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Los Jaivas - Los Jaivas - Ballet Nacional Chileno. Paris - Santiago CD (album) cover


Los Jaivas


Prog Folk

5.00 | 3 ratings

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Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars Leave bricks in the wall to Roger Waters

Another surpise from LOS JAIVAS, this time together with Ballet Nacional Chileno (BANCH). A ballet to the music of LOS JAIVAS, played by the band live. I don't think there is something similar in the entire PA database.

The whole thing started when French-Romanian choreographer Gigi Caciuleanu, who works with Ballet Nacional Chileno since 2001 and, like some of LOS JAIVAS members, shares his life between Paris and Santiago, listened to all band's albums. The idea to unite dance and LOS JAIVAS music was born. Gigi Caciuleanu chose the songs and created dances. Additionally records of songs by famous French singers were chosen as links between dance scenes.

January 15, 2003 - founder member, lead singer and guitarist Eduardo 'Gato' Alquinta passed away. It was not only a tragedy for the band, but a national tragedy in Chile. I'm grateful to LOS JAIVAS - they have not broke up and made a wise decision - Gato's kids, Aurora (lead vocals, percussion), Ankatu (guitar), Eloy (sax, woodwinds), with singer and multi-instrumentalist Carlos Cabezas completed the line-up. All of them are more than competent musicians.

Ankatu and Eloy Alquinta, as well as Francisco Bosco (guest musician in this project, now a member of LOS JAIVAS) are from the band HUAIKA, whose sound is a blend of ethnic, jazz and modern music. ''Paris - Santiago'' is now the only official LOS JAIVAS record with Eloy Alquinta who unexpectedly died in 2004 of heart attack. Camera rarely shows Eloy during the show, but extras contain a documentary, ''The portrait of Eloy Alquinta''.

Aurora Alquinta was, from 1992, a lead singer of YEMAYA LA BANDA, group playing Afro-Cuban music. Carlos Cabezas played in numerous bands and worked as a guest with LOS JAIVAS since 1998.

Only 3 months later, in May, ''Paris - Santiago'' was presented to Chilean audience at Teatro Universidad De Chile, Santiago. Knowing what happened before, you can imagine what it took from LOS JAIVAS to prepare the show!

Each LOS JAIVAS song has its dance number. Bigger part of the stage is given to dancers, the band is behind them, in the stage's left corner. It is modern ballet, nothing like ''Swan Lake'' or ''Sleeping Beauty'' here. Depending on songs, dances vary in mood, they are romantic, funny or even grotesque, some have a strong French feel. Records of French songs serve as links between songs of LOS JAIVAS. The show was filmed with several cameras, Gigi Caciuleanu made the final video montage. Great idea - who knows better than the choreographer how to show the ballet and its key moments! He made a good job, in some moments we see the band, singers, soloing musicians, in others - close-ups of dancers, groups of dancers or the whole stage.

LOS JAIVAS songs, chosen for ''Paris - Santiago'' are taken from the band's 1972 - 1999 albums. There are optimistical songs from ''Hijos de la Tierra'' album, masterpieces like ''Cancion del Sur'', ''La Conquistada'' and ''Mira Nińita'', short block of songs from ''Palomita blanca'' (musically my least favourite part of the show, but containing interesting choreography), funny ''Cancion para los Pájaros'', psychedelic instrumental ''Los Caminos Que Se Abren'', dramatic intro of ''Arauco Tiene Una Pena'', romantic compositions from ''Si Tú No Estás''.

Musicianship is superb, together with guest musicians LOS JAIVAS provide luxury sound. Keyboards duo of Claudio and Eduardo Parra shine as usual, Claudio's piano passages are sometimes gentle, sometimes impetuous, while Eduardo's synthesizers produce magical sounds. Mario Mutis often plays melodic bass lines, drumming is solid, guitar solos are inventive. Violins, charango, percussions, trutrucas and countless woodwinds enrich musical palette. The sound is perfect.

I was quite sceptical about LOS JAIVAS with female vocals. But all my scepticism ruined with the first sounds of the opening number ''Hijos de la Tierra''. Aurora Alquinta - what a singer! Deep, low-toned sensual voice (pure velvet, as my wife said) and perfect intuition. Like her father, she feels how to sing. In songs ''Rosas En El Jardin'', ''Si Tú No Estás'' and ''Solitarios de un Beso'' (I was thousand times right when I told ''Si Tú No Estás'' is a good album) Aurora completely steals the show. Aurora sings with her heart, even if you don't understand words you can feel love, passion, tenderness, solitude. I believe Latin American female singers know some secret. It's a pity Aurora left the band, but, as I know from Wikipedia, she ocassionally joined JAIVAS in 2004. Definitely I want to hear her voice in future.

''Paris - Santiago'' naturally unites such at first glance eclectic things like modern ballet, progressive rock, Andean folklore and French chanson. You don't have to be a Spanish-speaker to get the message: the world we live in is a beautiful place, we all are children of the Earth, hijos de la Tierra. Paris is not so far from Santiago, everywhere in the world feelings of people are similar. Live and enjoy every moment of your life (my obvious thought of our late friend Antonie).

This 2003 record is a bright page in LOS JAIVAS history, in a short period between two tragedies. Excellent work of musicians, choreographer and dancers. Highly recommended.

NotAProghead | 5/5 |


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