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Alas - Alas  CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.86 | 97 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars This Buenos Aires keyboard trio made two albums at the height of Argentina's first prog boom in the late 70's. Formed and lead by multi-instrumentalist (KB, winds and violin) and singer Gustavo Moretto, with drummer Riganti, they later hooked up with bassist Zuker and recorded and released their self-titled debut in the fall of 76, on the major EMI label. They had only released single the previous year prior to that. The album came with a very bland A artwork, and the group was under the influence of Luis 'D'Artagnan' Sarmiento.

Two side-long epics (one aside) make the spine of the present album, the first of which bearing the strange name of Buenos Aires Solo Es Piedra - under which the album is sometimes referred to. Consisting of six movements, the almost 16-mins piece moves from demented ELP-like antics (the opening Tango movement) to gentler Spanish-sung pastures (Sueno) to the more experimental and slightly dissonant (the Recuerdo movement). Despite the many tango references in the suite's subsection's titles, the general feel is not nearly as Argentinean as it might let you think: indeed, if Trompetango features Moretto's trumpet, there is nothing typically tango-esque, at least not the typical dance music. And if the following Tanguito bears a jazzier and crazier feel, like ELP or Le Orme could've done it a few years before them; fear not, because we're definitely not in the usual gaucho clich's.

The 17-mins+ 7-movement suite Muerte Conto El Dinero filling the flipside opens directly with vocals, thus reminding often of Le Orme or other Italian bands (Argentina is over half of Italian descent). The piece moves in many different moods, including a pastoral flute and just after, a passage through a wind battlefield (the Galope movement) and many more. Itend to prefer the flipside.

Only really available in the 2on1 Archivos collection, the first album is followed by the two bonus tracks of the single that was released the previous year. As such this debut album s quite a remarkable first oeuvre, one of the country's earlier masterpiece, and it stands out a bit by not being too symphonic, unlike many of their crosstown rivals (Mia, Crucis, etc'). In some ways they are maybe a tad more reminiscent of El Reloj

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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