#95 / The Jaime Roos ‘Complete Works’: A Must-Have for (Serious) Alt Latin Music Lovers

jr-4

OK, I still haven’t received these ones, but we can go through them briefly.

Estamos rodeados (1991)

Original Argentine vinyl edition.

Original Argentine vinyl edition.

Liner notes by Guilherme de Alencar Pinto: “The songs in Estamos rodeados were written in 1988 and 1989, except for ‘Huayno del ciego’ (1983) and ‘Dices que te vas’ (1986).

Jaime had the intention of recording in 1989, thus keeping his usual rhythm of no more than two years in between albums. He was enthusiastic and anxious to shape his songs into an album that, eventually, would become one of his favorites.

Due to travels and the formation and rehearsals of La Escuelita, his new band, the recording was postponed until 1990 (in late 1989 Jaime released Esta noche, his first live album). The album was recorded at Elvysur studio (16 channels, analog), in the middle of a vast calendar of shows and press commitments in Uruguay and Argentina, the writing and rehearsals (in Sweden) of the play Señor Sjöbo, and his participation in La Escuelita’s Ahora sí!! album. There wasn’t enough time for the mixing, which was scheduled for February 1991. But, in January, Elvysur was sold and dismantled without notice in order to avoid an embargo (the Estamos rodeados tapes were sold along with the studio, and three distressing days passed until they were recovered). The mix was finished in April at Loubet, a [Buenos Aires] studio compatible with Elvysur. The album was finally released almost four years after Sur (1997).

Despite the turbulences, the recording took place in an upbeat and focused mood. A reduced group of musicians took part and Jaime was the only author, solo singer and guitarist. Hugo Fattoruso had been participating in all of his records since 1984 but now, since moving back to Uruguay, had enough time and Jaime gave him a relevant role in all the tracks; he became one of the pillars of a techno-synthetic sound in its tone but groovy and rocking in its expression. Hugo mainly used a Yamaha DX7 and a Roland D-20 (both digital). As always, he needed very few takes. However, it took a long time to find the tones of the synthesizers and to establish the approach for each song. Jaime indicated several of the line arrangements for the keyboards, while Hugo improvised his solos and shaped some of Jaime’s impressionistic directives like, ‘Pretend you’re in a merry-go-round installed in a cloud, while the sky is changing colors’ — that’s where the ‘celesta’ in ‘Dices que te vas’ came from. The two ‘flutes’ on this song were simultaneously improvised by Hugo, each with one hand, and with both keyboards set at a right angle.

In search of an Opa-like sound in ‘No puedo llorar,’ Jaime asked Hugo to dust off his Arp Odissey (analog), stored since 1981, which would also be used in ‘Laraira.’

He also asked him to improvise on accordion the solo in ‘El hombre de la calle.’ Hugo hadn’t played the accordion since the time of Los Shakers, but from then on he resumed his connection with the instrument of his childhood (and several Río de la Plata keyboardists would follow his example).

Etchenique recorded his five drum parts on a single and well-remembered session. Nego Haedo had been rehearsing to join La Escuelita; after these recordings, he would accompany Jaime for 25 years. The chorus in ‘Colombina’ was done by members of La Escuelita (plus Wilson Negreyra and Daniel Magnone).

Just like in Canario Luna’s Otra vez carnaval (1989), the album’s title comes from a saying by Paco Cigüeña, a friend of Jaime from the Fine Arts environment.

This was Jaime’s first album to be simultaneously released in Uruguay (Orfeo) and Argentina (Barca). It was also the first to be directly released on CD (as well as vinyl and cassette). The release was supported by the videos of ‘El hombre de la calle’ and ‘Inexplicable.’

However, the song that became a classic was ‘Colombina,’ which would close most of Jaime’s concerts from then on. In its original release, Estamos rodeados went Double Platinum.”

Next page: La Margarita (1994)

11 thoughts on “#95 / The Jaime Roos ‘Complete Works’: A Must-Have for (Serious) Alt Latin Music Lovers

  1. Enrique – saludos desde Irlanda. Thank you for these blogs about Jaime Roos’ music. I am a great admirer of this soulful, honest and important music from a beautiful and soulful country. I didn’t know if the 4 CDs in the new batch are the same quality as the first sets, your blogs have corrected that for me.

    I did buy some in Montevideo but have also been able to find them also on Amazon (muy, muy caro) or ebay (mejor precio).

    Do you know why “Brindis Por Pierrot” has not been released as a standalone disc or am I missing something?

    Gracias por su trabajo, Simon Leng

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    • OK, Guilherme explains this clearly in his commentary to Selladas Uno, but here’s a quick summary: The ‘Brindis por Pierrot’ album only included three new songs: “Brindis por Pierrot,” “Murga de la Pica” and the new version of “Cometa de la Farola.” The other six songs had already been released on other albums. ‘Selladas Uno’ includes these three songs.

      The ‘Brindis por Pierrot’ album is not included in this collection because the idea is not to repeat songs, except in the case of different versions of one song, but not the same version.

      These 13 albums only include three “repeat” songs: the Estela Magnone duets included in both the ‘Mujer de sal junto a un hombre vuelto carbón’ and ‘El Puente’ albums.

      I hope this clarifies things. Thanks for reading and listening!

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  2. Thanks, that is great information. Here’s a thought for you…..is “Fuera de Ambiente” Jaime Roos’ masterpiece? To my ears it could be

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    • I love ‘Fuera de Ambiente,’ but I’m not sure if it’s his masterpiece. Definitely one of his best, and unfairly underrated. It’s his only album of originals with no solos. Everything is written down. Beautiful songs. When I saw him live for the last time in 2007, my mother was on her deathbed and he kindly dedicated “Catalina” to her. I think his first masterpiece is ‘Aquello’, but I also love ‘Siempre son las cuatro’, ‘Mediocampo’ and ‘Estamos rodeados’. And ‘La Margarita’ too. But I love them all. I’m a diehard fan.

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      • I look forward to hearing the next set of 4 which I ordered for a reasonable price on amazon, so they are available globally. I especially like “Vida Numero Dos” which I think is a profound piece and captures many different musical elements…some of which I have written about:

        https://www.amazon.com/Simon-Leng/e/B001K8QRDK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1490012790&sr=1-2-ent

        I am pro-Uruguay so probably biased but as well as great soccer players and teams the country has produced some really world class music with Opa, Ruben Rada and Jaime Roos leading the pack. Outstanding musicians.

        Best wishes…

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