Black Sugar – Black Sugar (1971)

Hello to all, we already covered a little bit of the Inca Rock scene in previous posts, so today we’re going straight to it. A band that is no surprise to all who enjoys Latin Rock, already discovered and re-released for the past decade Black Sugar feels closer to Malo than your correlated Peruvian brothers from the ’70. They’ve returned to play since the mid ’10, in spite of not having all its original members, so let’s attend to them and begin.

Let’s go to our artist:

Peru, Lima. An era marked by a military government that, after assuming power in 1968, brought, among many other consequences, the debacle of the first generation of Peruvian rock, discouraging everything that leaned towards the foreign, more precisely to the gringo. Black Sugar’s Latin touch was the safe-conduct for their survival within that hostile and repressive context of those harsh days (the entirety of Latin America).

Los Far-Fen

The roots of this band are in a group called Los Far-Fen (in allusion to the musical communion between the Farfisa organ and the Fender guitar), formed at the end of the sixties by the guitarist Víctor “Coco” Salazar, to solely animate parties. The breakpoint of this stage as party entertainers occurred when his music reached the ears of Jaime Delgado Aparicio, one of the most transcendental musicians in contemporary Peruvian history of which very little is known, and who sadly died at age 40 in 1983 (RIP).

At that time, in the early ’70, the then young but already renowned Peruvian musician who graduated from the Berklee School in Boston had arrived in Lima after a season of musicalizing films in Italy and held the position of manager of Sono Radio, one of the most important record companies in the country. It is Delgado Aparicio who proposes to abandon the repertoire of parties and record an LP with (all) original material.

There the sound of the group was born.

A Young Jaime Delgado

As trumpeter Antonio Ginocchio recalls:

“The studio was gigantic, the size of a soccer field (laughs). I was prepared to record a big band, with modular rails, a 36-channel console… and since Jaime was the manager, we had all the hours we wanted. We never got tired, we were around 20 years old.”

Re-baptized as Black Sugar and sponsored by Jaime Delgado Aparicio, they endorsed for a season the modern recording studio owned by the label at the capital Lima. Songs like Too Late (who even hit the seventh place in the charts in Miami), Viajecito, The Looser and Funky Man made this album an immediate success throughout Peru back in 1971/72.

Black Sugar Rehearsal

The group toured extensively over these years and around 1974 they released a (still successful) second entry at Sono Radio once more. By 1976 the group began to show an inclination towards the disco sound and this led to the departure of vocalist Carlos “Pacho” Mejía and Hermes Landa who was his manager since its beginnings. In addition to this, the curfew imposed by the military regime caused the contracts to begin to decrease substantially, hence this the original members began to abandon the ship.

Muevete, Muevete / La Camita 78 is their latest singles on 7-inch vinyl records by Corona Records, sadly it marks the departure release by the band in 1978-79.

Let’s go to our album:

Rehearsal II

With first-class musicians, superb arrangements and a passionate vocalist, the band owes nothing to the great Latin combos of its generation, in addition to compositions that overcame the question of time, their style is rather unique, with influences from Tower of Power, Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago mixed with a Latin Funk flavor.

In the end, Black Sugar was a world-class Latin funk institution! And you can watch here as the band’s activities have resumed this past decade. Gracias Chicos!

The ‘IM’ highlights are The Looser and When You’re Walking.

Tracks Include:

A1 Too Late
Arranged By: V. Salazar
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

A2 Viajecito
Arranged By: J.D.A. (Jaime Delgado Aparicio)
Written By: J.D.A., M.C. (Miguel “Chino” Figueroa)

A3 The Looser
Arranged By:  M. Figueroa
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía, M. Figueroa

A4 This Time
Arranged By: V. Salazar
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

A5 Funky Man
Arranged By: J.D.A.
Written By: Black Sugar, J.D.A., V. Salazar

B1 Understanding
Arranged By: V. Salazar

B2 When You’re Walking
Arranged By: V. Salazar
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

B3 When I Needed Someone
Arranged By: J.D.A.
Written By: Black Sugar, C. Mejía

B4 Pussy Cat
Arranged By: J.D.A.
Written By: G. Halligan

Musicians

Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Tambourine: Victor “Coco” Salazar
Alto Saxophone, Flute: Jorge Chávez
Bongos, Percussion (Tumbas): Coco Lagos, Miguel Salazar
Electric Bass: Roberto Valdez
Organ, Piano: Miguel “Chino” Figueroa
Percussion: José “Arroz” Cruz
Trumpet, Valve Trombone (Valve Bone): Antonio Ginocchio
Vocals: Carlos Mejía

Credits

Photography: Carlos Aramburú
Recorded By: Luis Temple, Manuel Bellido
Recorded By (Assistant): Willy Castro

Management: H. Landa
Mixed By, Producer: J.D.A.

Notes

Sono Radio ‎– S.E. 9432

Recorded and Mixed for P.M.I. at Industrial Sono Radio S.A. – Lima – Perú – Studio I.

Live, 2019

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