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Los Jaivas - Obras De Violeta Parra CD (album) cover


Los Jaivas


Prog Folk

4.08 | 94 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the lightweight "Aconcagua", Los Jaivas refurbished the prog rock orientation that had started in their '75 album all the way to "Alturas de Machu Picchu" and took it to its ultimate expression in their '84 effort "Obras de Violeta Parra". This is a concept album revolving around the legacy of folk singer Violeta Parra (1917-1967, a songwriter of cuecas and other South American tunes with a strong social-ethical component), and indeed, it is a piece of work that the band had developed even before the "Machu Picchu" days. 5 years after, it was finally taken to vinyl. This is a covers album, formally speaking; yet the arrangements are complex and solid enough as to allow Los Jaivas to appropriate the songs themselves: the original formats of Violeta's tracks are refurbished to fit the melodic adornments and varied moods provided by Los Jaivas. This fresh breath of new life and augmented sounds can be perfectly comparable with the reinstatement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" by ELP or Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" by Canarios. 'Arauco Tiene una Pena' is one of Violeta's absolute classics, and Los Jaivas deliver a fantastic Andean prog journey of trutrucas, Moogs, pianos and rocking guitars state a successive endeavor before getting at the cueca itself for the last 4 minutes. A similar strategy is followed for 'El Guillatún', albeit with a more energetic approach: the powerful presence of percussion, Andean horns and strom effects on synth add a sense of grey darkness to the playful original melodic basis. Claudio Parra's effective piano deliveries sure emphasize the track's energy, while the entry of Andean woodwinds helps to bring a lyrical ornament to the overall scheme. 'Mañana Me Voy p'al Norte' is closer to the structure of folk music, since the woodwinds and charango are certainly featured: the guitar solo merely brings an ornament. 'Y Arriba Quemando el Sol' distances itself from the preceding track's naive colors and states a very different mood: mysterious, somewhat somber, with an essential role for the martially-driven rhythmic duo. As constrained as it obviously is, the energy is there. This mysterious vibe is adequately perpetuated in 'El Gavilán' (introduced by a lovely, relaxing classical guitar passage): fully instrumental, this version encapsulates the most dramatic moments in the album. As usual, drummer Gabriel and pianist Claudio are the most relevant forces in the band's endeavor, which states a genuinely prog management of epic moods and well-ordained contrasts. 'Un Río de Sangre' features guest singer and cuatro player Isabel Parra: similar to the "Aconcagua" album regarding the addition of synth and lead guitar, the folk aspect is both enhanced and re- elaborated. 'Run Run Se Fue p'al Norte' and 'Violeta Ausente' are more focused on acoustic folk flavors (including guarani cadences for the latter); between the two, 'En los Jardines Humanos' brings back the prog-folk splendor, although there is a more Spartan approach to the lyrical potential that Los Jaivas work on. The 1'19"-long epilogue is an accordion solo piece whose melancholy feels accurate for the sweet sorrow of farewell. And so ends another Jaivas' beautiful highlight - "Obras de Violeta Parra" should not be missing in any good prog collection.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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