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Rayuela - Rayuela CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 42 ratings

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4 stars Rayuela is a band formed in 1976 by Marcelo Morano (keyboardist) and Willy Campins (bass and background vocals). Their name is a tribute to the novel published in 1963 by the most emblematic Argentine writer Julio Cortazar, although their first and only album has nothing to do with Julio's literature.

Rayuela presents a jazz fusion with a touch of psychedelia with folk and symphonic influences. They had their live performances throughout 1977 and at the end of that year they started to work on their record. For those who are enthusiastic about the mix of progressive rock, this band can be very appealing due to the variety of techniques and influences within its 5 members. Rayuela is one of those Latin American bands (like Arco Iris, Flught or Los Jaivas) that seeks universal beauty in their music through indigenous and intelligent sounds. The level of interpretation is raised and fine.

Fun fact: This album is exactly the same length as "Peliculas" by La Maquina De Hacer Pajaros, a similar Argentinian band that probably influenced Rayuela's members.

The album opens with "La Casa del Hombre" without pretext or shyness. A typical jazz rock saxophone and a rather special riff. Goldstein's voice doesn't take long to come in and sounds both clean and lush. The bass rises and falls, the percussion is solid and thoughtful, and the keyboards provide ethereal arrangements that lend a touch of essential delicacy to the song. Berinstein's saxophone is top-notch and never ceases to shine. Halfway through the song, he takes control of the song and causes everything around him to follow him carefully until he decides to bring the album's opening track to a close.

The second song is called "Los Ultimos Grillos". Everything takes a small, acoustic turn. The song starts off sounding in a Zeuhl (maybe French) or folk way with some natural guitars and then gives way to a fragile keyboard solo. The production of the album seeks the vigour of Goldstein's singing to give it as much strength as possible. Despite the prominence of the keyboard, perhaps the best thing about this song is its wind instruments. What beautiful lines!

Then we move on to "Aereo". A bass riff with an unexpected aggressiveness decides to leave the instrumental softness aside to open the first instrumental song of the album and bring a bit of symphonic rock to this work. With the joy of an improvisation and the synchronization of a master band, Aereo treads where it can and wants to establish itself as a risky and very experimental song, but never leaving aside the tidiness and exclusivity.

"Vientos de la Calma" comes, mixing progressive rock with typical Argentinean folk rock, a song that seems to be composed by Leon Gieco starts (and closes side 1), making it clear again that the musicians have no interest in giving any kind of concept to the album. Acoustic and to criollo guitar and harmonica, with a basic lyric but one that becomes one with the instrumentation. There really isn't much to say about this song, it seems to be composed simply to give a pleasant closing to the first side of the disc.

Side 2 begins with "Acaso Tu Crees (Que No Me Di Cuenta Que Te Fuiste Hace Diez Aņos)" and shows right off the bat that what's left until the close of the album is very progressive through a more psychedelic interpretation and looking for more complicated terrain to move through, with a frenetic keyboard that demands discipline and attention to the others. This energy was needed after a track as calm as the previous one! In this second instrumental song there seem to be influences of Focus in the tempos and King Crimson in the pauses. Everything is more elevated, more engaging and even more satisfying. It is probably the piece of the song where the connection between the 5 musicians reaches its peak. They all simply shine! The closing is sudden and makes way with surprise for the next track.

"Sexo y Dinero" is another instrumental piece that follows the same energy and strength as the previous one. It should be noted that the saxophone is very important for the jazzy and psychedelic essence of this second side. Nothing would sound the same without it. The bass has its moments of hierarchy, sounding a bit like Boss Pastorius. I must say that I am very surprised by the production of this song (and of the whole album) given that in Argentina in the 70s it wasn't usual to have such a classy mastering. It even sounds remastered!

The last song is "Vendre con el Viento" and its absolutely gorgeous. What closes this great and majestic piece of Argentinean progressive music is also the longest song on the album, with an absolutely outstanding and near-perfect piano intro. How beautiful, for God's sake! And after that, the bass, electric guitar and synthesizers generate a sentimental outburst and probably even bring a couple of tears to your eyes. "And I'll scream in your ears, because in my step is my step, but there's no me". The emotional intelligence in this song is sublime from start to finish. One of the best compositions in the history of progressive rock. It's the perfect closer that one can't imagine. Not only the instrumentation is perfect, but also the level of reasonableness and human feeling that the lyrics and the singing possess. It is surely one of the 5 best songs of Argentinean progressive rock. It is one of the songs that you will never forget when it comes to remembering the best ones.

I'm sorry I can't give the album 5 stars, because for this it would really have to be impeccable, but the fourth track leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, which even seems to be just for fill in and to popularize the album. I think it's the one that breaks with the perfect inherence of the album. If it weren't for that track, we would be talking about one of the best jazz rock albums ever created. Still, Rayuela is a must-hear album that every lover of sophisticated music should listen to.

Argentinfonico | 4/5 |


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