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Los Jaivas - Alturas De Macchu Picchu CD (album) cover


Los Jaivas

Prog Folk

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Can still remember a cold Sunday night in 1981 when casually selected channel 7 on my TV (The official TV Station of Perú), on those days in which there was no cable and the chances of finding good music on TV were really small, but there it was, a special about Los Jaivas filmed with the incredible view of Macchu Picchu, playing their best work in front of the lost city that inspired Pablo Neruda to write the poems that were used as lyrics for this album.

Twenty-four years after we can watch the rebirth of this special after digitalizing it plus the inclusion of several and interesting additions about which we'll talk later.

This special was filmed with background music because the "experts" said the use of loudspeakers could damage the city of Macchu Picchu, something we know it's absurd, but the bureaucracy need to invent some excuse to justify their salaries. Despite this fact, the DVD is simply amazing, beginning with the interesting presentation by the Literature Nobel Prize Nominee Mario Vargas Llosa describing with great detail and sensibility Pablo Neruda's poem Alturas the Macchu Picchu, something every person interested in culture and literature must listen, one great, novelist describing a great poet.

About the songs, there's not much to talk because all are described and reviewed in the self titled album that we can find in this archives, only must add that listening the music and lyrics (with English translation) in the exact place that served Neruda as inspiration is almost a religious experience.

It's also important especially for foreign listeners to have a view of the native instruments that were used by Los Jaivas in some songs and how incredibly they blend them with electric guitars, drums and synthesizers. The encounter of the ancient culture and the modern technology described in a few images.

The extras are simply outstanding, especially Sube a Nacer Conmigo Hermano, The World is a Stage where Los Jaivas show us several interpretations of this great song around the world and during 24 years, from Perú to Chile, Moscow, Paris, etc, in this collage we can see Juanita Parra who replaced the original drummer and her father Gabriel Parra after his tragic death, absolutely emotional.

I am really impressed with this release, which is a great addition not only for the music lovers but also for those interested in Peruvian ancient history and Latin American Literature.

I know that being Peruvian I'm more emotional and subjective when watching this DVD, but being absolutely honest, can't rate such beauty and musical virtuosity with less than 5 stars, a must have for every prog' fan.

Report this review (#35216)
Posted Saturday, June 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It does few days back buys east DVD and the truth this excellent one in all aspects 1. - the audio one is incredible 5,1 you will not be lost of nor a detail. 2. - Apparently they fixed the images with respect to the audio one, memory that in the VHS was out of phase. 3. - The unpublished material this of luxury, for example "SUBE A NACER CONMIGO HERMANO" by the scenes of the world and what but I call my attention was the option to be able to listen each single musician. Sometimes we did not listen with as much clarity of details in the recordings there am a good option here (mainly if you are musical) the Mini - Moog is listened to brilliant...! In aim great amount of Essential new material of which they please good music South America a single country!
Report this review (#35227)
Posted Saturday, June 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars Have you ever seen a Minimoog that conquered Peru? Did you ever witness a progrock band on a height of 6000 kilometers? Well, watch this video featuring the splendid and very unique blend of folk, rock, classic and symphonic that Los Jaivas made on their album "Alturas the Macchu Picchu"! I have nothing to add to the other two reviews on this site so, I can only say: DISCOVER THIS BAND THAT MIXES SKILLS AND EMOTIONS IN A SUPERIOR WAY!! By the way, did National Geographic sponsored this DVD?
Report this review (#36695)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I loved this movey I also saw in Canal 13 de Chile, a concert given live in Teatro Caupolican, with a full chamber orchestra to help them out, a series of concerts by Los Jaivas named: En algun lugar del mundo, co-produced by Canal Trece with exclusive rights of transmision, everybody was fixed to the screen that night watching Los Jaivas on tv, with intermissions to interview each member of Los Jaivas, rare footage of drummer Claudio Parra before he died, and performing wonderful percussion drum solos, I have it on Beta and Vhs, but have never seen it on dvd, if is not out there on the market, Then it should be.
Report this review (#135076)
Posted Monday, August 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Alturas de Macchu Picchu is the seventh release of these Chilean Prog Folk masters but this one stands head and shoulders above the rest of their output for two reasons: 1) it is a concept album based around the poems that Pablo Naruda did of the same name, and 2) a movie version of the album was filmed on site among the ruins of the ancient Incan capitol city of Macchu Picchu. The film gives the music a much fuller impact. Check it out if you can, it's breathtaking for the scenery (if a bit comical for the period clothing and hair styles). LOS JAIVAS is exceptional for the extraordinarily effective way in which they were able to blend traditional Andean and Hispanic folk instrumentation with the European and electrical rock instruments and effects--and Alturas de Macchu Picchu is a brilliant representation of this fact. Pan flutes, ceramic pipes and flutes, big mountain drums and horns mixed into the same weave with piano, electric bass, synthesizers, expanded drum kit and acoustic and electric guitars--with neither backing off to the other, each holding their own in the mix, in the weave--it's amazing to hear! The first fourteen minutes of the studio album--consisting of 1. "Del aire al aire" (2:14) (10/10) and 2. "La poderosa del muerta" (11:08) (10/10) are absolutely flawless. It is only with the festive drinking song, 3. "Amor americana" (5:26) that the choice of song styling gets a little out of my comfort zone (though many native Latin Americans would probably love and appreciate it). (7/10)

Luckily, the music gets back on track with the gorgeous multi-instrument weave of 4. "Aguila sideral" (5:19) in which bass and piano are as important as native flutes and voices. (10/10)

5. "Antigua America" (5:37) opens with a kind of multi-instrumental Native American Jethro Tull riff before solo flute and solo classical grand piano preparing us for the build and blend into the powerfully paced and dynamic themes of the body. I can't help but hear a kind of Asian influence in the melody--I don't know if this is intentional as representational of the anthropologic evidence of the arrival of Native American population from Asia via the former Bering Straits land bridge or not, but it could be. (9/10)

6. "Sube a nacer conmigo hermano" (4:47) brings us back into the realm of local, traditional Latin/Andean musical styles and rhythms. Very dynamic with the choral call-and-response sections that seems so pervasive in Latin American musical traditions. I would like to mention here how pianist Claudio Parra shines throughout this album. He is extraordinary. (8/10)

7. "Final" (2:33) is a gentle weave of multiple voices singing over a sea of ever shifting chords of rapid piano arpeggi. (9/10)

Though not quite the equal of the video movie presentation, this music does stand on its own quite well. This is definitely a masterpiece of progressive folk rock music.

Report this review (#424169)
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 | Review Permalink

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