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Los Jaivas - Alturas De Machu Picchu CD (album) cover

ALTURAS DE MACHU PICCHU

Los Jaivas

 

Prog Folk

4.21 | 283 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars Although LOS JAIVAS (a misspelling of "jaibas" which is Spanish for "crabs") formed all the way back in 1963 in central Chile they are best known for their 7th and most popular album ALTURAS OF MACCHU PICCHU (The Heights Of Macchu Picchu) which came out in 1981. While most South American bands who ventured into the progressive rock world eschewed the homegrown folklore styles of their respective nations, LOS JAIVAS took the exact opposite approach and fully integrated the homegrown traditional beats and rhythms of their native Chile while incorporating the symphonic bombast of progressive rock. The result is a strange hybrid that seems like a logical experiment that should have been attempted by countless bands, yet as far as I know most bands emulated their European idols and only LOS JAIVAS found success down this road. Although the band began in Chile they were uprooted during the tumultuous 70s in a volatile Chile and relocated in France for several years. It was during those years when they released some of their most celebrated albums such as ALTURAS. The music is more of a trade-off of styles for the most part rather than a complete fusion but there is plenty of fusion parts to be found.

Unless you are a speaker of the Spanish language you will not realize that ALTURAS DE MACCHU PICCHU is in fact a poem by Pablo Neruda which appeared in his book "Canto General (General Song)" from the year 1950. The Canto is actually a book of 15 poems in which "The Heights Of Macchu Picchu" is the second. The poem is a tale of the creation of humanity and how it can be witnessed in the ruins of Macchu Picchu and a celebration of the history of the indigenous inhabitants of the Andes Mountains. The poem has actually found its way into other musical formats including by the Chilean folk band Aparcoa and by the Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. LOS JAIVAS are famous for not only marrying the traditional Chilean folklore music with progressive rock but also for reciting the poem in near entirety in musical form. This is also perhaps one of the rare cases where progressive music can be danceable. The blending of the 4/4 steady beats of the folk music with the more symphonic bombast of the prog is done quite seamlessly. They make it sound easy but in fact it is quite a feat to accomplish. A unique album for a captivating blend of worldly musical styles.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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