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Prog Folk • Spain

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Benito Lertxundi picture
Benito Lertxundi biography
Basque musician with a long history of traditional, contemporary and progressive Basque folk music.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

Benito Lertxundi official website

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

3.00 | 3 ratings
Ez dok amairu
2.95 | 2 ratings
Oro lano mee batek...

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Oro lano mee batek... by LERTXUNDI, BENITO album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.95 | 2 ratings

Oro lano mee batek...
Benito Lertxundi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars This 1974 release was Lertxundi's first true LP, since his "debut" was really a compilation of singles. The style remains mostly unaccompanied and upfront voice with acoustic guitar, but a few embellishments are tentatively introduced, and If his overall energy level and interpretations of Mexican poet Lizardi leave me unchallenged, the same cannot be said for the magic he works with the Basque composer JosÚ Antonio Artze, who was closely allied to the Ez Dok Amairu movement. In particular, "Zure askatasunagatik" is notable for its caressing sax(?) complimenting the gentle melody. Other influences are infused, in, particular that of Brittany's ALAN STIVELL, who by now had released several groundbreaking recordings, and, while at this time the connection seems limited to "Entzun Zazu", a poignant Scottish ballad deployed on Stivell's "Chemin de Terre" the prior year, it portends future musical convergences in its first rate choice and arrangement. While Lertxundi cannot be truly said to have hit his stride at this point, and might have in some ways retrenched a little from his more vivacious earliest work, this disc furthered his reputation as a serious, if not downright ponderous, exponent of new Basque music.
 Ez dok amairu by LERTXUNDI, BENITO album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.00 | 3 ratings

Ez dok amairu
Benito Lertxundi Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Apparently this debut by the venerable Basque guitarist is a compilation of singles covering his participation in the Ez Dok Amairu movement of assertive Basque protest music. In his 20s at the time, he was well positioned to combine his love of early rock with the revolutionary sentiment sweeping the world. I cannot speak for the exact texts and meanings, but it would seem that the mere presence of artists of his ilk constituted a subversive groundswell of sorts, and his solo performance on voice and guitar only enforces that sense of loneliness, compounded by Basque itself representing a true linguistic isolate.

I'm not sure if the tracks are arranged in any specific order, but they do tend to strengthen as the disk progresses. Some have familiar, probably traditional melodies, like "Illunpetako gizon", while others might borrow from some of his idols. But his earnest, unadorned voice, not unlike a more gentlemanly GILLES SERVAT, and strummed occasionally Latin style are distinctive enough from his stylistic peers, even if only his attitude could be called progressive at this juncture.

The last 4 songs augment Lertxundi's message immeasurably, the turning point being the moment of the already masterful "Gure bide galduak", when the piece appears to terminate only to resurrect itself in live format. We are treated to a surprise personal serenade in which the concert acoustics amplify his voice in the wilderness persona, while every listener becomes 1% as invested as he in his cause, which really amounts to mass hypnosis.

"Ez Dok Amairu, translates as "solid air", and while Benito Lertxundi might not be the air guitarist's household name, and his debut may not be the place for a prog fan to start, the authenticity of this 1971 collection solidifies his own status in the movement.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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