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Re-Union (Argentina) - "Re-Union"
(3CD, El Cozo)
*****


Prolusion. In December 2002 and, once again, in August 2003, some members of the four legendary Argentinean bands: Tricupa, Redd, Jalea, and Tango got together on stage as a united group, named simply Re-Union, to perform the music that about twenty years ago was part of the repertoire of each of those bands. The event has been documented and released as a set of two CDs and one audio-video CD within a beautiful DVD-like box.

LINE-UP:

Carlos Capdevila - drums (Tricupa, Jalea, Redd, & Tango) 
Jose Araoz - keyboards (all bands, too) 
Luis Albornoz - guitars (all bands)
Luis Corvalan - guitars (all bands)
Esteban Cerioni - bass (Redd)
Alejandro Russo - bass (Tricupa, Jalea & Redd)
Oscar Imhoff - vocals (Tricupa, Jalea & Redd)
Daniel Aguero - vocals (Tricupa & Tango)

With:

Mark Edwards - keyboards
Pablo Capdevila - percussion
Melina Capdevila - backing vocals

Recorded live in Tucuman, Argentina.
Mixed & mastered at El Cozo Records, Iowa.
Produced by Carlos Capdevila.


CD 1 - "Tango & Tricupa" (46 min)
****+ & *****+

TRACK LIST:

1.  Entera Para Amar 5:22 
2.  Vuela Pequena 3:18
3.  Nena que Andas 4:41
4.  La Tormenta 6:37
5.  Diferencia en Blues 5:42
6.  Tricupa Reino Miel 4:05
7.  Vuelo Prenatal 4:26
8.  Sol Celestial 3:03
9.  Metro Patron 4:01
10. La Ventana-2 5:49

Synopsis. The first five tracks here are the works of Tango, and the others are by Tricupa. Surprisingly, this CD sounds cohesive throughout. The point is that there is much in common between the styles that the bands played twenty years ago. Tango is mostly about a rather accessible, yet, very tasteful and 'meaty' bluesy Hard Rock with riffs and solos of two electric guitars at the helm of arrangements and excellent expressive vocals. The music is definitely original, but since it is of an English school of the genre, some parallels can be drown between Tango and such well-known outfits from the UK as Manfred Mann's Earth Band (circa "Glorified Magnified", 1972) and Argent (think "In Deep", 1973). The band's favorite style is reflected on four of the first five tracks here, and I must note that each of the following songs by Tango is better than the preceding one. The only exception in this case is La Tormenta (4), which surpasses most of the tracks on the CD in general. This is a brilliant and unique composition representing Classic Symphonic Art-Rock where passages and solos of acoustic guitar play a prominent role along with those of organ. Judging by the presented materials, I think Tango could have a large audience even at the present time. The band's music is excellent and is amazingly attractive, though from a progressive standpoint, it is a bit inferior to that of their countrymen joining them on this CD. The first of the tracks presenting the music of Tricupa: Tricupa Reino Miel (6) turned out to be the weakest among them. This is a simple guitar ballad with a lot of repetitions and rather importunate female backing vocals and vocalizes. But then, the other four songs are masterpieces, each featuring a few different, highly diverse and intriguing instrumental parts, though those coming along with vocals are also remarkable. The main soloing instruments are electric and acoustic guitar, piano, organ, and, sometimes, a string ensemble. A bluesy Hard Rock is one of the main constituents of Tricupa's style as well. Overall however, their music represents a rather complex combination of guitar Art-Rock, heavy Blues Rock, and symphonic Jazz-Fusion and is hardly comparable with anything else. Wonderful stuff! Finally, it needs to be said that with the exception of Entera Para Amar and Tricupa Reino Miel (1 & 6), all of the songs on the CD possess some indescribable magic, which was so typical for Rock music at the first half of the seventies.

VM: February 17, 2004


CD 2 - "Jalea & Redd" (62 min)
**** & ******

TRACK LIST:

1.  La Ventana 4:14
2.  Melosa 4:32 
3.  Helicoides 3:54
4.  Jueves 3:38
5.  Reyes en Guerra 7:37 
6.  Assecino Sentimentali 8:06 
7.  La Esmeralda 6:25 
8.  Dedos Tristes 8:18 
9.  Matinee 11:11 
10. Parto 4:08 

Synopsis. On the second CD, which is 16 minutes longer than the first, Re-Union presents the music of Jalea and Redd. In this case, however, the CD wasn't divided into equal parts. It contains six songs by Redd, and only four by Jalea (tracks 1 to 4), all of which are rather short and, taken together, run just 16 minutes. But as you'll see a bit later, it was a wise decision to keep the most part of the CD for Redd's music. Two of the four Jalea tracks: Melosa and Helicoides (2 & 3) are ballads rather than songs. Both are vocal heavy and are very melodic, but with very few of the quirks, though only the first of them is monotonous throughout. Another is better and, apart from repetitive vocals, contains a couple of guitar and symphonic Art-Rock-related instrumental parts with some noticeable interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and those of piano and string ensemble. Jueves (4) is an accessible, but inflammatory and rather original Hard Rock number performed without keyboards. Nevertheless, La Ventana (1) is the only among the presented Jalea songs, which completely corresponds to the conception of progressive music and, what's most important, is interesting in every respect. The style is a classic symphonic Art-Rock, which is both unique and intriguing. As for the songs from Redd's repertoire, they are the real highlight of this set. What amazing stuff! Six outstanding tracks, five of which are long, run about 46 minutes, which is enough for a full-fledged full-length album. The music on each of the long tracks: Reyes en Guerra, Assecino Sentimentali, La Esmeralda, Dedos Tristes and Matinee (5 to 9) is outstandingly unique and is always intricate and interesting with plenty of sudden changes in the arrangements that, in their turn, develop constantly in most cases. The first four of them are about a classic symphonic Art-Rock with pronounced elements of Prog-Metal, some of those of Jazz-Fusion, and a lot of acoustic textures woven by passages of piano and those of classical guitar. Matinee is much in the same vein, but distinguishes from the others by the complete absence of heaviness. Quite the contrary, Parto(10) represents Prog-Metal in almost a pure form. The music of Redd is a pure magic. I heard more than a dozen of Argentinean bands, and Redd is certainly one of the very best among them.

VM: February 18, 2004


CD 3 - "Enhancement" (39 min)
*****

Synopsis. The third recording medium here is a universal audio-video CD. It contains thirteen tracks, most of which are shortened versions of some of the songs by each of the four bands, the music of which has formed the contents of the audio CDs. However, two songs: Reino Miel and Como la Esmeralda are available only here. Respectively, these are by Tricupa and Redd and are presented in their entirety. Of course, the principal destination of this CD is to demonstrate to you Re-Union's live performance in all its glory. Enjoy it both acoustically and visually!


Conclusion. With the realization of the Re-Union project and the subsequent release of the CDs presenting the creation of four obscure Argentinean bands, another blank spot has been removed from the map of our beloved genre. In all, this is an essential listening and should please most, if not all, of the 'classic' Prog-heads.

VM: February 19, 2004


Related Links:

Re-Union


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