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Rayuela - Rayuela CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 42 ratings

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Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars If there's any South American prog album that any prog fan should own, this is the one. "Rayuela" is the sole release by an Argentinian band of the same name and it's an absolute shame that they never carried on further in their studio career. But at least this gem remains to showcase the talent, imagination and legacy of the five men involved.

This is a very nostalgic album for me and one that I was captivated by from the very first opening note of "La Casa Del Hombre". The whole album is a splendid mix of jazz, folk and symphonic prog with a distinct European familiarity and rich Latin flare. Lively and melodic, I don't think that I've ever been so emotionally involved or taken on quite a journey by a 39 minute album. And for a South American release from a time when prog was fading from popularity by an unheard of group, the production quality is crystal clear and stunning.

There isn't a single weak track on "Rayuela". The lively jazzy opening "La Casa Del Hombre", with its splendid saxophone flourishes, gives way to the mellow "Los Ultimos Grillos", which features flute played in the vein of Andrew Latimer of Camel, but with a jazzier flare. Aereo is a pure fusion instrumental that leads into the bluesy "Vientos De La Calma".

Side two contains two more fusion instrumentals showing off the band's talents and sensibilities as well as the haunting finale, "Vendre Con El Teimpo". A beautiful, minor-key ballad, this song gives me goosebumps every time; the concluding guitar solo is one of those parts of a song that you wish could just repeat forever. The song also brings my attention to the album artwork, which, in its simplicity, is very powerful. The cold, blue woods remind me of somewhere I've been or seen long ago, perhaps in a dream. The mood evoked by the final track is similar to that evoked by the woods and the pairing of the two is truly spine-chilling.

Really, this album is music at its finest, in its truest, rawest, most emotional form. The men playing the music aren't virtuosos and their performances are never over the top, but they really don't have to be. Not a note rings out that's out of place and the compositions are tasteful and balanced. Does Rayuela break new ground? Not necessarily, but that's part of what makes this album so strong. The songs are dance-able, singable, yet still imaginative, fresh but familiar; like those blue woods from days long past, there's something on this album that anyone will be able to connect with. Overall, "Rayuela" is a magical experience. For 39 minutes of beautiful, uninterrupted brilliance, prog fans should look no further.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 5/5 |


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