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Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tantor's namesake debut album is one of the most notable jazz-prog releases from Latin America's progressive scene. Born and working in an era where the prog rock era was already declining from its marginal era of artistic glory all over the world, the jazz and jazz- rock environments in Argentina were still prolific and full of interesting musical proposals. In the case of Tantor, the fact that two of this trio's members had worked within the ranks of the then recently demised Aquelarre shows that the jazz and art-rock elements were in an invigorating escalade in the aforesaid band's sound (particularly, the last 2 albums), so in many ways, the repertoire comprised here is a manifestation of the artistic development that was occurring in Héctor Starc's mind. Luckily, bassist Carlos Rufino and drummer Rodolfo García were more than ready to go along with it; add two young talents supporting the trio from behind the ebony and ivory keys (organ, pianos, synths, clavinet), and you have an excellent collection of exiting musical ideas cooking on. The name that comes from Tarzan's elephant feels apt for this musical jungle of energy, exquisiteness and stamina. Crucis and the rockier side of Arco Iris, with obvious hints to the fusion side of Aquelarre are the family airs to be noticed from track 1 to 7. 'Guerreras club' kicks off the album with an intense fire, in many ways related to the legacy of RTF, only with a (naturally) patent emphasis on the guitar's input; the guest keyboardist sounds pretty much like Jan Hammer on this one. This is a great opener, indeed, contrasting with the warm gentleness of the much calmer 'Niedernwohren': smooth Latin-jazz for the first half, a bit more extroverted for its second half. 'Llama Siempre' is the first of two vocal tracks: funk-oriented swing and romantic aura are gracefully combined in this song. 'Oreja Y Vuelta Al Ruedo' has a very enthusiastic fusion-centered ambiance: the powerful drum kit's entry sets the main mood for this piece: I bet that Starc thought of this one after getting acquainted with the music of Iceberg during Aquelarre's venture in Spain. Even though the main motif is repeated many times, it never gets boring: the overall mood is that catchy and vibrating. 'Halitos' kicks off the album's second half with an eerie piano intro, with paves the way for the main body's lyrical nuances, very much based on bossanova airs. This lyrical approach in repeated subsequently in the next track, the second vocal one: 'El Sol De La Pobreza' is romantic but not devoid of energy, all in all, since the jazz-rock factor is fairly noticeable in the basic instrumental arrangement. Finally, 'Carrera De Chanchos' completes the album in a most magnificent way: its first 2? minutes are occupied by a spacey prelude that ultimately opens the door to a vigorous main body, something that wouldn't have been out of place in any of Crucis' 2 albums. The guest keyboardist provides a most incredible solo on synth, stating a healthy rivlaity against Starc's constantly propelled deliveries. This is a great closure to a great album. Attention all members of the Progressive Collectors' federation ? this album is not to be missed!
Report this review (#302635)
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have a cd with two albums included. Tantor and magical and natural. It shows a greater maturity from first to second, but the former has special charisma, maybe a little more for being rude, I like it. We want to hear through very melodious guitar or electric piano, alternating with faster passages of improvisation typical of Jazz Fusion. The lyrics are in Spanish typical of Argentine progressive rock of the seventies. We face two good albums, which show a careful design common to many musical bands from Argentina. The first, Tantor, is less commercial and great for those who like a good Jazz fusion, reminiscent of some bands of this decade in Spain like Iceberg or Barcelona Traction. The second is a little more commercial, but is more melodious and beautiful (Magical and Natural). Any of these albums is an excellent acquisition for collectors of Jazz Fusion. I give 4 stars
Report this review (#579005)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This Argentinian Prog/Fusion act from Buenos Aires was sort of a supergroup, when it was formed back in late-70's with Héctor Starc on guitars, Rodolfo García on drums and Carlos Alberto Machi Rufino on bass/vocals.Starc was an ex-member of Prog/Psych Rockers Aquelarre, Garcia played drums both in Almendra and Aquelarre, while Rufino was a former Invisible member.Tantor released their self-titled debut in 1979 on Phillips, helped by keyboardists Lito Vitale from M.I.A. and Leo Sujatovich of Spinetta Jade.

This is a perfect example of well-executed, tight and highly technical Prog/Fusion with some really georgeous interplays and fantastic grooves.Fast and furious rhythms led by incredible guitar work and delicate electric piano combine with jazzy pianos and distinct synths to present a number of consistent and well-arranged mostly instrumental tracks.The vocals are limited in just a couple of tracks, which come as a combination of light Jazz/Fusion and Soft Rock, but even these contain some good synth work and smooth guitar playing.However the instrumental ones are the real winners here with top-notch performances by all the members, the sound is incredibly rich, the guitar and electric piano solos are stunning and the rhythm section is solid all the way.

One of the finest examples of fiery Prog/Fusion, only comparable to the consistency of CRUCIS.Both the original LP and the 2-CD reissue (along with the band's second album) come highly recommended.

Report this review (#816088)
Posted Friday, September 7, 2012 | Review Permalink

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