Friday, March 13, 2015

Los Jaivas - 1997 - Trilogia el Reencuento

Los Jaivas 
Trilogia el Reencuento

01. Cholito Pantalón Blanco (5:02)
02. Mira Niñita (6:27)
03. Indio Hermano (6:01)
04. Los Momentos (3:35)
05. Guajira Cósmica (6:14)
06. La Centinela (5:05)
07. Atacama (4:52)
08. Run-Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte (6:59)
09. Valparaíso (4:00)
10. Date Una Vuelta En El Aire (6:07)
11. Un Mar De Gente (3:54)
12. Todos Juntos (4:55)

- Gato Alquinta / guitar, vocals
- Juanita Parra / drums
- Claudio Parra / piano, keyboards
- Eduardo Parra / keyboards
- Mario Mutis / bass, guitar, vocals

The remake album on which the latest version of Los Jaivas revisit some of their classic tracks, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the breakthrough Los Jaivas album Todos Juntos. With a group of friends (including members of El Congresso) and the return of founding bassist Mario Mutis to play alongside his cohorts Gato Alquinta, Eduardo Parra, Claudio Parra and original drummer Gabriel Parra's daughter Juanita, this is an album that bristles with sentiment. Thankfully the reunion works, because of course, the band has much better material to work with than they did on the disappointing Hijos De La Tierra, although it should certainly be noted by newcomers that the focus is distinctly not on the band's more progressive work.
Some of La Trilliogia is uninspiring of course. There's the "playful Cholito Pantalon Blanco which I don't enjoy, and there's a decent share of middle of the road material like Atacama, Data Una Vuleta En El Aire, Valpariso and Guajira Cosmica (which is from 1975's self-titled album ... hardly the most exciting song they could have picked from it!).

Nonetheless there is much to savour. The sheer beauty and passion of songs like Los Momentos (what a brilliant outro, what a brilliant outro!) and Un Mar De Gente are not to be found on any street corner ... both are superb albeit not very progressive folk songs! There's also a return to Mira Ninita and Indio Hermano, two cornerstones of the Todos Juntos album. While the vocal performances reveal the passing of time, the power and beauty of these gems is not diminished (especially in the fast passage of Indio Hermano) and there is arguably an added poignancy in this sentimental reunion. La Centinela ( originally from Los Sueños De América) is also good fun with lots of vocal exchanges, Andean pan-pipes and Claudio Garra's trademark rippling piano and Run-Run Se Fue Pa'l Norte (which was cut as an instrumental on Obras De Violeta Parra) is a lengthy, but relatively simple guitar/mandolin song with Juanita on lead vocals.

Certainly there's no dispute about the version of the song that sealed my love affair with Los Jaivas, and when Juanita and Gato Alquinta launch into Todos Juntos my emotions usually run over. Sure a quarter of a century had passed since the original was cut, but some dreams will never die. I'm not usually one who digs re-recordings, but in this case I feel the new version is a deserving extension of the old. The instrumentation might take you by surprise, but it works. The massed vocals have an additional power, and even the saxophone does not cause you to break your stride. I would be very surprised if tears did not flow during the recording of this track.

So there you have it ... an album that doesn't challenge in the way the best Los Jaivas albums (Cancion Del Sur, Alturas De Macchu Picchu and Obras De Violeta Parra) do, but which will resonate well within old fans, and has enough power, passion and ingenuity to win over a few new ones.

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