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Los Jaivas - Los Jaivas [Aka: El Volantín] CD (album) cover


Los Jaivas

Prog Folk

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3 stars A disc with as much mythical one around is very difficult to evaluate. In the context of the investigation its musical value is unquestionable. Musically one can well be considered rarities. El disc decides on a way between folk indigenous of the Chilean south and a mixture of ancestral percussion; all it with enough text ironic and games of words. The structures of the songs are deliberately appropriate for the improvisation , that was what they did in his presentations in direct. The song "foto de primera comunión" advances in some way which would be their next works. It is the case of the sound of the guitar whose effect of distortion has much similarity to which it used Country Joe & The Fish. Is right to say that this first recording of the Jaivas, (only 500 copies) it became possible thanks to "the logistic" help of Country Joe Mac Donald that contact with the Chilean band at the beginning of years 70. The album have a superlative value as collection disc; Musically is more interesting that surprising or brilliant. Nevertheless is essential for that they want to know well the spirit tribal this South American band.
Report this review (#29146)
Posted Saturday, September 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have always liked South American music. The first time I listened to "El Condor Pasa" (in .1971), I was really found of this old song (1913) from the Peruvian folklore. Simon & Garfunkel immortalized it (although their lyrics had nothing to do with the originals).

The music you can hear on Los Javas debut album is a mix of Andean and almost tribal sounds, ("La Vaquila"). The good percussion work reminds you of "Santana" but flute play is of course fully Andean. I tend to like very much this panpipes sounds. A bit repetitive, maybe. "Tamborcito De Milagro" also features the same type of percussions but "vocals" are difficult to bear. You can compare this song to "El Nicoya", the poor closing number of "Abraxas" for instance. Press next.

The band tells us that this album was almost pure improvisation, and it is true that you can notice this while listening to "El Volantín". This is a pure ethnic work. It sounds OK for a while but is not very accessible to South American aliens.

They haven't yet mixed these special sounds with more proggy ones. This will come later on. One of the best songs is the very much "Santana" oriented "Foto De Primera Comunión". The guitar sounds are so close to the one of the master, very pleasant indeed.

"Último día" has some Crimson reminiscence (probably due to the improvisation style). It is a long and repetitive song with shouting vocals. Not my cup of tea to be honest.

Two stars for this average album. You shouldn't bother with this one.

Report this review (#158361)
Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I would like to begin by reviewing the best works of this band, as 'Alturas de Machu Picchu' and 'Obras de Violeta Parra', but if I review only the most important works I`d not ensure me having analyzed and reviewed all the work of Los Jaivas, so I will start by the beginning, it is preferable to go understanding each review as part of a story, so, I begin telling how it all began.

Los Jaivas formed in 1963 at a school in Vińa del Mar, Chile, the Parra brothers ; Claudio (piano), Eduardo (keyboard) and Gabriel (drums) and the friends Eduardo "Gato' Alquinta (voice electric guitar, flutes) and Mario Mutis (bass), they were just children when they played for a first time in the Municipal theater of vińa del mar, in that show they played with many another college mates of the their school; Guillermo Rivera Cotapos school and the result was a horrible attempt of music, which was answered by the public with throwing tomatoes and coins.

Although all they weren`t brothers, they lived in the same home (with many other boys and families, they were around 15 boys and girls), where they formed together, the music for them was one more game, when they grew formed a band called "High bass", referring to the difference in height between Gato, Mario and the Parra brothers, this name was later hispanicized to "jaivas" (also jaivas is like jaibas, That in spanish Means crabs), High bass played popular songs in marriages and partys. In 1969 They decided to create Their own music and started an improvisation period (1969-1971), looking for an identity They changed the name "high bass" to "los jaivas".They became in some kind of 'hippies' and played in concerts which young public came with their own instruments and participated in improvisations, it was a time where the public did not want to receive, it wanted to express, on that shows they known another musicians like Congreso and Los blops'

their improvisation works is compilated in 'La vorágine' collection (published in 2003) but I don't want to review it, at least not for now.

LETS START WITH THE REVIEW of the first studio album by Los Jaivas: 'El volant'n' (the kyte).

This album sounds really weird.

The first theme; cacho, starts with a Little piano introduction, then starts to sound a kultrún (an ethnic percussion instrument), in this song, gato, impersonating a Mapuche Indian, utters cries and insults against the Spaniards accompanied by the melancholy sound of organ and kultrun.

'la vaquita' is a very original song, but it continues being very weird (it makes me think they were in drugs where composed it), there is much percussion and beautiful melodies of flute, they make a lot of strange screams and sounds mainly emphasizing the phrase ... la vaquita que compré en la feria me salió sin cola (the cow I bought in the market came tailless), also a strange sound cames from behind

"Por Veinticinco Empaná'" is still more weird, is very similar to the previous track, this time the main phrase is 'Por Veinticinco Empaná yo le bailo lo que quiera usté' 'for twenty five pattys' I dance what you want.

"Tamborcito de Milagro" lets consider this theme and instrumental cause the vocals has not any meaning.

"Que o la Tumba Serás" is the first song in this album wich is not weird, it is a very changed version of the national hymn of Chile, only conserving the lyrics and the melody on the phrase 'que o la tumba serás de los libres' the rest are original, this song have a good acoustic piano melody, many percussion and very well flute solos and the new lyrics are good.

"Foto De Primera Comunion" its the first song i heared an electric guitar' it's a very cheerful song but it isn't great.

'Ultimo dia' : psichodelic and weird, the main phrase is 'ultimo dia, nadie se enoja' (last day, nobody gets anger').

Bolerito it's a short bolero it lasts just 25 seconds.

I think this album retains much of the improvisation period of Los Laivas, its very experimental, becoming very weird, the best compositions here are "Que o la Tumba Serás", 'Foto de primera comunión' and 'La vaquita'

After hearing such a weird record like this you will not be eager to follow this band, so it is not a good album to start, but if you like Los jaivas, you might be curious to know how they got started, if you understand the lyrics you'll laugh a lot, if you do not understand it you`ll think "what the hell i have listened?" (also if you Understand the lyrics you will think it a little).

Nobody borns being a master, this album represents just that, the beginning, Los Jaivas already decided to tribute to latin american folk sounds, their music wasn`t much rock yet but it was already experimental, AHHH AND AN IMPORTANT THING: I readed many reviews of many members, even collaborators, telling los jaivas oriented his music to Santana, or to Italian progressive rock or many other bands or styles I don't even remember, these statements could not be more wrong, PLEASE LEARN, not because something sounds like something more it means that are inspired in it, Los Jaivas tries to not sound like nobody but themselves, they created a very original musical language that is considered unique.

Finally I want to invite you to follow this wonderful band that fuzzed latin American folklore with progressive rock sounds, and it is considered one of the most important and influential bands of Chile and the rest of South America. Also I want to mention that Los Jaivas represent an example of unity and collaboration rarely seen in any other band, They lived in a same home, grown toghether, musically formed together, but also were formed as people together, sharing likes and way of seeing life, any member of the jaivas has been in any other band than los jaivas, that seems to be the reason of the longevity of the group.

Report this review (#1419688)
Posted Monday, May 25, 2015 | Review Permalink

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