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Música Urbana

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Música Urbana Música Urbana album cover
4.24 | 26 ratings | 3 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Agost (6:54)
2. Violeta (8:20)
3. Vacas, Toros Y Toreros (4:41)
4. Font (4:47)
5. Caramels De Mel (5:24)
6. El Vesubio Azul (8:24)

Total time 38:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Lluis Cabanach / electric & Spanish guitars
- Joan Albert Amargós / Steinway grand piano, Fender e-piano, Hohner clavinet, Moog & Logan String synths, keyboards, soprano sax, clarinet, flute, trombone, composer & arranger (excl. 4)
- Carles Benavent / bass, contrabass, acoustic guitar, percussion, percussive vocal effects
- Salvador Font / drums, marimba, gong, percussion, vocal effects

- Aurora Amargós / castanets
- Lucky Guri / Steinway grand piano, Fender e-piano, Moog

Releases information

Artwork: Claret Serrahima, Ignasi Borbonet

LP Edigsa ‎- UM 2033 (1976, Spain)

CD PDI ‎- X-80.3331 (1994, Spain)
CD Picap ‎- 910811-01 (2009, Spain)

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MÚSICA URBANA Música Urbana ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MÚSICA URBANA Música Urbana reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gerinski
5 stars Super-Classical-Fusion by this short-lived but highly influential spanish band.

Band leader Joan Albert Amargós was a classically trained musician and after the Musica Urbana prog adventure in the mid 70's his career has been dedicated to contemporary classical music, mainly as composer and as arranger for many artists. His "Northern Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra" was nominated for the 2007 Grammy in the category of Best Composer of Contemporary Music.

But in 1975 he was 25 years old and the music world around his generation was Prog and he wanted to have his own take at it, so he set to assemble a supergroup (within the limited scope of the local spanish scene, that is) to play the ultimate Fusion, a real blend of Jazz, Rock and Classical music. He recruited 5 ex-members of Maquina!, one of the most acclaimed Catalan bands in the early 70's, but keyboardist Enric Herrera and guitarist Emili Baleriola quitted after a few rehearsals, while bassist Carles Benavent (who would later play with Chick Corea and extensively with Paco De Lucia), guitarist Lluis "Luigi" Cabanach and drummer Salvador Font stayed for the project. Amargós was a multi-instrumentalist and a very fine keyboardist himself but in order to get everything right he also recruited the great pianist Lucky Guri from Barcelona Traction as guest for their debut album and live tours.

Musica Urbana fused Jazz-Rock with traditional Spanish music and Classical music and quickly became regarded as the most serious and professional catalan band of the time. The album cover already gave some hints with excerpts from the scores of several operas and zarzuelas, but there is also a lot of genuine electric Jazz-Rock in here as well. The instrumentation is dense, with assorted keyboards, winds, strings, clavinet and the distinctive castanets, the hand percussion instrument played by flamenco female dancers, played here by Amargós sister Aurora which enhance the spanish feel. The result is a highly eclectic type of Jazz-Rock with strong Classical music influences, played with outstanding skill. Their virtuosism is not shown via ultra-fast scales or solos but by the precision and deep musicality they constantly display and the thoroughness of the arrangements.

All the compositions are by Amargós except one track "Font" by bassist Carles Benavent, and all of them are amazing, with similar spirit although each one has its personality, full of tempo changes, fills and breaks, shifting from energetic electric Jazz-Rock to gentle Classical atmospheres to mediterranean popular music.

This is a Fusion masterpiece and I have no doubts in giving it the top rating.

Their 2nd and last album Iberia is even more eclectic with an even stronger contemporary Classical music component, some big-band music and what we could call film-music, another masterpiece in my opinion even if still more detached from conventional prog-rock.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Spanish prog group Musica Urbana released their debut album during the gap between the gap between the death of Franco in 1975 and the adoption of free elections and a modern constitution in 1977/1978 - a time when Spain was not yet a free society, but when the old restrictions were unravelling bit by bit. With the old censorship loosened, daring artists were able to push the boat and attempt to offer something more challenging and with a more diverse range of influences than would have been officially approved of at the height of Francoist suppression.

It would be incorrect to call Musica Urbana the Soft Machine or Hatfield & the North of the Spanish prog boom - they're very much their own entity - but it would be wrong to say there's no Canterbury influence here; there's the more whimsical approach to jazz fusion, there's the use of the human voice as an instrument rather than a vehicle for words, and there's absolutely excellent musicianship. A bit more keen on classical music influences than many jazz fusion or Canterbury groups, Musica Urbana literally wear their influences on their sleeve, with the album cover including compositional snippets from a range of classic works.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Some of the most jaw-dropping music that I've heard in a while. Complex with plenty of intricate sounds including castanets. Did I mention this band is from Spain? I would put them right up there with ICEBERG and COMPANYIA ELECTRICA DHARMA they are that good. This is their debut from 1976, a four piece band with a couple of guests including that person doing the castanets. The other adds piano, Fender Rhodes and moog, he also played with them on live tours. The band is led by classically trained keyboardist Joan Albert Amargos who adds clavinet, electric piano, synths, clarinet, trombone, flute and sax. I know right? The drummer adds marimba and we get a bass and a guitar player as well.

As I listened to this for the review I kept noticing that the tempo changes quite often, in fact it's like the band can't sit still or something. So complex and with all of those intricate sounds in compositions that are so impressive I just sit in awe. I feel there's a strong Zappa vibe at times, especially on tracks 1, 3, 5 and 6. Maybe just coincidence because of the instrumentation. I like the vocal expressions on "Violeta" along with that familiar melody that keeps repeating itself over the 8 plus minutes. I like the samples to start "Font" with the seagulls and ship's horn. How about the electric piano and bass leading the way for 2 minutes late on the opener before the guitar kicks in.

So many flavours and moods and sounds on this album. Like a work of art the way they meshed this all together.

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