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LOS JAIVAS

Los Jaivas

Prog Folk


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haciaelsur@ho
3 stars The first GREAT album by Los Jaivas, the first classic... The sound quality is bad...is a disc recorded in Argentina...when los jaivas are leaving the country. Pregón pa iluminarse is a very popular song, quite good, specially live... Guajira cósmica is a good song, the instrumental intro is beautiful... La conquistada, a classic, a masterpiece, Claudio Parra on piano and his young brother Gabriel on drums are FANTASTIC...for me the drum line is amazing!!! The worst songs: un mar de gente and un día de tus días, no coment. The final magistral epic song: Tarka y ocarina, an instrumental masterpiece (13 min) with an agressive intro, a very dinamic midle section and an relaxing end...

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#29159)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars I WOULD LIKE TO THANK LOS JAIVAS FOR MAKING ME LATE FOR WORK THIS MORNING.

I had taken the long week-end to take advantage of the superb Indian Summer we are enjoying in the Ardennes (best gastronomic times too) and catch Paatos and Eclat at the Convention Prog-Resist in Verviers (our local Progfest) and comming back last night (I work in North Holland about four hours drive) I was discovering the South American prog bands that my friends lent me (mostly 70's Argentinian) when in the last half- hour , I switched ti this album.

I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS, GUYS!!!!!!!

The first two numbers are usual of LOS JAIVAS of those times meaning folksy numbers full of charms and personality. When came around La Conquistada (7 min long ) full of delightful pianos and over all great interplay and absolute poignant lyrics (spanish) and emotional vocals so much that I found the first parking spot to listen to it as I was in no state to keep on driving paying only attention to the astounding sounds blaring out of my speakers.

After the end of this number and as the following tracks were back to the normal folk stuff that was their more standart stuff, I took the road again until the final masterpiece almost sent me into the canal along with the car. I simply had not seen the curve as I was so much into this masterful mini-suite (13 min) called Tarka Y Ocarina. Goose bumps , shivers down the spine and tears of joy overcame me by the end the first movement Diablada which is exactly that : devilish. As the second movement Trote managed to delve further into the madness with absolutely incredible drumming and pianos , it just blew my mind away and stayed put until four or five minutes after the end of the majestic finale of Kotaiki.

How I got home is a mystery and I was so wasted from the emotions music but also the rest of this fabulous WE and had found the ultimate ending to it. This morning however, after not hearing the alarm clock , sleeping off the sleep of the just , I could not have cared less if I was late for work, reminding myself of the emotions of the night before. I also spent half an hour scraping bits and pieces of brains from the inside of my windshield and on the driving wheel while re-listening to this to see that it was not a dream - It was not. No doubt I will come back to re-write this review once I get better acquainted with this . Flabbergasting.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#29160)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During their early years, the interest on expanding the musical possibilities of folk music to new sonic domains drove Chilean ensemble Los Jaivas to assimilate the prog thing and use it as a strategy to realize their artistic vision. Their eponymous third album is a turning point, since the prog thing stops being just a mere strategy and becomes the main structure of their compositions and performances. With a momentarily new bassist in the fold (it wouldn't be long before Mutis returned to the band) and a renewed sense of energy, Los Jaivas conceived an amazing repertoire for an amazing record. The opener 'Pregón para Iluminarse' starts with some delicious recorder lines that soon give way to an up-tempo Paraguayan folk based number: what takes place here is an exulting combination of jungle colours and the fire of rock, specially during the explosive guitar solo that appears in the closing section. By now the listener must be hooked, to say the least. 'Guajira Cósmica' finds the band traveling northbound, to the rain forests of Central America. After a brief, delightful acoustic interlude in 6/8 tempo, a guajira explodes in exaltation, with a whole lot paraphernalia of tropical percussion, enthusiastic chanting about the order of the universe, and eventually a recorder that flies around like a bird of truth - while this sequence fades out, a sustained distorted organ chord announces the reprise of the intro motif. In perspective, what we witnessed was the sudden emergence of a cosmological revelation that for a while filled our ordinary dull lives with an irresistible touch of joy and celebration. 'La Conquistada' goes somewhere else: a place of introspective reflectiveness where melancholy rules the soul and obliges the heart to face its own pain. The endless piano flourishes draw captivating images with mesmeric flows of classically oriented precise lines and jazzy painting; meanwhile, Alquinta's guitar leads perfectly complement the passion condensed in his singing. This is perhaps the most overtly emotional number on the record. Tracks 3 and 4 are the most directly focused on the folkish roots. 'Un Mar de Gente' is a delicate acoustic Andean ballad that soon incorporates a massive spectrum of percussive elements, giving the track a high- spirited tropical twist; 'Un Día de tus Días' is a romantic huayno, tender, evocative, nothing special but full of simple beauty. Had both these numbers been further developed, I imagine they could have become as attractive and explosive as the previous three ones. The three-part instrumental suite 'Tarka y Ocarina' closes down the album with full splendour in an amazing display of electric fire and magical intensity. Despite the title mentioning two typical woodwind instruments from the Andes, this is in fact a piece where the electric stuff is the predominant one. Of course, there's lots of Andean woodwind and drums here and there, bur it is the jams which take the leading role in this epic: the hard rocking parts where Alquinta's guitar comes to the frontline, and the jazz fusion passages where Claudio Parra's piano floats energetically and exquisitely are simply unbelievable. Despite the fact that I have mentioned and praised just a couple of specific factors, the thing is that this whole repertoire should be valued as an ensemble effort. The rhythm section is simply astonishing, since it sensibly captures both the ancient magic of Latin American folklore and the various nuances of jazz and rock; and the way that all five musicians share their woodwind and percussion duties is a symptom that these individual minds basically work as a whole unified one. "Los Jaivas" (also commonly known in the Latin American prog fan circles as "El Indio" and "El Indígena") is a quintessential in the context of South American 70s prog: though not a masterpiece, sure it is very good and essential.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#29161)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
5 stars Where does one start describing this album? Or this band, for that matter? I just love these guys, and it’s a little annoying that several of their albums are difficult to find today.

I don’t know all the whole history of this band, but I do know that they were essentially exiles coming out of the military dictatorship that followed Pinochet’s 1973 coup. That’s probably a good thing as far as their music is concerned, because there are signs of maturity in the complex arrangements and some of the instrumentation that might have otherwise been overwhelmed by Andean traditional influences had the band continued uninterrupted in Chile.

But civics lessons aside, this is wonderfully complex and uplifting music. The ethnic and overly ornate percussion that is so typical of South American music is very present throughout the album, and lends a very mature air to the compositions. The piano is full of scale flourishes as well, and is maybe disadvantaged a bit by the other instrumentation because it does get a bit lost in the mix from time-to-time. The piano is most prominent on “La Conquistada”, where it accents the electric guitar on that instrument’s most prominent track as well.

On the subject of instruments, “Un Mar de Gente” is a percussion orgy of sorts, and “Un Día de tus Días” is all about natural tones – acoustic Spanish guitar, flute, claps and rich accompanying vocals. The closing “Tarka y Ocarina…” has probably the most noticeable electronic presence with the mini-Moog lead-in and long passages, but here again the piano plays a major role and the percussion really fills out the overall sound.

A couple of comments about the vocals as well: as someone who is married to a Latin woman, I have spent a great deal of my adult life listening to brothers-in-law and family acquaintances who somehow fancy themselves to be emotional and inspiring Latin singers. Almost none of them are any good, but reality is whatever we think it is, I suppose. But Gato Alquinta has a very measured vocal delivery that has an understated quality which is unusual in male Latin singers. He is clearly singing because the song requires it, not to try and show off or dominate the music. This is an extremely refreshing approach, and the result is a series of outstanding progressive folk compositions that benefit from their vocal accompaniment, as opposed to holding up in spite of their vocals. Bravo for that!

I wish I had more music from this band, and there are six of their albums on my long- term wish list. This particular one is rather easy to find for some reason, and I would recommend it highly to – fans of uplifting progressive music; Latin percussion fans; those who like South American folk sounds; or just about any world-music fan. I was going to give this four stars, but I can’t for the life of me think of any reason why it shouldn’t have five – these compositions rank up there in terms of complexity and quality with anything else I would consider to be a progressive masterpiece, and the overall feel-good quality of the music is something sorely needed in a world otherwise gone mad. Pick this up and feel good for a while. Five stars.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#120056)
Posted Saturday, April 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This band fully deserves respect but so far in their career, they haven't really produced brilliant albums. Some good tracks in their early days (fully "Santana" oriented) but to be honest, these were really too scarce.

Unlike Italian prog, I am able to understand the lyrics and to be honest, there is nothing great to retain either. Childish and somewhat not very meaningful. Their image from a Chilean band should have inspired more passion. More anger. More venom towards the governing Chilean regime in those days; but this could have meant dead for them.

Of course, the band had left Chile in 1973. But not for political reasons (at least it is mentioned so on their official web page). They just wanted to include more South American influences to their native music and therefore went to Argentina first and to Brazil to grab as much new sounds as they could.

If ever you fancy traditional Latin American moods, which is very hard if you don't have this in your gene (and I do have these for about twenty-two years), this album won't speak to you. Even if there is a very good percussion work during "Un Mar De Gente" (an ocean of people).

There were more prog influence in their earlier albums. The best from this album is to come with the great "Tarka Y Ocarina". This lengthy and closing number is by far the best of this offering. Superb musicianship (piano and fluting), passion at last! Just what I am expecting. But remember, it is the closing number.

Two stars. Good ethnic music but by no means a true prog-folk album. But this was a concept which didn't exist in those days (1975).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#159873)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
obiter
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This opens with the very folk orientated Pregón Pa' Iluminarse. However, Guajira Cósmica takes a step into more proginess. An opening chord (for some reason it always reminds me of Bagpuss) Piano and guitar quietly duet. Emotional vocals cry out over a slow folk rhythm, the recorder flits over the sea of sound.

La Conquistada: delicate and peaceful. The quiet piano gives way to amazing percussion. At times it reminds me of the flourishes of a young Ian Paice. In fact there's more than a hint of very early Deep Purple here. A beautiful track. The song builds, and subsides before the final crescendo.

Un Mar De Gente begins with guitar and woodwind then we hear the roar of a crowd and the tempo picks up with ethnic percussion. I have no idea what the various instruments are but the overall effect is vibrant and uplifting.

Un Día De Tus Días is a quiet folk song. Since my Spanish is only slightly better than my Urdu a lot is lost on me with this one.

Tarka Y Ocarina: the 15 minute track kicks of with some psychedelic fuzziness and driving rhythm. Not what i was expecting given the preceding tracks. More reminiscent of early Black Sabbath at the start. Then a change: the piano hammers out a dramatic chord sequence before mellowing into sweeping scales. Some woodwind comes in, and we are out of rock territory. the sweeping piano is like the sea rising and falling or the trees bending in the breeze, very atmospheric. The piano descends the scale (Hmm the opening of Chinatown Thin Lizzy in the early 80s is very similar).

The percussion remains persistently excellent throughout. A couple of the earlier tracks may not excite but a n exceleent prog track and one that would be great to have in your collection.

My CD also came with 2 bonus tracks:

En Tus Horas A relatively short guitar and vocal folk track. Mambo de Machaguay Opens with drums and piano, and a cry of delight. Then that fuzzy guitar returns. The simple guitar line sits over the frenetic percussion and is soon joined by ethnic woodwind. It bearks down to vocals and clapping but retunrs quickly to the vocal and guitar. Very rhythmical. I'd love to see this live. The guitar playing reminds me a bit of the early Horslips (obviously without the irish folk influence, if you're familiar with the Horslips you'll understand).

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Send comments to obiter (BETA) | Report this review (#161456)
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is my first review here in PROGARCHIVES, and I want to start talking about an amazing band from my country: LOS JAIVAS, a piece of Chilean history and identity. "El Indio" was released in Argentina, with the group in exile, due to a military dictatorship. The band explores new places and landscapes, and it serves as new inspirations for their music. This album is crossed by a strong Latin American feeling, and it has some of the most memorable Jaivas´ compositions.

In first place, we have "Pregón para iluminarse". This track is happiness, party, unity of consciences and frontier´s dissolution. It express the wish of propagate love and light to every corner of the world. It starts with a playful flute, and gradually the battery, charanjo, piano and electric guitar become attached to this beautiful creation. The lyrics are really beautiful, and they deserve to be read.

Then, "Guajira Cósmica" expresses in its lyrics the Latin American native´s "cosmovision". They talk about the relationship between man, nature and divinity. The music has deep percussions, an elegant work of moog, the playful flute of "Gato Alquinta", and the result is a sensual "Guajira", with one of the finest vocal works of "El gato" in his whole career.

"La conquistada" is, with security, my favorite track of this album. It´s a complex lament, with a "Cueca" rhythm (national dance of Chile), but with a very tragic tune (the "Cueca" is very joyful originally). This is understandable, because in this track Eduardo Parra talks about his feelings about the destroyed Santiago de Chile after the coup d'état. The band clearly shares his feelings, and the result is this deep composition, with a nostalgic electric guitar, a desperate piano and gloomy vocals.

"Un mar de gente" is a hymn filled with Latin American brotherhood feelings. The lyrics are more poetical than in "Todos Juntos" (From his album "La Ventana"), and the music is deeper and more exciting with a fast charango, emotional percussions, beautiful corals and a strong ensemble that makes think about a real crowd beyond this incredible sound.

"Un día de tus días" is, maybe, the weakest track of the album. It isn´t bad, but compared with the other songs is complex less. It is closer to folk: the proggy component isn´t much here. .

Finally, "Tarka y Ocarina" is a delight. 13:21 minutes of a real ensemble of rock and folk. The composition is a trip among sounds, landscapes and memories of the north of Chile. In "Diablada" the rhythm is a complex and unique version of the diabladas of "La fiesta de la tirana", traditional carnival that takes place on July, every year. The rhythm changes are very interesting and well succeed. In "Trote" and "Kotaiki" Claudio Parra definitively shines on the piano, showing pure sensibility and beauty.

In summary, for me this album deserves 4.5 stars. Because "Los Jaivas" have better albums than this, I give them 4 stars for their fine work on "El Indio". I apologize for my limited English, and I invite everyone to hear and rate the work of those chileans. Hundred people rates very popular bands like Genesis, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, but Latin America has great musicians and has many things to say too.

Cheers from Chile!

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Send comments to Usulprog (BETA) | Report this review (#180878)
Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is not my first LOS JAIVAS experience. I had previously heard "Obras de Violeta Parra" though I never physically owned the album (I had a digital download of it). In the case of this self-titled record, on the other hand, I've had enough time to familiarize myself with the music.

As a reviewer already stated, it will be difficult for people without a previous taste for South American music to get to understand and truly like the music from LOS JAIVAS. There's a lot of folk elements here, both in the instrumentation and in the melodies and rhythms. In fact, I can say that the rock element in "Los Jaivas" is, at times, difficult to find, and it's only on the last track that the Chilean band fully embrace the genre.

The album starts with a very folky track, followed by another one in a different style, which shows that, at least in the folk side of things, LOS JAIVAS were not circumscribed to music from their own country (Chile) but they adopted and adapted sounds from all throughout the LatinAmerica. Actually, "Guajira Cosmica" reminds me of a song dedicated to a much celebrated (to my dismay) revolutionary figure in the continent (though LOS JAIVAS don't come out as politically-charged, an oddity for a band of 70's Chile). The two short songs are rather forgettable, and it's only in the last song, "Tarka y Ocarina", where the group finally manages to create a proper symbiosis of rock and folk. In this track the influences of psychedelic rock and jazz are evident, and it's a closer that lifts the album from mediocrity.

A lesser album than "Obras de Violeta Parra", my only other LOS JAIVAS reference, "Los Jaivas" still manages to earn 3 stars from me, mostly due to the adventurous last track. The rest is just too "folkloric" and not enough "rock" even for me, a South American reviewer.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#243642)
Posted Thursday, October 08, 2009 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars One of the most succesful Folk/Rock bands from Chile and definitely the most famous among Prog fans, Los Jaivas were established by brothers Claudio Parra (multi-instrumentalist), Eduardo Parra (keyboards) and Gabriel Parra (drums) in Vina del Mar around 1963, featuring also two more multi-instrumentalists, Mario Mutis and Eduardo "Gato" Alquinta.At the beginning their sound was quite immature, developing eventually a personal style during late-60's with many improvised influences, including Rock, Folk and Psychedelic Music.By early-70's the group had become very popular, releasing two albums, mostly known with the titles of their covers, but in 1973 they decided to move to Argentina due to the rising dictatorship in the country.Even worse, Mutis had to depart from his duties due to personal issues and he was replaced by Julio Anderson, while Alberto Ledo also joined in traditional instruments.In 1975 a third album with the ''Los Jaivas'' trademark was released on EMI Argentina, mostly known as ''El indio''.

''Pregon para iluminarse'' shows a very interesting mix of Andean Folk Music with Rock aesthetics, featuring delicate Spanish vocals and traditional flutes next to a jazzy piano and the nice electric guitars, but the following ''Guajira cosmica'' contains maybe too many Folk elements, led by multi-vocal tunes and a rather indifferent atmosphere, closer to traditional Andean Folk.''La conquistada'' is simply great, very much in a Latin Prog/Fusion mood, with great electric solos and beautiful piano lines mixed with acoustic strings, while for the first time the vocals are fantastic with a very sensitive color.The two short opening tracks of the flipside follow again a Chilean Folk path with a romantic atmosphere, led by plenty of vocals, dominant percussions and flutes as well as traditional acoustic instruments, like the charango and the mandolin.A very long composition will close the album, the 13-min. ''Tarka y ocarina'', which every Latin band would be proud if creating it.Here the multiple influences come in evidence, starting in a typical folky enviroment, soon bursting into an instrumental Prog Rock amalgam of Classical and Folk influences with tremendous piano work by Claudio Parra and incredible complex textures with the rhythm section along the lines of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, leading this into an atmospheric outro with acoustic strings and smooth piano interludes.

Rather uneven album, containing though quite a few amazing moments.''El indio'' deserves to be listened by every Prog fan, showcasing the early steps of Los Jaivas into more adventurous musical forms.Warmly recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#991787)
Posted Thursday, July 04, 2013 | Review Permalink

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