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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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RAYUELA discography


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3.75 | 12 ratings
Rayuela
1978

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RAYUELA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 12 ratings

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Rayuela
Rayuela Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

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.

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 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 12 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.

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 Rayuela by RAYUELA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.75 | 12 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.

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