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Alas - Grandes Exitos CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

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erik neuteboom
4 stars Alas is another amazing band from Argentina, an often overlooked progrock scene! This CD is a compilation from their two studio albums, it contains seven compositions and the running time is at about 70 minutes.In general Alas makes fluent and dynamic progrock featuring great vintage keyboard work on the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer (with echoes from Yes and ELP) along soaring string-ensemble and swinging Fender Rhodes electric piano. Despite the obvious hints to some symphonic rock dinosaurs, Alas succeeds to sound original by blending a wide range of instruments like trumpet, flute, acoustic guitar, percussion and harmonica. And the music is varied, from the bombastic ELP-inspired keyboard sound (Buenos Aires Solo Es Piedra, La Muerte Conto El Dinero and Aire-Surgente) to a jazzy piano solo (A Quienes Si No) and a vituosic duel between an acoustic guitar and piano (La Caza Des Mosquito), impressive! If you like Seventies symphonic rock with a strong adventurous touch, Alas is a band to discover.

Report this review (#73260)
Posted Monday, March 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Alas + Pinta tu Aldea!

It is good to notice that people is aware of lesser known bands, nevertheless they are only a few people that i could count with my own fingers, so what we have and love to do as followers of good music, is give a support to those lesser known bands, for example, with reviews!

Alas was a superb trio from Argentina who was part of the development of the progressive rock scene in South America, they released sadly only a couple of albums, but thet good thing is that both albums are excellent and were made with an exquisite musical quality and great compositions.

This time i started with the easiest review, i mean i am reviewing their compillation album, usually called a "The best of", so probably i will not be so specific about the songs and the band, i prefer to be more enthusiastic in the studio albums, so wait for those reviews and you will find more details.

This compillation of Grandes Exitos (greatest hits) is nothing but their two albums in one with the exception of a song called Silencio de Aguas Profundas, what Alas offer is a music full of great keyboards reminding me sometimes to Return to Forever for instance, with an extra and beautiful touch of the traditional sound of Tango from Argentina, the music is of course jazz fusion oriented, with some touches of symphonic prog and even a bit folk here and there, bombastic moments and very calm ones, all are songs of an extraordinary quality that everyone could love, this album contains 7 songs 4 long ones and 3 short ones that make a 70 minute album.

My favorite songs are "Buenos Aires Solo es Piedra", "A Quienes si no" and "La Casa del Mosquito", but believe me that every single track is excellent!

If you dont know Alas, this could be a nice way to start with his music, though it is always better to start with studio albums, my grade, 4 stars!! Highly recommendable to any prog lover!

Report this review (#123095)
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a compilation containing the two original album releases by Alas, a prog keyboard trio from the late 70's out of Argentina and one of my most fortunate discoveries recently. Featuring a large keyboard arsenal and inventive group dynamics, Alas were characterized by a sound somewhere between the bombastic keyboard approach of ELP and the more stretched-out fusion explorations of early Weather Report.

The first two songs were originally sidelong compositions from their first self titled album and go through a multitude of tempo and thematic passages ranging from tight and sophisticated group performance in prog overdrive to spacey and experimental sections with some great build - ups. As good as this sounds, the last five songs from the bands second original album release 'Pinta Tu Aldea'(1978) are even better, primarily because of the addition of new bassist Pedro Aznar who turns in some electrifying virtuosic performances combined with the already heady performance of keyboardists Gustavo Moretto on everything from acoustic and electric piano, various organs, moog, mellotron, and other synthesizers and keyboards. I suppose I should mention that the percussion is certainly up to these standards also; and their is the unusual but colorful addition of some tasty flute, trumpet and acoustic guitar on several cuts.

The overall performances are exceptional blending tight and sophisticated progressive composition with some joyous yet technically impressive improvisation. This is a mostly instrumental cd with a few light and smoothly flowing vocal sections in Spanish. It is hard to believe a keyboard trio which maintains such a high caliber of excellent material seems to be hardly recognized within the prog fan community. I have to wonder how many more South American gems have yet to be discovered.

Report this review (#141275)
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007 | Review Permalink

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