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avestin View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 14 2007 at 11:36

In the many cd purchases I have made recently (and not so recently), I've also ordered this s/t album by ALAS which is listed here in PA under jazz-rock.

Anyway, since I got enthusiastic about this album, I thought I'd share it here as well, as they are the most well-known and I'm happy to have come across this little gem while browsing several onilne prog webstores.
 
Cesar Inca has written this bio about the band:
 
ALAS was one of the most exquisite progressive bands in Argentina. The effective way in which they infused airs of Creole Argentinean folklore into their main prog sound - influenced by the massive energy of ELP (30 %) and the exuberant magic of WEATHER REPORT and RETURN TO FOREVER (70 %) - made ALAS a world of their own.

Keyboardist/wind player/vocalist/main writer Gustavo Moretto had been a prominent figure in his country’s musical scene. With the idea of forging a new musical direction leaning towards art-rock, he founded the band in 1975 in allegiance with bassist Alex Zucker and drummer/percussionist Carlos Riganti. Their recording debut took place later that same year, with a single comprising the tracks ‘Aire’ and ‘Rincón, Mi Viejo Rincón’. It wasn’t until 1976 that they released their eponymous debut album, which gained critical acclaim instantly. Even though the band felt happy with the album’s artistic results, Zucker had plans of his own (mostly regarding the enhancement of his academic formation), so he left the ALAS before the band set plans for their following release. Young virtuoso Pedro Aznar replaced Zucker (long before his PAT METHENY days), and with this altered line-up the band started the recording process for "Pinta tu Aldea" in the latter half of 1977. The artistic goal was now focused on the increase of tango colours and a decrease of the ELP influence, as well as in becoming an exclusively instrumental ensemble. Halfway of this recording process, Riganti quit the band: him not being replaced, the two tracks of side 2 were left without a proper rhythm section! A few days after the second album had been completed, in January ’78, the band split up for good.

Or so it seemed…In 2004 there was an ALAS reunion concert, featuring all three original members, plus a guitarist, bandoneon player Daniel Binelli, and Pedro Aznar as an extra bass player and lead vocalist for a couple of songs. It has been rumored for a while that there are plans of reforming ALAS: in fact, the repertoire for the aforementioned reunion concert included three new compositions by Moretto.

Particularly recommended for lovers of ELP with WEATHER REPORT flavours, who don’t mind the inclusion of PIAZZOLLA-influenced modern tango in their prog. Admirers of M.I.A., ICONOCLASTA, CRUCIS and other patently energetic prog acts from Latin America will be pleased with ALAS, too.

: : : Cesar Inca, PERU : : :
 They have a website here:http://www.alasmusic.com/index.html   Here are 2 reviews about their album Alas

ALAS — Alas

Review by memowakeman (Guillermo Hdez. Urdapilleta)
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4%20stars Amazing debut!

This time in my will to support South American music, i am reviewing the albums of an extraordinary 70´s band from Argentina called Alas, sadly they only released a couple of albums in the second half of the 70´s, but it is great to know that both albums were released with the musicians at their best, so as you can imagine the quality of the album, musically talking is excellent.

Alas was a trio composed by Gustavo Moretto playing keyboards, wind instruments and also vocals, Alex Zucker on bass and guitars, and Carlos Riganti on percussion, all of them are excellent musicians, very talented and we can notice it while listening to their music. In 1976 they released their self-titled album and probably better known, they choose among their music, only 4 songs in this debut album but each one full of creativity and mind- blowing moments, honestly Alas became quickly in one of my favorite bands from Argentina, and believe me that that country has been very prolific in the progressive rock movement. probably their music is obscure and not as known as they wish, but little by little more people is being aware of those magnific bands.

"Buenos Aires solo es piedra" is the first song of this album and probably one of my favorite songs of the band, it is a 15-minute epic which blends all the necessary to be called a superb song, excellent musicianship, magnific changes throughout the song, and a big creativity, this song reminds me to both ELP in the bombastic moments, and Return to Forever in the Jazz Fusion and fast moments, also let me tell you that somewhere in the song we can listen to the vocals of Moretto and a calm part of the song where trumpet appears with a delicate sound, this song is divided in 6 mini pieces.

"La Muerte conto el dinero" is the longest song of them all, at first we can listen to the part with vocals, sung in Spanish of course, but reminding me a bit to the Italian school. Then again the ELP-inspired music appears, superb keyboard playing and awesome drumming, again, this song was divided in mini pieces or parts whatever you want to call it, and this is the song when the ELP influence is strongly shown, nevertheless Alas doesn´t lose their particular sound and their orientation to tjhe jazz fusion music. There is a part which is beautiful, very soft and calm, an exquisite flute sound, along with some birds singing and also the sound of the air, making a charming moment in this long song, then a drums solo and then it returns to the bombastic music.

"Rincon , mi viejo rincon" and "Aire" are the bonus tracks, both songs make 10 minutes of extra music, being the first one the shortest of them and probably the worst without being bad, and Aire probably the jazziest one, great bass lines and some excellent arrangements, nice bonus tracks.

I really like this album and it´s music, so i highly recommend it to you, have a listen to Alas, 4 stars!

Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007, 16:01 EST | Permanent link

Guests Reviews

ALAS — Alas

Review by Rainer Rein (Rainer Rein)

4%20stars Alas was (and is?) two-record-prog-rock-band from Argentina. This effort is their first from 1976 and there is two side-long composition-suites. I have got LP-version and therefore I haven't heard this shorter bonus from CD-version. But this LP is with gatefold sleeve with painting of Carlos Jones on the inner side of that. Yes - they have listened Emerson, Lake and Palmer but of course much more - jazzrock, tangos, new musics. I have maybe two real favourite things in first composition - the only quiet vocal part in Sueno sent by quite minimalistic keyboards - very different after expressive first part - and trumpet solo part Trumpetango. I think I like this composition better than the next one. The second composition was maybe more consistent without so-noticeable parts. But all in all - interesting album to discover. And again very difficult to give stars... Today is almost New Year's Eve. 3,6 stars is almost 4!!!

Posted Friday, December 30, 2005, 12:11 EST | Permanent link

 
 
Recommneded.
 
 
 


Edited by avestin - October 14 2007 at 11:40
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 11:41
They're great indeed! Nice work, avestin. Thumbs%20Up
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 11:49
Alas became one of my favorite SouthAmerican bands since i discovered them, thanks for sharing my review, nice purchase Assaf!!
Besides the self-titled album, they released Pinta tu Aldea which is another magnific release, check this band!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 11:50
Originally posted by memowakeman memowakeman wrote:

Besides the self-titled album, they released Pinta tu Aldea which is another magnific release, check this band!
 
I will look for that second release, definitely! Thanks.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 14 2007 at 20:32
For anyone interested, their s/t album is available here for only 11$:
Laser's Edge - Alas - Alas
Wayside - Alas - Alas
Greg Walker has their other releases - http://synphonic.8m.com/country/argentina.htm
 
Here's a website calling itself Hispanic Prog Rock of you'd like to find more of those bands (not that PA is not as good for it) - http://members.tripod.com/~Gandalf001/English/index.html
 
 


Edited by avestin - October 14 2007 at 20:32
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2007 at 19:32
A small bump for anyone who missed this...
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2007 at 23:27
YEAH! Alas is great!!! I think I can speak on behalf of all Argentina jajajaj, na, Alas is great stuff!!! I like it when they get tango!
"You want me to play what, Robert?"
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2007 at 19:21
Originally posted by el böthy el böthy wrote:

YEAH! Alas is great!!! I think I can speak on behalf of all Argentina jajajaj, na, Alas is great stuff!!! I like it when they get tango!
True, true!
 
Listen to the man, get this.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2007 at 22:28
Originally posted by avestin avestin wrote:

Originally posted by el böthy el böthy wrote:

YEAH! Alas is great!!! I think I can speak on behalf of all Argentina jajajaj, na, Alas is great stuff!!! I like it when they get tango!
True, true!
 
Listen to the man, get this.
 
 
 
Yes, what makes this band even more special is their mix of Jazz with Symphonic and with Tango, which is tradinional from Argentina, again...check them

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