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

El puente (1995)

(original cover)

El puente is a mixed bag of rarities, but I was driving on the 405 freeway in LA when I first heard “Pa’l mercado” and got so emotional that I almost crashed.

By the time “Al Pepe Sasía” (a tribute to one of Uruguay’s most legendary soccer players) came up, I had to pull over.

Years earlier, I had enjoyed the first mix of “Ella allá” in the infamous cassette single that included “Nunca nunca.” I was happy to play it again when I got El puente, and the song hadn’t aged a bit.

Liner notes by Guilherme de Alencar Pinto: “The Jaime Roos a las 10 tour (1993-1994) was the first by a Uruguayan musician through the country’s 19 departments [provinces]. It also marked the end of the La Escuelita chapter. In November 1994, Jaime started rehearsing with La Doble, his new backing band.

In his already extensive career (almost 20 years as a solo artist) he had accumulated several rarities he considered valuable. While preparing his next album of new material (Si me voy antes que vos, 1996), he decided to release this collection. He named it El puente, after the short poem he had written in Amsterdam in 1983 and which he included in the booklet. The only common denominator in this very eclectic material is Jaime’s presence as an author and/or musical director and/or main performer.

[In El puente,] the only recordings previously included on a Jaime album are three from Mujer de sal junto a un hombre vuelto carbón (1985), in duet form with Estela Magnone. The other three tracks with Estela belong to her first solo album, Vals prismático (1993), produced by Jaime.

Also included are his solo contribution in La Escuelita’s Ahora sí!! (1990) and his two compositions for Pinocho Routin’s first album, Noches de carnaval (1995), produced by Jaime and released a couple of months earlier than El puente. Pinocho had been a member of La Escuelita from its beginnings and was one of that group’s singers that remained in La Doble (the other being Benjamín Medina and Freddy ‘Zurdo’ Bessio). Zurdo had played the bass drum in all of Jaime’s murga recordings since 1986, but it wasn’t until the early ’90s, when he heard him singing a few lines in a La Reina de la Teja performance, that Jaime discovered Zurdo could sing. Immediately, Jaime assigned him singing parts for Mauricio Rosencof’s stage play El vendedor de reliquias (1992), in the A las 10 tour and in La Margarita (1994). These two recordings with Routin are the first songs by Jaime with solo vocals by Zurdo Bessio, who would acquire so much importance in future works.

The other recordings had never been released before: Two live songs with [Rubén] Rada and Hugo Fattoruso, the rescue of an unfinished album project done in the United States, an instrumental for a TV series and an advertising piece. Several of these tracks were retouched or finalized specifically for El puente. Members of La Doble took part of the most recent ones; Nego Haedo came from La Escuelita, but for Marcelo Núñez, Gustavo Montemurro and the Ibarburu twins (Nicolás and Martín) it was their first recording with Jaime.

‘Cielos’ is the oldest track. Upon leaving the Elvysur studio after recording ‘Ella allá’ (1983), [Eduardo] Mateo, Jaime and Darío Ribeiro went to a bar and started rambling about the possibility of making music without tuning the instruments. To test the hypothesis, they went back to the studio and improvised on guitars. Mateo used Jaime’s Morris, while Jaime opted for an electric guitar that was on the floor (it was broken and missing a string). It is the only Mateo/Roos co-authorship.

Just like the recordings, the photos in the booklet belong to different eras and situations. Those on the cover and back cover were taken without notice by Mario Marotta during a promotional photo session at Parque Hotel in 1991, while Rosina Molinolo (the session’s makeup and wardrobe artist) held the mirror. The bridge’s isotype was drawn by Jaime and digitally imitated by Juan Lo Bianco.

The album’s impact was smaller than that of Jaime’s albums with new material or greatest hits compilations. Nevertheless, the original edition on CD and cassette went Gold.”

Next page: Selladas uno.

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


    • 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!


  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


    • 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.


      • 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:


        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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