the instrumental interlude makes room for dynamic complexity cleverly designed to complement, not interrupt the main motif's melodic lines. The album's highlight is the namesake instrumental, a fascinating example of how you can mix some Canterbury, some Return to Forever and some RIO (sans the creepy factor) within the boundaries of Latin American rock-fusion. The succession of chamber-inspired stuff, free improvisation bridges and folkish nuances brings a colorful apoteosis for the track's development - 8+ minutes of musical glory. The closure is a piano solo piece taken from a live concert - the final applause should be construed as an accurate homage to the beauty comprised in the whole repertoire. I regard this album as a crucial highlight in Congreso's career.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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