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GUADALQUIVIR

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Spain


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Guadalquivir biography
Founded in 1978 by Andrés Olaegui and Luis Cobo, two veteran guitarists and long-time friends with a huge experience in the Flamenco folk and fusion scene, GUADALQUIVIR was one of the most prominent jazz-fusion bands to come out from Southern Spain. The band took its name from the largest river in that area of Spain. Its overtly Flamenco-tinged sound was delivered with class and passion, something that is mostly due to the candour of the compositions and the inventive interplaying between all musicians. Unlike other contemporary bands from that same area, such as CAI, IMÁN or MEZQUITA, GUADALQUIVIR chose to stick closer to the realms of jazz and a bit away from the influence of symphonic prog; that's why their musical offering sounds, in comparison, more obviously influenced by Di Meola-era RETURN TO FOREVER, HERBIE HANCOCK, and Pastorius-era WEATHER REPORT. In many occasions they played as opening acts for TRIANA or shared the stage with other existing Spanish prog bands of that time.

Even though the two aforementioned guitarists were in charge of writing the band's material, GUADALQUIVIR was not a guitar-dominated ensemble: the solid presence of the rhythm section and the melodic adornments delivered by flute/sax player Pedro Ontiveros turn out to be as important sonic factors as Olaegui and Cobo's alternating leads. The original line-up recorded the band's first two albums. After Cobo and Ontiveros left, the band went through a phase of slow activity; one more album was recorded eventually by the remaining members plus guests, though, in memory of the then recently departed Jesús de la Rosa (from TRIANA). After that, the band just split up officially and for good. Until this day, all ex-members keep themselves busy as session musicians, and some of them even launched prolific solo careers.

Recommended to lovers of Flamenco-oriented prog, ICEBERG, GOTIC, jazz-rock and jazz-fusion, the "so-called" world music.

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Guadalquivir official website

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Discos Emi 1978-80Discos Emi 1978-80
Import
Rama Lama Music
Audio CD$18.87
Todas Sus Grabaciones 1978-1980Todas Sus Grabaciones 1978-1980
RYQZ 2004
Audio CD$29.98
Duo Flamenco InstrumentalDuo Flamenco Instrumental
Import
Play It Again Sam UK 2006
Audio CD$149.07
$7.11 (used)
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GUADALQUIVIR discography


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GUADALQUIVIR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 22 ratings
Guadalquivir
1978
4.07 | 16 ratings
Camino Del Concierto
1980
3.67 | 6 ratings
Despues Del Silencio
1984

GUADALQUIVIR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GUADALQUIVIR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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GUADALQUIVIR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Guadalquivir by GUADALQUIVIR album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.61 | 22 ratings

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Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

4 stars Luis Cobo was one of the leading figures of the still nebulous Rock Andaluz of the early seventies. He played guitar with Gong, a Seville-based band that helped to light the blue touch paper of the movement and which also included Manuel Marinelli (Alameda) and Juan Jose Palacios (Triana) in its line-up. Cobo later formed Guadalquivir, a band that epitomised the jazzier side of Rock Andaluz with its melange of Classic Fusion, flamenco, Arabic melodies and Latin rhythms.

Released at the height of the movement in 1978, Guadalquivir's self-titled debut is a collection of seven tone poems that evoke vivid mental images of the landscape, people and culture of Andalusia in southern Spain. It's an entirely instrumental work that features the twin lead guitars of Cobo and Andrés Olaegui, although saxophonist Pedro Ontiveros is in no way subordinate to this pair. One criticism I've read of the album is that it's a bit too smooth at times. Maybe, but when these guys get things right they really kick butt.

The title-track opens with jangling 12-string electric guitar and proceeds with as many twists and turns as the great river from which it takes its name. The music then delves into the region's social history with 'Baila Gitana' (Gypsy Dance) and its Arabic-sounding saxophone ornaments. The Romani people of Spain are known as Gitanos and flamenco has been at the heart of their culture in Andalusia for centuries. Luis Cobo was himself born in the Triana barrio of Seville, a district that traditionally had a large Romani population.

Named for the country estate of the last Moorish dynasty in Spain, 'Generalife' is as peerless a wonder as its namesake's gardens. The naturalistic concept is accompanied by outstanding flute and guitar licks ably supported by a syncopated polyrhythmic figure of palmas (hand claps) and drums. The different peoples of Andalusia have contributed to its rich cultural heritage and melting pot of varied ethnic components but on 'El Manglis' - Luis Cobo's nickname - there's a strong Santana influence with a smouldering guitar lead and busy percussion.

Guadalquivir drew some wonderful sketches of Spain on this album and I just hope it's not another six years before I see it reviewed again on PA.

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 Camino Del Concierto  by GUADALQUIVIR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 16 ratings

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Camino Del Concierto
Guadalquivir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by petrica

4 stars This is a really enjoyable jazz rock album with flamenco flavor. As in the case of other fusion bands there is no voice which is not a bad thing but the contrary. Sometime maybe it's better to let the instruments speaking and the listener to enjoy.

After a first intro song - Camino del Concierto - we have Ostalinda which is my favorite one. A really good example of jazz rock song as it should be: fast tempos, good mixing of all the instruments and a very good atmosphere. Flor De Almendro - is a guitar/flute driven song which sounds also really good. The albums continues with Esclavos De La Belleza when mainly then man behind the sax demonstrates his abilities(but also the guitars or the drummer). It is the longest song and probably one of the best composition s of Guadalquivir. The other songs have the same level so I invite you to discover them. One observation for - El Vuelo De Una Lagrima - a really romantic song which you will probably want to play in order to make nice atmosphere.

For sure this is nothing very original because the influences from the fusion masters are somehow evident I would say(e.g. Return to Forever, Al Di Meola). But it still remains a very good and well played album and for me this is one of those albums I will probably always like to listen in order to change my mood in a bad day.

So, once again, greetings from Spain from a band which really deserves his place in fusion genre. Give it a try and you will probably also enjoy it.

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 Guadalquivir by GUADALQUIVIR album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.61 | 22 ratings

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Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars What an excellent starting point for Guadalquivir! This Andalusian instrumental quintet really hit an all-time high with their eponymous debut album. Heavily influenced by Return to Forever and post-74 Weather Report, Guadalquivir stood musically closer to Iceberg and Gotic than to their neighbor bands Imán, Cai, Mezquita and others: the reason for this is that Guadalquivir stuck to the logic of jazz fusion and kept itself apart from the symphonic prog realms. The repertoire is solid and very energetic, but its power is not based on the use of two guitars: in fact, the band keeps its rocking potential in a very subtle level, concentrating on the fusion trend: every melodic dialogue is sustained by the sax/flute player and one of the guitarists. Meanwhile the effective rhythm due steals some of the limelight with their superb transmission of Flamenco's intense cadence. It is also noticeable that the Spanish guitar is not very present in the band's overall sound (it is featured in some specific places), but still, the Flamenco roots are expanded all over the melodic lines and their subsequent arrangements. The track that kicks off the album (named after the band and the album) is quite solemn, as if the band was leaving the listener some time for relaxation before the explosion of color and rhythm takes place in most of the remaining pieces. 'Baila Gitana' is all about that, and so is 'Generalife', which IMHO is one of the most prominent numbers in the album: both are real Guadalquivir classics in the minds of those who got to know and love them in the late 70s. In between, the soaring 'Cartagena' brings a moment of solace and magical introspection: listening to this track is like watching a landscape in your inner soul. The use of some smooth string arrangements and the presence of a guest piano player helps to add some majesty to the track's ambience. The last three tracks are the most explosive, finding the band flirting softly with the typical textures of Latin jazz: the band makes recurrent use of the structure of rumba flamenca (a kind of Flamenco closely related to the sensuality of Tropical American folk) in order to keep a solid focus on the increased intensity. 'El Manglis' includes a splendid bass guitar solo, and 'Dominga' starts with a brief prologue of dual Spanish guitars and hand clapping (true to their roots!). 'La Danza de los Tigres' keeps the same trend with added touches of bossanova: the emotion of Flamenco and the frenzy of Brazilian Carnival together make an exciting mixture of energies. In short, "Guadalquivir" is an excellent album from an excellent band.

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 Camino Del Concierto  by GUADALQUIVIR album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 16 ratings

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Camino Del Concierto
Guadalquivir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Guadalquivir's second album turns out to be as magnificent and beautiful as their impressive debut recording, if only with a more polished sound production and a more colorful sonic palette - the latter factor was achieved due to the use of a number of occasional guests on additional percussion, horns and synthesizer (Josep Mas, from Iceberg, delivers some amazing solos for two tracks). The namesake opening track is very soft, evocative, with a pleasant jazz-pop feel in it. 'Ostalinda' and 'Esclavos de la Belleza' are the most similar to the first album's overall vibe, and indeed, they are outstanding highlights of this album; between the two, the 3-minute 'Flor de Almendro' (performed on 2 acoustic guitars and flute) serves as a serene interlude that fills the air with melancholic nuances. So far, so good, and as we keep on going through the second half of "Camino del Concierto", things continue to be quite exciting. 'Cartuja' and '121 Hormigas' are catchy, joyful numbers constructed under a Flamenco-meets Latin jazz frame, a strategy that is enhanced further in the more joyful closure 'Noche de Verbena'. On the other hand, 'El Vuelo de una Lágrima' pays an accurate homage to its title ('A Tear's Flight') with its languid cadence: a special mention goes to the soaring guitar solo that starts at 1:30, which helps to create the track's overall spirit. As usual, the rhythm section delivers a terrific job, which is especially splendid on tracks 4, 6 & 8. Generally speaking, "Camino del Concierto" is not as excellent as its antecessor, but it still deserves to be labeled as better than 'simply good': Guadalquivir's ability to create captivating melodies and refurbish them with clever arrangements remain intact, and so does their capacity to recycle that old Flamenco magic with their solid interplaying. This album is another winner from the history of Spanish progressive rock and jazz fusion.

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 Guadalquivir by GUADALQUIVIR album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.61 | 22 ratings

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Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Once Gualdalquivir was the support act from Spanish legend Triana and they also were the support-band for another Spanish rock legend named Miguel Rios. The music from Guadalquivir is instrumental progressive jazzrock/fusion on a high level, it reminds of Return To Forever: tight, powerful, excellent soli and dynamic and pleasant compositions. I'm delighted about the guitarplayers, one of them sounds like the Andalusian Carlos Santana! If you want to discover Guadalquivir, start with their first eponymous album. I would like to recommend two great compilations for any proghead who wants to discover the wonderful Spanish progrock: the 1-CD "Rock Andalus (Sony Music) featuring Alameda, Medina Azahara, Iman, Cai and Gualdalquivir and the 2-CD "Duende Electrico" (Fonomusic) featuring bands and artists like Iceberg, Triana, Miguel Rios, Guadalquivir, Goma, Alameda, Cai and many more, very interesting! MUCHAS ALEGRIAS!!


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 Guadalquivir by GUADALQUIVIR album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.61 | 22 ratings

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Guadalquivir
Guadalquivir Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This obviously rare and obscure band named after a Spanish river has been added just recently to the site, but unfortunately without any biography and review. The only info I could find in the web was, that they were from Andalusia and personally related to Triana. Their debut here was probably their best effort, quite nice jazz fusion with a rather strong influence by flamenco, but unfortunately (at least for my taste) more towards the smooth end of jazz. Highlights are the self-titled opener and El Manglis, the rest of the album is quite nice as well, but anything really exciting to be expected from them. Overall a nice and enjoyable album if one likes flamenco influenced jazz rock, but not essential at all. Only if you're a huge lover of this kind of music and of related band Triana, you might check it out. I think good for 3 stars!

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