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Also available on Vinyl LP
Ego - Jazz Band de Free
whatmusic.com
£9.99
whatmusic.com presents ‘Ego’ by Jazz Band de Free, featuring the music and drumming of Carlos ‘Pocho’ Lapouble. A 1972 collaboration of top Argentinean & Uruguayan musicians, ‘Ego’ blends electric, free and latin jazz into a powerful progressive statement of intent – and action!
  • First ever worldwide release!
  • With the deep, side-long ‘Ego, Luego Existen’!
  • Features Fernando Gelbard, Jorge López Ruiz & Pocho Lapouble
  • Exclusive new liner notes!
  • Also available on LP (WMLP-0083)

Check the 30 second clips from the album...

01 EGO, LUEGO EXISTEN 19:50
02 TEMA DE FATIGA 6:35
03 SHH… BEA DUERME 2:57
04 AMBIENTEX 7:34

The whatmusic.com interview...

hear ego!

Buenos Aires, May 7th, 1972. A group of eight musicians (six Argentineans and two Uruguayans) gather at Estudios Ion, where so much good music has been put onto tape. What they create may be described as somewhat in between Ornette Coleman’s and Miles Davis’ ways of dealing with musical ‘freedom’. Argentina was then going through hard times and a lot more hardships lay ahead.

To jazz musicians, though, time was also ripe for dreams of success: after all Lalo Schifrin and Gato Barbieri were making it on the international jazz scene. Not that they took themselves for geniuses, they simply thought local jazz needed some shock treatment and trying their hand at some avant-garde music would hurt no one. Furthermore, they ranked among the best jazz players in Argentina.

The two bassists in the group, Jorge López Ruiz and Jorge González, for instance, had both played with Gato Barbieri. López Ruiz had been the bassist of a legendary quintet led by Lalo Schifrin in 1956, whose saxophone player was Gato. González had been the bassist of Gato’s regular rhythm section of the 1960s. Pocho Lapouble, the drummer, besides playing with the cream of Argentina’s jazzmen, had been the percussionist of an (unrecorded) Astor Piazzolla sextet from 1968-1969 – the pianist and the guitarist in that group were jazz musicians too. Norberto Minichillo, percussionist in this record, but also an all-round drummer, was also playing avant-garde tango with a quintet that had Dino Saluzzi on bandonéon. Keyboardist Santiago Giacobbe had played many times with Gato Barbieri and was later to be the organist in Astor Piazzolla’s ‘Electric Group’ of the mid-1970s. Fernando Gelbard, a well known jazzman, who had played with Gato and Chivo Borraro (‘El Nuevo Sonido de Chivo Borraro’, WMLP/CD-0027), appears here on Fender piano and flute. A bit younger than Giacobbe, Gelbard was at the time of this record asserting himself as a very capable musician and also a pioneer in the field of synthesizers, which were really newcomers to jazz in the early 1970s and a rarity in Argentina (‘Didi’, WMLP/CD-0020). Héctor Starc, the guitarist, was a young and inventive rock player. Eduardo ‘Pestaña’ Giovinazzo on trumpet and Jaime Prats on alto had moved from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Buenos Aires and they sure belonged in this group of high-calibre jazz musicians. Just listen to Giovinazzo’s showcase ‘Shhh… Bea Duerme’.

The four pieces in this album were composed by Pocho Lapouble, who was the driving force behind the project. One side of the original LP is taken by ‘Ego, luego existen’ (‘Ego, therefore they exist’) where everyone gets a chance to solo, ‘Ego’ is a long excursion which deserves some particular attention. The tune is quite Ornettish, the more so because it is stated by trumpet and alto in unison. Gelbard plays the first solo on Fender piano very much in one of the epochal trends: aggressively rooted in rhythm, searching, never relenting, then going into a dialogue with bassist López Ruiz, who takes over. Then we are lead into Starc’s guitar solo, itself evolving in a discussion with López Ruiz’s bass before letting Ruiz solo anew and sort of fade into a new Gelbard Fender piano solo. López Ruiz soloes once again, followed by Giacobbe’s organ. An alto solo by Prats, relayed by Lapouble’s drums, speaks with Minichillo’s percussion, a conversation almost interrupted by Giacobbe’s two handed solo: one of his hands plays the organ while the other one plays a Bluthner piano; then it’s Giovinazzo’s turn on trumpet. Throughout this piece the shifting and contrasting tempos and moods sound at one and the same time tightly controlled, yet spontaneous. The 6/8 tempo of the final part is a kind of ’tumbao’ reminiscent of a related afro-argentinean folk rhythm, the ‘chacarera’.

’Tema de Fatiga’, stated in unison by the trumpet and the flute, is made up of successive solos by Giacobbe, Gelbard on flute and Starc. There you have gentle Giacobbe clearly showing his bop and hard bop roots, contrasting with Gelbard’s Dolphy-oriented but open-minded flute solo. Gelbard’s ‘Dolphy-ness’ is quite unusual for him, but reveals his avant-garde leanings at the time of this record. Starc follows with his rock-oriented free jazz rooted in the blues.

‘Ambientex’ is in two parts. The first one, titled ‘Tema para Contraflaco’, is a pun on contrabass – string bass – that could be translated into English as ‘Theme for Contraskinny’, López Ruiz’s nickname being ‘Flaco’ (Skinny). The second part, ‘Canción de Cuny’, is given to solos by Prats, Gelbard and Giovinazzo. Let me now tell you how much I enjoyed listening to this album from the early 1970s. I wonder why we have been so forgetful of these – and other Argentinean jazz recorded testimonies – beauties sleeping in the vaults.

Most Argentine jazz musicians of the 1960s and 1970s were part of a middle class bourgeoisie that did not react against the ‘establishment’ and seemed to feel comfortable playing traditional jazz, swing or bebop. Their entrance into avant-garde and musical experimentation was a big risk within their conservative social environment. But they were right, for their music was accepted by jazz audiences and some of the incredible musical works of this avant-garde gang were fortunately recorded and more fortunately re-released in the 21st century by whatmusic.com.

Norberto Gimelfarb – Yverdon, Switzerland, 2003

CEDAR processing by Sean ‘Big P’ Pennycook.
Remastered by Gareth Williams at Sound Recording Technology, Cambridge, April 2004

Special thanks to Fernando Gelbard, Norberto Gimelfarb and Carlos Piriz.


©2004 whatmusic.com
£9.99
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