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RAYUELA

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Argentina


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Rayuela biography
Argentinean quintet RAYUELA was formed in 1976, aiming to create a combination of symphonic progressive and jazz-rock, in a very similar vein to their compatriots LA MÁQUINA DE HACER PÁJAROS, and adding some acoustic folk stuff to the mix (not unlike ARCO IRIS or AQUELARRE, compatriots as well). Buenos Aires was the most recurrent city for their live gigs. It wasn't until 1978 that they could release their debut and sole album, titled after the band: it is yet to be re-issued in CD format. The diversity of their musical sources, which initially led to a varied unity in their style, eventually became an inconvenience for each individual member: musical differences led to the band's disintegration in late '78.

Recommended to all serious collectors of Latin American melodic prog who still use vinyl records and don't mind some notable jazzy flavours in their prog.

: : : César Inca Mendoza Loyola, PERU : : :

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3.96 | 21 ratings
Rayuela
1978

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RAYUELA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.96 | 21 ratings

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Rayuela
Rayuela Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Man there were a ton of Jazz Rock albums released in the late seventies, but what makes this one a little different are the Symphonic and Folk references. Of course those Spanish male vocals don't hurt bringing Symphonic and even RPI to mind. The beautiful cover art hints at Symphonic as well. Besides the usual instruments we get clavinet, flute, synths, synth(string ensemble), organ, electric piano, bells, congas and sax. This is a gorgeous album with some some incredible playing on it. The bass really stands out which I love and the electric piano impresses but I could go on and on about each member of the band.

"La Casa Del Hombre" hits the ground running with sax out front until the vocals arrive and it's the vocals or sax usually leading the way on this one. I like the bass and organ that jump in around a minute then the guitar arrives as the sax leads here. Vocals are back as themes are repeated. A really enjoyable opener. "Los Ultimos Grillos" opens with some really good acoustic guitar melodies as the vocals arrive just before a minute. Backing vocals too. Synths before 2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Nice bass here then the vocals return with flute this time before 3 minutes. This reminds me so much of RPI. A pastoral track that is beautifully played.

"Aereo" is a top three for me. Some energy here and I like the depth of sound along with how punchy it is. The sax comes in over top but I love that rhythm section. Synths a minute in replace the sax but again the bass and drums shine here. The sax is back before 2 minutes then guitar as they trade off. Love the calm that arrives around 3 minutes then it builds with electric piano and drums standing out. Nice. Love the drum work and the sax is back late.

"Vientos De La Calma" opens with drums and harmonica as laid back vocals join in. We get bass and electric piano as well. "Acaso Tu Crees" is next and it's a top three. Pulsating keys and in your face bass to start. What a fantastic sound! The drums kick in and the tempo picks up some. Guitar to the fore after a minute and it picks up again before 3 1/2 minutes as that opening soundscape is back as themes are repeated. Check out the instrumental work after 6 minutes. So good!

"Sexo Y Dinero" is uptempo along with being bright and uplifting. The bass, synths, electric piano and drums impress here. The sax then kicks in. Love that bass after 3 1/2 minutes. Too much! "Vendre Con El Tiempo" ends it and it begins with some beautiful piano melodies before a calm with atmosphere takes over 1 1/2 minutes in. It's almost silent 2 minutes in then the atmosphere and guitar expressions come to the fore. A beat and bass take over. Reserved vocals 4 minutes in as the bass, a beat and electric piano help out. It's almost ballad-like here. Sax before 5 minutes then that string ensemble arrives creating atmosphere. More great sax and bass before the guitar starts to solo before 7 minutes.

A really solid album where the Symphonic elements really cause it to rise above many of the Jazz Rock albums at this time, and there's no Funk here either.

 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.96 | 21 ratings

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Rayuela
Rayuela Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

5 stars If there's any South American prog album that any prog fan should own, this is the one. "Rayuela" is the sole release by an Argentinian band of the same name and it's an absolute shame that they never carried on further in their studio career. But at least this gem remains to showcase the talent, imagination and legacy of the five men involved.

This is a very nostalgic album for me and one that I was captivated by from the very first opening note of "La Casa Del Hombre". The whole album is a splendid mix of jazz, folk and symphonic prog with a distinct European familiarity and rich Latin flare. Lively and melodic, I don't think that I've ever been so emotionally involved or taken on quite a journey by a 39 minute album. And for a South American release from a time when prog was fading from popularity by an unheard of group, the production quality is crystal clear and stunning.

There isn't a single weak track on "Rayuela". The lively jazzy opening "La Casa Del Hombre", with its splendid saxophone flourishes, gives way to the mellow "Los Ultimos Grillos", which features flute played in the vein of Andrew Latimer of Camel, but with a jazzier flare. Aereo is a pure fusion instrumental that leads into the bluesy "Vientos De La Calma".

Side two contains two more fusion instrumentals showing off the band's talents and sensibilities as well as the haunting finale, "Vendre Con El Teimpo". A beautiful, minor-key ballad, this song gives me goosebumps every time; the concluding guitar solo is one of those parts of a song that you wish could just repeat forever. The song also brings my attention to the album artwork, which, in its simplicity, is very powerful. The cold, blue woods remind me of somewhere I've been or seen long ago, perhaps in a dream. The mood evoked by the final track is similar to that evoked by the woods and the pairing of the two is truly spine-chilling.

Really, this album is music at its finest, in its truest, rawest, most emotional form. The men playing the music aren't virtuosos and their performances are never over the top, but they really don't have to be. Not a note rings out that's out of place and the compositions are tasteful and balanced. Does Rayuela break new ground? Not necessarily, but that's part of what makes this album so strong. The songs are dance-able, singable, yet still imaginative, fresh but familiar; like those blue woods from days long past, there's something on this album that anyone will be able to connect with. Overall, "Rayuela" is a magical experience. For 39 minutes of beautiful, uninterrupted brilliance, prog fans should look no further.

 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.96 | 21 ratings

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Rayuela
Rayuela Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Rayuela's sole album is a prog rock gem. While almost all of the prog giants of the early 70's had already imploded by sheer pompous wankery (I've always wanted to use that word), there where bands still popping out in different parts of the world with unique sound of their own. In Latin America, for example, we can see bands that have heard its fair deal of European prog rock and still try to make a name of their own. Rayuela is one of those bands. Their first and only album came out in 1976-77. Taking the name of Julio Cortazar's famous novel, this band delivers a highly energetic, complex and melodic sound that bears resemblance to the Italian prog bands, due to it's keyboard-laden/pastoral style, and the Canterbury scene, because of its tuneful jazz compositions. The whole mood of the album shifts between a dreamy atmosphere that then turn into a dynamic and catchy instrumental play. The solos don't seem excessive, nor do they try to break the melody with forceful showmanship. What makes this band such a joy to listen to is that the album flows beautifully between its intricacies, between buttery melodies and diverse song structures. Every song here is a real treat to listen to. If I had to pick a favorite I'd be constantly shifting between the first song (La Casa del Hombre; Youtube-it, you'll see what I mean.) and the last three, which are so good that it makes one want to play the whole album again. In fact, the first time I listened to Rayuela I played it twice, and so forth until a week had passed and I was still listening to it without even feeling a hint of weariness. A couple of days later and here I am, writing a review because I've been whistling their songs for days and can't stop recommending this band enough to my friends. Now I share my enthusiasm to you, music-loving internet people. Check these guys out. They're worth it.
 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.96 | 21 ratings

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Rayuela
Rayuela Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Named after one of Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar's most bizarre novels, this band - also from Argentina - recorded one LP alone, which is yet to be re-released in CD format. Their music was not as bizarre as Cortázar's literary vision: its major asset lies on the creation of captivating emotional ambiences through pleasant melodic lines and their tasteful arrangements. Rayuela's repertoire is pretty much based on a delicate compromise between jazz-fusion and acoustic folk, two different musical sources that share an equilibrated presence in this album. The musicians' versatility allows them to instill symphonic airs into the final result: this very symphonic element helps the overall repertoire acquire a touch of stylish sophistication, mostly provided by the elegant keyboard inputs (textures, leads, layers) and the elegant use of sax and flute on most of the main melodic lines. The opener 'La Casa del Hombre' and the amazing instrumental 'Aéreo' are arguably the best examples of Rayuela's jazz-tinged progressive leanings. On the other hand, 'Los Últimos Grillos' and the blues-tempo acoustic ballad 'Vientos de la Calma' showcase the band's melodic aspect in a folkish context: the former of these two is really captivating, bearing an evident beauty and a not so evident sense of subtlety in the eerie arrangements, which helps it to increase its primal appeal. In many ways, it sounds similar to the ballads by their compatriot band La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros. The album's second half [tracks 5-7] is the most cohesive, and also the most rewarding in progressive terms. 'Acaso Tú Crees (Que no Me Dí Cuenta de que Te Fuiste hace Diez Años)' and 'Sexo y Dinero' are two catchy instrumental pieces that give way to a more candid exposure of the musicians' skills (without really showing off in excessive bombast). The former displays a pretty main motif recycled via the use of jazzy cadences and almost orchestral amalgams, while the latter paves its way across the funky-jazz trend. The album is closed down by the sung track 'Vendré con el Viento', yet another exhibition of the band's ability to bring out beautiful melodies: its overt romantic aura make it sound like a cross between "Wind & Wuthering"-era Genesis and classic Supertramp. The sax and guitar solos really complement the emotional spur reflected on the lyrics ("I want to have you without getting out of myself / without searching for you"). While not a masterpiece nor being consistently excellent, Rayuela's one and only album should be acknowledged as an inspired legacy of melodic art-rock, faithfully akin to the general spirit of South American melodic prog.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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