Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bwana - 1972 - Bwana


01. Tema De Bwana
02. La Patuda
03. La Jurumba
04. Chapumbambe
05. Motemba
06. Todo Es Real
07. Lolita

- Roman Cerpas / bass, percussion, vocals
- Salvador Fernandez / bongos, percussion, drums (tumbas)
- Ricardo Palma / guitar, organ, vocals, piano
- Roberto Martinez / guitar, vocals
- Danilo Amador / organ
- Donaldo Mantilla / timbales, percussion

You can practically count the number of great progressive / psych albums from Nicaragua on one finger. And here it is. But their sole representative isn't only good, it's nothing short of amazing. I suppose it comes as no surprise that the major influence here is Santana. In particular the first two albums. The organ tones are not as heavy (I don't think it's a Hammond either) and the guitarist doesn't have near the chops as Carlos (though he's no slouch either). And while vocals exist on Bwana, they aren't key to the sound. And when it's time to get indigenous, they naturally raise the sounds of pre-Colombian South America versus Mexico. So at this point you may be thinking we have a watered down version of "Abraxas", but that's not the case at all. Where Bwana gains ground is in their use of percussion, which is more varied and is also a feature rather than an accent. There's also a tribal voodoo element going on throughout, making me wish I knew of other groups coming out of Nicaragua during this era. Six long tracks, totalling over 45 minutes, and not a dud amongst them.

For years it was presumed Bwana were from Colombia, but some of the members of the band have resurfaced and it turns out they were from Nicaragua. Some band members still live there - while others are in the United States now.

A couple of bootlegs exist, though it appears some labels are looking to do a legit issue.



    1. Thanks for the link, do you by any chance have the only full length album by a band called "La Clave", it's extremely difficult to get a hold of! :)

    2. You mean the 1973 album with Lalo Shiffrin?

    3. Yes, thats the one! ;)

  2. I have it... coming up later today...

  3. When I hear records this good, my first thought is: how on earth could this have passed me by for all these years and my second thought is: to thank you for this wonderful discovery! Archaic-Funk of the highest order.

  4. didnt even know there was a second album... getting ready for a hunt!