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    Land of winds > Music > Reviews | Issue 18 (Mar.-Apr. 2014)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Andean music outside the Andes

Below is a small sample of the many "Andean" and Latin American groups that have recorded albums out of South America. By its nature this list can only be incomplete. That means a lot of great works have been left out, including folk music collections released on the famous Expression Spontanée label.

Los Incas - Disco de oro | Guillermo de la Roca - Aires del Tawantinsuyo | Los Chacos - Oda a la vida | Huayucaltia - Amazonas | Joël Perri - Souffle du vent / Soplo del viento

Los Incas - Disco de oro


Los Incas
Disco de oro
(Phillips – 1973)

1. El cóndor pasa – 2. Pusiganga – 3. El gavilán – 4. Ya se va – 5. Tres bailecitos – 6. Huayno de la roca – 7. Humahuaqueño – 8. Dos palomitas – 9. Danza del Inca – 10. El cuchipe – 11. Carnavalito quebradeño – 12. Achachau

Los Incas (a band that changed its name twice, first to "Urubanba", then to its original name again) appeared in Paris towards 1956 and, with the exception of its musical director, Jorge Milchberg, went through many line-up changes; band's members at different times included some artists who later become big names, such as Mariano "Uña" Ramos and Jorge Cumbo. Their albums, as well as the many compilations and re-releases of those original works, were released and distributed in different countries, and have appeared a myriad of versions, thus making it very difficult to delve into the band's discography.

This particular album "Disco de oro" was released on Phillips label in Spain in 1973, and includes such well-known tracks as "El cóndor pasa" (which would later be popularized by Simon & Garfunkel, propelling the band to fame), "El gavilán" and "El cuchipe" of Venezuela, the cueca "Ya se va", "Tres bailecitos" and huaynos like "[El] humahuaqueño" and "Carnavalito quebradeño". Although their musical skills were probably not the best and would be improved over the years, Los Incas were a source of inspiration for many other bands and musicians both in Europe and Latin America.

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

Guillermo de la Roca - Aires del Tawantinsuyo


Guillermo de la Roca
Aires del Tawantinsuyo
(Disques Alvarès – s.f.)

1. Aires del Tawantinsuyo – 2. Bailecito boliviano – 3. ¡Ay, la pagarás! – 4. Aires en tarka

Guillaume de la Roche is a French musician whose interest in the quena (an end blown notched flute) sprang from his involvement in the vibrant music scene that prevailed in France in the 1950s regarding Latin American music in general and certain instruments in particular. Having translated his name into Spanish, he went on to perform as a solo artist and to collaborate with some of the most popular bands at the time, such as Los Incas, Los Chacos, Los Calchakis and Los Machucambos. He introduced and played a variety of quenas and quenachos, as well as different traverse flutes and (to a lesser extent) Andean aerophones on his recordings.

De la Roche's "La flûte indienne - Aires del Tawantinsuyo" as soloist (accompanied by Virgilio Rojas on the guitarra, Milton Alban Zapatta on the charango and Jean-Michell Cayre, de Los Chacos, on the bombo), is a compilation album that features a selection of tracks from a previous album, "Loins dans la cordillére", released on the same label. This album displays his skills on wind instruments to the full.

His discography also includes "Andes: flûtes et guitares", "Argentine: Flûtes et guitares", "Kena" and "Amerique du Sud: Solos, duos et trios pour flutes et guitares" accompanied by the ensemble Música Criolla; "Cathédrale des Andes"; "Flûte indienne" (alongside guitarist Virgilio Rojas); and a number of compilations and re-releases, such as "Tradition de la flûte d'Amérique Hispanique" (1992) or "El cóndor pasa" (1996).

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

Los Chacos - Oda a la vida


Los Chacos
Oda a la vida
(Disques Pierre Verany - 1992)

1. Oda a la vida – 2. Luna achachera – 3. Estampa boliviana – 4. Sat'i sat'i – 5. Manco Capac – 6. Humo – 7. Nocturne – 8. Agüita de Putina – 9. Pupilas ingratas – 10. Doña Lorenza – 11. Arroyo fugaz – 12. Flor de Huancayo

Created in 1953 by Jean-Michell Cayre and several members of his family (including his brother, Jean-Jacques, and his brother-in-law, Jean Bessalel) amidst the enthusiasm and excitement for Latin American music unleashed in the 1950s in France (especially in places such as "L'Escale" in París), Los Chacos (sometimes "Los Chakos") was one of the few Latin American music bands based in Europe entirely formed by French musicians. By drawing inspiration from Los Incas (Ben-Pott, Galeazzi, Milchberg), they blended Latin American traditional music with European styles of music (mostly classical) creating an original mix.

Jean-Michell ("Micou"), the youngest of the Cayre brothers, studied at the National Conservatory of Music of Paris, and developed a special interest in Andean instruments. Besides being part of Los Chacos, he has also collaborated in many other musical projects (i.e. alongside Guillermo de la Roca) and has made significant contributions to film, television and theatre music. In 1979, in Villearbanne (Lyon) he set in motion the first Andean music course ever run in Europe; today he works at the École Nationale de Musique in the same city.

Los Chacos first album was "El cóndor pasa / Toda América Latina vol. 2" (1970), followed by "Vírgenes del sol / Toda América Latina vol. 3" (1971), "La flûte de Pan des Andes" (1972/1982), "Des Andes à J. S. Bach" (1972), "Luz y ramas / Los Chacos vol. 5" (1973), "Concert pour les Andes" (1974), "Vírgenes del Sol / Libertad" (compilation, 1975), "Florilegio de la flauta andina" (2 vol., 1976/1977), "Le printemps" (1978), "Au pays de la flûte indienne" (compilation, 1990) and their last studio recording, "Oda a la vida". This album (in the wake of the band's dissolution) also features musicians Albert Breuil and Nicolas Janot; its tracks (self-composed and self-arranged, with the exception of "Sat'i sat'i", "Manco Capac", "Agüita de Putina" and "Flor de Huancayo") are in line with the material on those prior works and with the band's style.

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

Huayucaltia - Amazonas


(ROM Records - 1992)

1. Amazonas – 2. Mirando al cielo – 3. Cholita – 4. La samba y su fuelle – 5. América negra – 6. Un espejo – 7. Rumbita – 8. Apurimac sikuri – 9. Volando alto – 10. Destino – 11. Rumi

Huayucaltia (from Náhuatl huayolcayotl, "kinship") was created in Los Angeles (EE.UU.) in 1985 by Cindy Harling (EE.UU.), Julio Ledezma (Argentina), Hernán Pinilla (Colombia), Antonio Ezkauriatza (Mexico) and Ciro Hurtado (Peru). They have released six albums: "Despertar" (1986), "Caminos" (1988), "Horizontes" (1989), "Amazonas", "Orígenes" (1996), "Destinos" (1999) and "El tiempo" (2006). Their music brings together songs and sounds from different cultures of Latin America, blending old and new in an eclectic mix, which can be found in the tracks that make up "Amazonas".

Official website.
Link CD [].

Joël Perri - Souffle du vent / Soplo del viento


Joël Perri
Souffle du vent / Soplo del viento
(ARC Music – s.f.)

1. Soplo del viento – 2. Indiecito – 3. El canto de mi kena – 4. Sucre – 5. Vuelta y vuelta – 6. San Juanito de la esperanza – 7. Rondador – 8. Los carnavales – 9. El canto del cuculi – 10. Cacharpari – 11. Estudio para kena – 12. Mi alma

Born in a small village of the Ardennes, in France, Perri started his musical journey when he was very young. In 1971 he moved to Paris, where he joined the Latin American music circles that were very common in the Latin Quarter of Paris and performed with several groups as percussionist. By getting together with all those musicians he learnt to play the quena (an end blown notched flute), the zampoña (Andean panpipes) and the charango. Later on he began to make his own aerophones and to write his own music. Throughout his 34-year career, Perri released a series of 24 albums (sometimes accompanied by his son, Cedric) where he included both classic and self-composed songs and tunes, and shows the distinctive quena playing-style that comes from European musical practices. Today Perri lives in his home village, where he plays jazz on the piano.

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

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