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Los Jaivas - Obras De Violeta Parra CD (album) cover


Los Jaivas

Prog Folk

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Steve Hegede
5 stars Los JAIVAS struck gold with their 1984 release, "Obras De Violeta Parra". This mature prog album features the band in top shape, and free from any 1980s-related influence. One would think that by 1984, a prog band would have toned down their experimental nature for something more commercial, but Los JAIVAS decided to become even more progressive. F--- off MTV, these guys could have cared less about the cold one-hit wonders that you were promoting at the time. "Obras..." takes elements from Modern classical(Bartok, and Ravel especially), 70s sympho-prog, Andean and Spanish folk, and is light-years away from their well-known classic, "Alturas De Macchu Picchu". At first, I couldn't really hear the Peruvian/Chilean folk influences in the music, but then realized that these influences were naturally combined with the overt prog/modern classical sound featured in the music. The band, of course, still enjoyed to play catchy Andean/Spanish pop-folk, but the overall emphasis here is on seriously complex music. 6 of the tracks here range between 8 to 11 minutes each. The rest of the tracks are between 1-5 minutes, adding up to a double-LP sized album that today fits on one CD. If you've been interested in Los JAIVAS I would recommend "Alturas..." as a great place to start. But if you are ready for some serious prog with modern classical influences, and a friendly South American sound, you will be in for a treat.

Report this review (#29169)
Posted Thursday, May 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars I have heard this album just four times , so as it is still new to me , I apply myself the rule of never giving the maximum rating to a discovery as to avoid over-enthusiasm/excitement. This is my third experience with Los Jaivas (after the folksy Juntas and the symphonic Alturas) , again here they manged a completely different sound and music then on those two albums . Steve Heged gives you an acurate description of the music also telling you that there are shorter "mariachi" numbers that have a tendency to annoy me (because I am prophane to that type of music) but those are greatly outnumbered by the longer and much proggier tracks.The opening minutes of the second number is simply stupendous and the crystal clear piano playing is breathtaking. No doubt , it will take many more listening of this album to grasp and understand the entire concept of this album, as they are doing something highly original.

Hats off , guys!!!!

Report this review (#29170)
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello for all...I wasn't able to hold up myself and i want to complete the ideas writen by Steves and Hugues. They are pretty right!. I'm chilean, so i know enough Latin american folk music. Besides, it remains to talk about Violeta Parra, who compossed the songs that Jaivas's album features ( watch out: no at all as you listened on this album! this arrangments were made by Los Jaivas ). She was a chilean folk songwriter and farmer song compiler, and she traveled around the world showing her work in '50s and mid '60s. She is the one of the most important folk singer in Chile. More of important folk bands (protest songs) of later '60s and '70s were inspired by Violeta. If you get her songs, first records of this songs, you'll apreciate in a better way Jaivas's work. You'll see the distance and the nearness between both, and how Los Jaivas has honor and yield tribute to Violeta, re-inventing all songs in a way of amazing beautiful and complexity music, a musical maturity, as that guys (up) told you. Los Jaivas are the prog sons of Violeta! I'ts a masterpiece! Pancho

Report this review (#29171)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been hearing Los Jaivas music since I was about 6 years old. As I grew up, I discovered the prog music and all it involves, this wonderful world of great music and musicians. I think this album has everything: long songs with different moments, virtuosism on the piano solos and the drums, complex basslines, vocal harmonies, and so on.

The compositions belong to the chilean genius Violeta Parra. Los Jaivas arranged this 10 songs in their very own style. And the result is fantastic. I keep "discovering" new things every time I listen to this album, not so known and maybe not so successful (at least here in Chile), but full of good music... first level music.

Report this review (#29172)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's really difficult to put into words the greatness, the originality and the extreme and terrible beauty of this work. It's a real masterpiece of prog.

Highlights: Arauco tiene una pena, El Guillatún, El Gavilán, Un Rio de Sangre, En los Jardines humanos.

Trivia: the song "Arauco tiene una pena" was also covered by Robert Wyatt.

Report this review (#38248)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This double album from 1984 sees a remarkable return to form by Los Jaivas. After following-up the brilliant Alturas De Macchu Picchu with a sharp drop in quality for Aconcagua) they rebounded with this equally specatular work. Obras De Violeta Parra is a dramatic re-interpretation of the folk songs of Violeta Parra (a folk singer/socialist activist who was not related to the trio of Parra brothers who formed the backbone of Los Jaivas) and it remains the most exciting progressive album that I've heard that was recorded in the 1980s.

This is no ordinary tribute album, for while Los Jaivas is occassionally faithful to the Parra original, their tendency is to use her material to drape their own extended compostions around. Indeed 6 of the 10 tracks here clock are in the 8-12 minute range. While most of the band are at the top of their game, it is pianist Claudio Parra and drummer Gabriel Parra who shine the brightest here.

As soon as the opening synth brass sounds of Arauco Tiena Una Pena hit you, you know you're in for something special. Mock horror synth and the trademark rippling piano of Claudio Parra introduce a brilliant Arabic-tinged guitar lead segment which is backed by some notable playing from basisst Mario Mutis, and a pretty fiery display from Gabriel Parra before, nearly 7 minutes into the song, the actual folky original tune of Violeta Parra emerges ... delivered with panache by Gato Alquinta, with Claudio's piano providing most of the backing.

Numerous highlights abound on this delicious offering. El Guillatun has a dark surrounding atmosphere with extraodinary piano flourishes from Claudio Parra ... this despite the fact that the "main song" is actually quite a light piece. Arriba Quemando El Sol is downright pagan with sombre backing from a traditional drum, flute and piano ... and by the time the piece has built to a crescendo in true Bolero style, Eduardo Parra has joined the party with some ballsy synth leads. Un Rio De Sangre is a blistering piano led progressive epic with a lot of dynamic changes (even if I keep thinking that the band is going to burst into Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath, because one of the recurring piano lines is pretty similar to a line in that song!).

El Gavilan has an uncredited guest female lead vocalist, and evolves superbly, with the flute and piano playing an important part in the song's progress from acoustic folk gem to progressive monster. There's even room for a Mutis bass solo on this one and its conclusion with massed vocals is quite stunning. The beautiful Run Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte is presented here as a delicate instrumental with piano, charango and flute carrying the melody along. En Los Jardines Humanos is another fascinating "dark" excursion with a mid-section that will have PFM fans squealing with delight and an exciting explosive finish to boot. I've mentioned Claudio Parra's rippling piano before, but I dare say it never gets quite as much exposure on the wonderful opening to Violeta Ausente!

Perhaps due to a lack of genuine diversity in terms of style from piece to piece, it isn't always easy to absorb the whole 77 minute double album at a single sitting, but unlike every other double album I've ever encountered, Obras De Violeta Parra does not really have too many filler moments. The mock-militaristic Manana Me Voy Pa'l Norte and the brief accordion instrumental Que Pena Sienta El Alma may not be to my taste musically, but as the shortest pieces on this album of monster tracks, it scarcely affects my immersion in this wonderful world that Los Jaivas created. ... 91% on the MPV scale

Report this review (#74874)
Posted Thursday, April 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Los Jaivas have in "Alturas de Macchu Picchu" song "La Poderosa Muerte" my favorite track by them. However, despite how impressive that album might be, and how beautiful it's transposition into the ruins of Macchu Picchu is, "Obras de Violeta Parra" is just miles away in Prog-Folk superiority.

We get that idea from the first notes of the album: "Arauco Tiene Una Pena" starts just like "La Poderosa Muerte". Ah, but then you hear the piano keys pound just before the guitar enters the scene, and you know this will be much more than "Alturas...".

In fact, when comparing both, "more" is the expression that comes to mind. It's not just because the album is a double with half an hour more music. It has more epics, all of which more symphonic, more climatic, with greater shifts from rock to folk, and better done.

The "mariachi" bits that our own demanding prog-folk maniac Hugues Chantraine (I tip my hat in humble reverence) can't get past, in my view, only add to general briliance of the album, as they provide a great interlude between the symphonic bits, leaving wanting more and more without getting fed up in an album of this lenght. Trotsky gives a very good description of the main arrangements and effects in the songs, but while he praises the excelent drumming and piano, I have to praise the fantastic quality of the electric guitars, that in no way take a lot of protagonism in the album, but completlety steal the show during their brief apearences: be it by complementing the symphonic keyboarding or driving the folkier parts forward.

It's really hard to point highlights and draw comparissons when all is very good and unique. The whole 77 minutes just seem to pass while you are in this kind of numbness, and are transported into the dreamy-then-nightmare-then-sweet-dreaming-again experience that is listening to "Obras de Violeta Parra".

By the way, this small review took me almost two hours to write. All because I had the "brilliant" idea of putting the album on while writing, which made me loose my concentration every 5 seconds... When a music album playing in the background calls for so much of your atention, then you know it is REALLY good.

Report this review (#108982)
Posted Friday, January 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Sorry guys but not my kind of prog i what to listen. As a whole is not bad, i like the insertions in music of native folklore music, as it is here, but is almost only that. I don't find it a prog album is more folklore with nice choruses. I have to mention the best piece from here En los Jardines Humanos, the rest of the tracks are so so, not bad but less enjoyble. Maybe another album of Los Jaivas make me change my mind about their music, but this one is only 3 stars, hardly 3.
Report this review (#140357)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars When Los Jaivas and Violeta Parra unite.

The track list shows 10 songs of Violeta Parra, but what lies inside this album is an incredible work of Los Jaivas based on the original songs.

It was in the beginning of the 80's when Los Jaivas started to work over Violetas' songs, and they played some ones live in Paris. It was the 80's, but Los Jaivas kept complete apart of the current stream and all the metamorphosis in several groups. "Obras de Violeta Parra" is a perfect mix of Chilean roots with rock elements. For instance, the first instrument that is heard is a trutruca, in the wonderful intro of 'Arauco Tiene una Pena', and then is followed with a synthesizer, showing from the beginning the collage of cultures and sounds to be heard. The first half of the song is pure prog, among pianos, electric guitars, basses, trutrucas and synths. But then appears Violeta, it starts the folk rhythms and the lyrics about the Araucanians (Mapuches) and all his suffering through the centuries, first under the Spanish gun, and now under the Chileans itself.

This is what "Obras de Violeta Parra" is, not just covers but further arrangements allowing Los Jaivas making one of their best jobs.

There are also a couple of instrumental songs, the 11+ minutes 'El Gavilán', and the well known 'Run Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte'. Maybe this last one is not all the good it could be, maybe because 'El Gavilán' is a great song.

The lyrics are all so familiar to this land, talking about the araucanians in 'Arauco Tiene una Pena' and 'El Guillatún', about miners working in infra-human conditions (which still is true in one way or another) in 'Y Arriba Quemando el Sol', or simply about Chile and our culture, in 'Violeta Ausente', including that break with purely Chileans voices ("salió el ultimo Condorito.").

About 'Violeta Ausente', one of the highlights, it's amazing to hear Claudio Parra, in the intro of the song, playing the piano as if it were a harp. If you don't pay attention you simply think it's a harp (in fact, my mother and brother thought that until I told them).

'Un Río de Sangre' is sung by Isabel Parra, Violeta's daughter, and sings about the injustice in the history of Latin America, from Manuel Rodriguez to Emiliano Zapata.

Also is present the trademark on the drums of Gabriel Parra, his unique style, particularly on 'Mañana Me Voy Pa'l Norte', where is found the same drumming and the same sequence of 'Mambo de Machaguay', first in 4/4 and then in 4/5.

The album closes with a short accordion version of 'Que Pena Siente el Alma', one of the most popular songs of Violeta. The album is over, but not the music, which remains in my mind until I hear it again.

I think if you know Los Jaivas but you haven't heard this album yet, you'll get a good surprise, because "Obras de Violeta Parra" might be their best and purest work. And if you don't have any album of Los Jaivas, this is a great opportunity to get into, very progressive, sounding similar at moments to PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI. In fact, I highly recommend this one to PFM fans (and I consider myself a PFM fan).

Five stars for one of the bests albums of the most important rock band in Chile. These 77 minutes are nothing but a masterpiece.

Report this review (#149329)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars Other reviewers said almost everything about this album and its history, I can't add much. No doubt it is very good and essential LOS JAIVAS album, all band's trademarks are here, though this work takes several spins to get into.

If 'Alturas de Macchu Picchu' instantly grabs your attention and doesn't release it till the end of the last song, this album is slightly uneven and less accessible. Personally I found some tracks ('El Guillatún', 'Y Arriba Quemando el Sol' and 'El Gavilán') too long and repetative. I also feel that 'Obras De Violeta Parra' is darker than most of LOS JAIVAS albums. If you speak Spanish (unfortunately I don't and can judge only by some translations) you can appreciate the quality of Violeta Parra's poetry.

Highly recommended, but if you are new to LOS JAIVAS, better start with 'Alturas de Macchu Picchu' (CD or, even better, DVD) or 'Los Jaivas' (1975).

Report this review (#158982)
Posted Friday, January 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Their web-site mentions that this album was recorded and mixed in France as soon as in 1980. It was released in Latin America some four years later. It is a kind of tribute to Violeta Parra who was an important character in the Chilean folklore. If the band uses the titles of Violeta's songs, lyrics are changed and original songs with lyrics are turned into full instrumental tracks ("Run Run, Se Fue Pa'l Norte"). Maybe they just wanted to recall her that way.

Let's be honest : "Los Jaivas" produce a much more ethnic and folkloric music than a really prog one. But when you listen to the long opening track of this album "Arauco Tiene Una Pena" one has to recognize that the opening instrumental part is truly great. Very much in the Wakeman style. Things get more complicated when the trumpet enters the scene and get worse when vocals start even if lyrics are interesting and depicts the arrival of the Spaniards in South America and all the misery they brought to the native people. A good song. The best one from "Obras".

But songs as "El Guillatún" (featuring weak vocals) and "Mañana Me Voy Pa'l Norte" (the worst by far here - press next type of song) can hardly be taken into consideration on this site.

Lyrics from Y Arriba Quemando El Sol are describing the difficult situation of small villages from the Chilean Pampa. They are the most interesting part of this song, but if you're not into Spanish, there are little to retain in terms of music and melody I'm afraid. These vocals really sound uninspired and as if their lead singer was completely bored while interpreting these. Come on, you're talking about your homeland, man! This long song is fully "Bolero" oriented and has the same and repetitive mood from start to finish. Dull.

The structure of "El Guillatún" is more complex. Truly progressive this time and influenced by some pleasant Spanish sounds. Fully instrumental (thanks guys) it features nice fluting and delicate piano. The whole number is played in a tranquil mood, and it sounds almost as a classical piece of music for most of it. Still, a very pleasant track.

"El Gavilán" features some female vocals (Isabel Parra, maybe a relative of Violeta) and even if there is a very good guitar part in there, I can't be overwhelmed with enthusiasm while listening to it. The last good moment from this average album is the beautiful "Run Run, Se Fue Pa'l Norte". Superb melody and sweet guitar. My second fave from this offering.

Violeta Ausente (originally Paloma Ausente) is also a weak track. Mariachi oriented! Not really expected on a prog album. And the short accordeon closing number doesn't hold anything great to my ears.

This album is totally overrated (at least from a prog point of view). Two stars.

Report this review (#160549)
Posted Saturday, February 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After the lightweight "Aconcagua", Los Jaivas refurbished the prog rock orientation that had started in their '75 album all the way to "Alturas de Machu Picchu" and took it to its ultimate expression in their '84 effort "Obras de Violeta Parra". This is a concept album revolving around the legacy of folk singer Violeta Parra (1917-1967, a songwriter of cuecas and other South American tunes with a strong social-ethical component), and indeed, it is a piece of work that the band had developed even before the "Machu Picchu" days. 5 years after, it was finally taken to vinyl. This is a covers album, formally speaking; yet the arrangements are complex and solid enough as to allow Los Jaivas to appropriate the songs themselves: the original formats of Violeta's tracks are refurbished to fit the melodic adornments and varied moods provided by Los Jaivas. This fresh breath of new life and augmented sounds can be perfectly comparable with the reinstatement of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" by ELP or Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" by Canarios. 'Arauco Tiene una Pena' is one of Violeta's absolute classics, and Los Jaivas deliver a fantastic Andean prog journey of trutrucas, Moogs, pianos and rocking guitars state a successive endeavor before getting at the cueca itself for the last 4 minutes. A similar strategy is followed for 'El Guillatún', albeit with a more energetic approach: the powerful presence of percussion, Andean horns and strom effects on synth add a sense of grey darkness to the playful original melodic basis. Claudio Parra's effective piano deliveries sure emphasize the track's energy, while the entry of Andean woodwinds helps to bring a lyrical ornament to the overall scheme. 'Mañana Me Voy p'al Norte' is closer to the structure of folk music, since the woodwinds and charango are certainly featured: the guitar solo merely brings an ornament. 'Y Arriba Quemando el Sol' distances itself from the preceding track's naive colors and states a very different mood: mysterious, somewhat somber, with an essential role for the martially-driven rhythmic duo. As constrained as it obviously is, the energy is there. This mysterious vibe is adequately perpetuated in 'El Gavilán' (introduced by a lovely, relaxing classical guitar passage): fully instrumental, this version encapsulates the most dramatic moments in the album. As usual, drummer Gabriel and pianist Claudio are the most relevant forces in the band's endeavor, which states a genuinely prog management of epic moods and well-ordained contrasts. 'Un Río de Sangre' features guest singer and cuatro player Isabel Parra: similar to the "Aconcagua" album regarding the addition of synth and lead guitar, the folk aspect is both enhanced and re- elaborated. 'Run Run Se Fue p'al Norte' and 'Violeta Ausente' are more focused on acoustic folk flavors (including guarani cadences for the latter); between the two, 'En los Jardines Humanos' brings back the prog-folk splendor, although there is a more Spartan approach to the lyrical potential that Los Jaivas work on. The 1'19"-long epilogue is an accordion solo piece whose melancholy feels accurate for the sweet sorrow of farewell. And so ends another Jaivas' beautiful highlight - "Obras de Violeta Parra" should not be missing in any good prog collection.
Report this review (#175710)
Posted Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is pure Prog Rock, Violeta Parra was a Chilean folk reviewer, who search around the four corners of this (my) country, the sources of what can be called Chilean, not only musically.

I never have listened to a tribute album like this, I only can say that this is similar to what YES do to Paul Simon's America, the final result is miles away from the source, as Violeta's Songs are mainly instrumented only with Spanish guitar and occasionaly with Bombo (a basic bass drum made out of cow skin and wood).

The arrangements to four songs: Mañana me voy pa'l Norte, Un Rio de Sangre, Violeta Ausente, Que pena siente el Alma, are pure Chilean Folk Music, the rest is only prog Rock in different format, like the symphonic beginning of Arauco, to the neo cassicaly driven Gavilan.

Gato Alquinta is not a great singer nor a great guitar player, but the rest of the band is top class.

I could probably write like like Tarzan (in English) but I can assure you that this band is miles away of being a Mariachi Rock, because they came from Mexico, And this is a Chilean Band and if you think there's not difference, please pick a map give this album a try, and then listen to Pedro Fernandez a real Mexican Mariachi.

Report this review (#183683)
Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars I have four Los Jaivas albums; their self-titled from the seventies, two (including this one) from the eighties, and ‘Arrebol’ from 2001. I’m amazed how much the band changes from decade to decade, more so than many other groups that span the same timeframe. Sure, Genesis evolved from being the prototype prog band to a schmaltzy pop act, and Jethro Tull grew from basically a blues band to quintessential prog folk to almost a parody of prog and back to folk again. But with Los Jaivas the transitions all still fall well within the realm of very progressive and respectable music, just distinctly different over a nearly forty year period. And at least until Gato Alquinta’s passing, with largely the same lineup.

While the band’s earliest work is pretty earthy folk steeped in Chilean tradition, the latter stuff is quite modern-sounding and features more than a little keyboard and synthesized sounds. ‘Obras de Violeta Parra’ falls somewhere in between, with glimmers of modernity while still clinging like hopeless romantics to their national roots. And sure, there are Moogs and electric pianos and a celeste and electric guitars; but the band has managed to retain the authenticity and unique sounds of the charango, the Mapuchean trutrucas and even some mandolin. One thing that seems to remain constant with Los Jaivas is their love and skillfull employment of exotic and rich-sounding instruments and percussion, something they do with abundance here.

Its also a good thing CDs came out when they did, since this thing runs on for nearly seventy-seven minutes including three songs clocking in at over ten minutes each. The first (“Arauco Tiene una Pena”) is rich with keyboards, lush percussion and various stringed instruments, and pretty sparse on vocals. At times it almost wanders into symphonic rock territory. The follow-up “Ell Guillatun” is undeniably symphonic, with a sprightly piano chord progression that builds and evolves the entire length of the song as guitar, xylophone and a wispy recorder dance around the basic arrangement. Toward the end the drums and other percussion build to a sort of multifaceted climax before ending abruptly. “Run Run se Fue pal Norte” is another symphonic piece, as is “En los Jardones Humanos”; both are a little shorter and with what sounds like some synthesized keyboards mixed with piano and celeste, but a nice songs overall.

On the other hand, “Y Arriba Quemando el Sol” is the other long song, but this one has multiple vocals track, more of a folk piano line, and an almost martial tempo. I can’t say as this one adds much to the overall appeal of the album, and frankly the record would have been complete even without it.

One thing that comes out in “Y Arriba Quemando el Sol” though is the presence of some brass, something that is more prevalent on the second half of the disc. Those songs are shorter (though a few are still around 8-9 minutes); there are also more vocals on most of the latter tracks.

There are also a couple of more modern-sounding, pop-folk numbers stuck on the album for some reason (“Manana me voy pal Norte” and “Violeta Ausente”). Nothing wrong with these, they just don’t quite fit the mood of the rest of the work.

The band wraps recorder around piano on the closing “Que Pena Siente el Alma” and sprinkles in a little taste of vocals for the closest they come to their seventies sound. I really like this one as a closing number; it is upbeat, has a kind of playful piano sequence, and seems to be designed to leave the listener feeling good as the music winds to a close. Well played and something I expect the band performed in concert regularly (although regrettably I never had the opportunity to see them live).

I won’t say this is my favorite Los Jaivas album, and it’s just a slight bit uneven considering the two or three short non-folksy songs. But in whole the music is nearly as appealing as some of their earlier work, even if it is quite a bit more formal and with a symphonic structure. Four stars I think, and well recommended to symphonic and prog folk fans alike, as well as anyone who finds acts like Triana, Amenophis or maybe even Ekseption appealing.


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Posted Monday, August 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars "Obras De Violeta Parra" is a double album that was released in 1984 by the Chilean Folk band LOS JAIVAS. It's a tribute of sorts to Violeta Parra who was a famous Chilean Folk singer and activist who passed away in 1967. That's her on the album cover. They've taken her songs and re-worked them. Dual keyboards and lots of ethnic instruments are used, the vocals take on a prominant role as well.

"Arauco Tiene Una Pena" sounds amazing for the first 6 minutes then it settles right down and well they lose me completely. Especially when the vocals arrive 7 1/2 minutes in. "El Guillatun" opens with explosive sounds and intricate ones as well. Vocals 2 minutes in as drums continue. Not a fan here either. I do like the dreamy sound 6 1/2 minutes in though. "Manana Me Voy Pa'l Norte" is a complete write off for me (haha). Again it's the vocals and circus-like melody. "Y Arriba Quemando El Sol" opens with laid back piano as reserved vocals come in with drums. It does get more energetic but is mostly piano, drums and vocals.

"El Gavilan" is good with all these intricate sounds. It picks up before 8 minutes and sounds even better. It settles but the tempo shifts a lot the rest of the way. "Un Rio De Sangre" is very folky with female vocals. "Run-Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte" eventually features a strummed instrument with vocal melodies. Other sounds come and go but the vocal melodies don't last long. "En Los Jardines Humanos" is slow going with almost spoken vocals early. It picks up before 4 minutes. Vocals return later. The guitar is great after 8 minutes. "Violeta Ausente" opens with piano and strummed guitar I think. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in lead the rest of the way. "Que Pena Siente El Alma" is led by what sounds like accordion.

The picture that kept coming to my mind is this band back in the old west sitting around a camp fire playing this Folk music. Something from a Western movie you know ? Anyway I simply dislike this, and it's a double albums worth at that.

Report this review (#256766)
Posted Friday, December 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars As a chilean prog fan, I think you HAVE to be familiar with Violeta to fully understand this piece of art. so I'll tell you a few facts and pieces of the lyrics.

in a few words, she was raised in a bohemian family, where everyone became a poet, a musician or sth like that. she achieved great success with her folk and expressionist art, but when tried to bring back that success to chile she met indiference. that summed up with her boyfriend leaving her led her to commit suicide.

now, her songs are about all of that. run run se fue pal norte is about her swiss boyfriend leaving her, writing letters promising to come back but never doing it.(''He'll come for the anniversary of our solitude")

Gavilan is also related to that story: So many times told me the people Sparrow Hawk, Sparrow Hawk, it has claws and I, deaf kept walking uphills Sparrow Hawk, it took my entrils out in the hill I was left alone the seven elements confound me oh me, oh me, oh me the birds are scared of my crying my mouning confounds th wind

an example of her other side, more social concerned and activists an be found in Arauco tiene una pen

"one day he came from afar, devilish conqueror, looking for mountains of gold which the indian never looked for. the indian has enough with the gold that shines down from the sun''

In Arriba quemando el sol we hear a complaint for the lousy conditions of the miners: "When I saw the miners inside their rooms, I said to myself 'It lies better the snail on it's shell or in the shades of the law the refined thief, and upwards the scorching skies"

I could translate all the lyrics but I think this is a help already to submerge in the world that Violeta and Los Jaivas convey.

Report this review (#615275)
Posted Saturday, January 21, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Los Jaivas (an amazing group of South America) playing the songs of Violeta Parra (an amazing composer of South America), the whole album it's a tribute to VIoleta, and the songs included on it, have the touch of progressive that only Los Jaivas could to give. my favourite track is "El Guillatún", the version of Violeta Parra, is very quiet, and slow, with only acoustic arreglements (the style of the 60's south american music), but Los Jaivas make it too much long with electric instruments but without lose the andine style. and all the songs in the album have that combination. three years earlier, Los Jaivas have published "Alturas De Macchu Picchu" with the poems of the poet Pablo Neruda, that's an amazing album too, but i think "Obras de Violeta Parra" was the biggest work in the career of Los Jaivas.
Report this review (#988763)
Posted Saturday, June 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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