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

El Alamo – Malos Pensamientos (1971)

el alamo cópiaThe music of Peru is an amalgamation of sounds and styles drawing on Peru‘s Andean, Spanish, and African roots. Andean influences can be best heard in wind instruments and the shape of the melodies, while the African side can be noticed in the rhythm and percussion instruments, and European tinges are watched in the harmonies and stringed instruments. Pre-Columbian Andean music was played on drums and wind instruments, not unlike the European pipe and tabor tradition.

Andean tritonic and pentatonic scales were elaborated during the colonial period into hexatonic, and in some cases, diatonic scales. (!)

Folklore
Folklore

Let’s go to our artist:

The group was formed in Magdalena, rehearsing all along the year of 1970. Consisted of Luis Iturry on vocals and rhythm guitar, Tino Pow-Sang solo guitar, Ricardo Allison on drums and Arturo Montenegro on bass, their first tests were conducted at Luis Iturri’s family home in Magdalena. In the beginning, they did progressive rock, expanding through psychedelic rock, hippie Latin styles such as Jefferson Airplane and Santana. In April 1971, officially calling El Alamo they played with PAX and other bands in different parts of Lince, Magdalena, Pueblo Libre, and Jesús Maria.

Album Photos
Album Photos

In December 1971 they recorded their debut LP entitled Malos Pensamientos, the whole recording took it to place in just one day! That very day also had the support of Peruvian musician Aníbal López in congas and timbales. The art photo on the cover was made by Estanislao Ruiz, director of the legendary Rock magazine. Many of their songs had a lot of publicity in radios like Radio Miraflores, though the military dictatorship used to ban summarily (sic) all rock groups from that era. (!)

Thus, the band had to present yourself only in small venues such as El Embassy or La Fontana; right after a solo 45 RPM the band broke up in 1972, with all its members except for ‘El Chino’ Pow-Sang, retired from music, leaving a harmoniously Latin psychedelic print, being one of the many forgotten gems of Inca Rock scene.

Santana, Live At Woodstock, 1969
Santana, Live At Woodstock, 1969

Let’s go to our album:

Peru’s rock scene is really surprising, owing nothing to their close brothers such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile, acts such as Traffic Sound, Laghonia, Gerardo Manuel, Black Sugar, Pax, El Polen, We All Together, amongst (many) others grew domestic success in the 70’s and are continually being rediscovered in this century by Western audiences. With a sweet Latin rhythm, lots of fuzz and a melodic feeling, there’s a resemblance to the Telegraph Avenue entry, ready to fall in love?!

There are some live videos from nowadays presentations, but I couldn’t find more info, anyhow, it’s good to see Tino Pow-Sang rocking with these new guys, check it out!

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Pusher Men and Malos Pensamientos.

Jauku Ceļojumu!

Tracks Include:

A1 Candy

A2 Can You See Me

A3 Pusher Men

A4 Good Night

A5 Sweet My Woman

B1 Listen to Me

B2 I Cry

B3 Borgoña

B4 Malos Pensamientos

Credits

  • Bass: Arturo Montenegro
  • Drums: Ricardo Allison
  • Guitar (1ra): Tino Pow-Sang
  • Guitar (2da): Luis Iturri
  • Organ: Jaime Salinas
  • Percussion (Gran Tumbador Peruano): Anibal López
  • Photography: Lorenzo Figueroa
  • Design (Desiños): E. Ruiz Floriano
  • Coordinator: Luis Rivera B.
  • Engineer: Jorge Avalos Vera
  • Producer: José Sardón, Victor Paz

Decibel ‎– LPD-1143

Alamo, 1960 Film
Alamo, 1960 Film

Yma Sumac – Voice of the Xtabay (1950)

cover

Peru. The Andes is the longest continental mountain range in the world. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, about 200 km (120 mi) to 700 km (430 mi) wide, and of an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated by intermediate depressions. The Andes is the location of several high plateaux – some of which host major cities such as Quito, Bogotá, Arequipa, Medellín, Sucre, and La Paz. The Altiplano plateau is the world’s second-highest following the Tibetan plateau.

Peruvian Andes
Peruvian Andes

Many years before Les Baxter set off his brilliant career as a composer and arranger with the cornerstone exotica album Ritual of the Savage, formerly Martin Denny establish commercially the genre in 1957 peaking a #1 position on the Billboard charts two years later, or even afore Hawaii emancipate itself as the 50th state in the U.S. along with the tiki culture fever, deep in the Peruvian Amazon forest, there was a girl supposed to be an heiress from the ancient Incas, who molded his voice within the jungle fauna. This unrealistic story could be a lie, but it is not.

A supernatural coloratura that showed to the world the original indigenous traditions, its music, customs, and beauty. Thanks to this Peruvian songbird post-war America enjoyed as never the musical impressions from distant regions and unknown places, later sold as mythical Shangri-las or stereotype South-American jungles.

Machu Pichu Overview
Machu Pichu Overview

The girl, was Yma Sumac certainly the grandiose female voice of the twentieth century, owner of a vocal range of 4 and a half octaves! Today’s post will begin the search for that which has already been heralded as the revelation of all time, admired by Sinatra, Dietrich, Elizabeth II, and many others, the diva throughout its career has gone from folklore chants for the opera, mambo, jazz and even rock.

She also starred in two Paramount films, Secret of the Incas (54) and Omar Khayyam (57), worked on Broadway, even got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and literally toured across the world in more than 500 shows over 20 years of hight activity. On Capitol Records, she sold more than 4 million albums through the 50s and early 60s! These achievements should never be forgotten, Yma’s strong personality and endowed voice will always remain. (RIP)

Yma Sumac, 1954
Yma Sumac, 1954

Let’s go to our history:

Born in the high mountains of Ichocan, Peru, Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo (13 September 1922 – 1 November 2008), had dreams of being a great singer since his childhood. However, such a dream was deemed almost impossible in Peru and especially for a proper lady. But the girl was unstoppable, around the age of 9 she could often be seen high atop a mountain in the High Andes singing ancient Peruvian folkloric songs, to a group of rocks, which she pretended was her audience. Entranced by the beautiful birds that sang nearby, she began to imitate them, by incorporating their high pitched sounds into her repertoire. (!)

Her voice matured by age 13, a year before Yma’s arrival in Lima, Moisés Vivanco, musician, composer, and director of the Peruvian National Board of Broadcasting had formed the Compañia Peruana de Arte, a group of Indian dancers, singers and musicians. On hearing the young girl sing, he invited her to join his company, but her mother would not consent. Yma, however, was interested, on the pretext of attending night classes, she rehearsed regularly with the Compañia and with them made her radio debut early in 1942, appearing there in over Radio Belgrano, Argentina.

Traditional Costume
Traditional Costume

Vivanco and Miss Sumac were married on June 6, 1942, in a civil ceremony in the city of Arequipa, at the foot of El Misti, famed Andean peak. After the wedding, the troupe played in theatres, night clubs, concert halls, and over radio networks in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City. Soon enough South America was quite enchanted with this amazing voice, in 1943, she would record around 16 songs in Argentina. Seeking bigger dreams they arrived in New York on January 1946, the company reduced to three members, Moisés, Yma, and her cousin Cholita Rivero, and sought engagements as the Inca Taky Trio.

From 1946 to 1949 they played in many clubs, but Americans were not prepared or particularly interested in the music, finding it a bit bizarre, but many were enchanted with Yma’s lovely face and voice. One night in a small New York club, a talent scout from Capitol Records was present. The man apparently saw great potential in this young lady, he immediately signed them to Capitol, a major American record label.

Moises Vivanco & Yma Sumac
Moises Vivanco & Yma Sumac

However, changes would have to be made. Imma Sumack would be changed once again, to Yma Sumac a more glamorous spelling. The focus would be on Yma, and Vivanco would be the man behind the Diva. The simple twangy traditional Peruvian accompaniment would have to be incorporated into large and lush orchestral versions if it were to take on Universal appeal. Now in her mid 20’s Sumac’s voice had reached its unparalleled peak, and her beauty intoxicating. Voice of the Xtabay was recorded in 1950 and sold over 100,000 copies without major publicity. (!)

After a massively successful concert at the Hollywood Bowl that same year, Yma Sumac would become world-famous, traveling the globe and being a vocal phenomenon. She toured and recorded 7 albums for the entire decade of the ’50s, had worldwide fan clubs and was eventually declared the 8th wonder of the world! In 1961 she went to make two weeks of concerts in Russia, there, the demand for her was so great that she stayed in staggering for 6 months. By tours end, she and husband Moises Vivanco were more than ready for (their second and final) divorce.

Life Magazine, 50s
Life Magazine, the 50s

In the early 1970s with the encouragement of a few fans, Yma Sumac recorded a complete album of psychedelic music, titled Miracles. Her now-infamous temperament dominated the entire project and the album was quickly pulled from record stores everywhere, once complications arose. The original story from this fabulous Lp will be held here soon. The millennium brought a handful of surprise personal appearances, which resulted in Yma Sumac being awarded the Orden Del Sol of Peru in May of 2006, she traveled to accept the honor in person and stayed two weeks.

Let’s go to our album:

I’m very proud to introduce this kind of music, besides all rock, the folklore and world traditions will always be welcomed here! Our today’s album is Yma Sumac’s first and most popular release, and also one of her least hokey or pop-oriented. The spectacular cinematic arrangements composed, arranged and conducted by Les Baxter leads us to many different colorful landscapes, always accompanied by Yma’s frightful performance; the fuzz about his vocal range is ample but I’m not an aficionado in high notes, his technique in lower regions are incredible even for a contralto singer.

Life Magazine, 50s
Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo

Our history with an artist like her is just starting, I’m sure everyone will enjoy the many releases of the Inca empress. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Virgin of the Sun God (Taita Inty), probably the greatest arrangement from the album, a slow-paced percussion invites to the wonders of some faraway place, with lush strings and Yma’s vocal outbursts, an instant classic. And Tumpa (Earthquake), this folklore chant has a short clip in-film on Secret of The Incas, Yma’s shrieks are really incredible, be welcomed to this ancient Latin American treasury and ಉತ್ತಮ ಪ್ರವಾಸ!

Tracks Include:

A1 Virgin of the Sun God (Taita Inty)

A2 Lure of the Unknown Love (Xtabay)

B1 High Andes! (Ataypura!)

B2 Monkeys (Monos)

C1 Chant of the Chosen Maidens (Accla Taqui)

C2 Dance of the Winds (Wayra)

D1 Earthquake! (Tumpa!)

D2 Dance of the Moon Festival (Choladas)

78 rpm album

Capitol Records, Monophonic – 1950 United States

Capitol (1950 and 1952 releases), track position may vary.

All songs by Moises Vivanco, except:

A2 John Rose / Leslie Baxter and C1 Moises Vivanco / Leslie Baxter

Credits

  • Conductor, Arranged by, Composed by (Additional Music): Leslie Baxter
  • Music by (Inca Music), Lyrics by Moises Vivanco
  • Photography: Tom Kelly

Recorded in February 1950

Originally released as a 78 set and 7″ boxed set

Lima's Shore
Lima’s Shore

Telegraph Avenue – Telegraph Avenue (1971)

capa cópia

Presently, there is a great demand and worldwide interest on foreign Latin-rock releases, these obscure gems, made with crude recording equipment, amateur techniques, and with pressings done, most of the time were on recycled vinyl.

The Peruvian Rock music scene (Inca Rock), initially was basically influenced by Rockabilly and later on by the tidal waves created by Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Peruvians groups played in the musical styles of Elvis, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, throughout the ’50s and early ’60s. Later on, the mid-sixties saw the influence of Surf, Go-Go, The Beatles and some of the first Mersey Sound groups inspired the new generation of rock musicians. During the unrest cauldron that Latin America was, over the period, the country would face two subsequent military coups and its losses.

The first, led by Juan Velasco Alvarado in 1968, self-proclaimed the Armed Forces Revolution, tried and managed to overthrow the aristocratic republic with nationalist and anti-imperialist ethos. Infamous actions as the confiscation and prohibition of rock music through the national broadcasting services, the increased price for importing sound equipments and instruments and its pinnacle on the cancellation of Santana’s concert, in 1971, who was already at the Airport, in Lima; the government alleged the possession of marijuana by its band members and the fear of crescent youth riots, merged with a discourse of alienation music and maintained order. (!)

1968 Coup d'État
1968 Coup d’État

The imminent economic fiasco, made the military junta exchange its key figure, thus, Francisco Morales Bermúdez inaugurated the second phase government in early 1975. With more conservative guidance, opening Peru to foreign capital and multinationals, the Inca inheritors would only saw a new constitution in 1979 and their first elections after thirty years in 1980.

By the end of the decade, the psychedelic scene and its bands changed to the ‘new’ Progressive, Punk Rock and Heavy Metal aesthetics.

Let’s go to their history:

Peru. The year of 1969 saw the development of the most interesting era from the Lima musical scene, groups like Laghonia, Traffic Sound, Black Sugar, Pax, El Alamo, Gerardo Manuel & El Humo, Tarkus and Telegraph Avenue popped through a context of repression, poor technical conditions and radio boycotts. Peruvian rock only stands behind by Brazilian and Argentine scenes, with beautiful melodic textures and balanced blends of folklore and western influences!

Special note by the legendary Mag label, they recorded 80% of the material from all these bands and certainly deserves a dedicated post.

Album Insert
Album Insert

In the mid-’70s, Telegraph Avenue was formed after the lead guitarist Bo Ichikawa returned to Peru, after having stayed half a year in San Francisco, he had been exposed to the vivid local hippie rock culture. The crazy chain of events from the ’60s and ’70s had made Telegraph (a real avenue), as well as Berkeley, a symbol of the Counterculture of an era, attracting a diverse audience of visitors, including college students, tourists, artists, street punks, eccentrics, and homeless.

There are some brilliant photos from that era by Nacio Jan Brown and Joe Samberg, for you to understand the outlook of an epoch, check it!

On its return, he assembled all kinds of American influences, in a very powerful way, with English lyrics, and unlike ideas for the main arrangements. The band was finally formed with Bo Ichikawa and Chachi Luján on the guitars, Alex Nathanson on bass, and Walo Carrillo on drums and percussion; the only four-piece band that included melodic vocals and a mixture of psychedelic rock with Latin rhythms. An interesting fact is the multi-instrumental ability of all its members, too.

Telegraph Avenue
Telegraph Avenue

Later, the band would see a two-year hiatus after their first release, with Carrillo and Nathanson forming Tarkus on 1972. Then, the group reunited for its second and final release Telegraph Avenue Vol. 2 in late 74′ early 75′, shortly after, they were disbanded and the album became one of the lasts from the Peruvian psychedelic scene, much persecuted by the military dictatorship (sic).

Nevertheless, since 2008 the band gather together once again, much influenced by the rediscovered and re-press of their first album. As if not enough, they also released a third Lp with inedited material on 2011, called Telegraph Avenue III!

Let’s go to our record:

Before publishing its first album, the group was known from playing at parties in Pueblo Libre, the majority of these being graduation parties. There were also appearances at celebrations for the Club de Leones, Club Yugoslavo, Club Hebraica, and the Galaxy Discotheque, including a time were Telegraph Avenue played in the interior of an empty swimming pool! One of the most exciting concerts was at the University of Lima in November of 1970, the group was asked to play every weekend, and had bookings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday almost all year round.

Live
Live

In June 1971, the band published their first self-titled Lp, which contained eight songs, it reached great sales during that year, and was well recognized throughout Peru. With more than 50 performances, they decided to take a break at the year’s end.

With styles very varied, ranging from Californian feelings, soul, blues, and sixties flavored rock styles, the psychedelic element is rather unique and can only be heard in other Peruvian acts, such as Black Sugar. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Happy, an ultimate ballad that makes me long for a time that I didn’t live, with heavenly guitars, tuned chorus, and sweet naïve lyrics. An instant hit! And Let Me Start, a hard punch one with colorful fuzz, swinging bassline and nice uptempo mood. If on one hand, the band doesn’t have much-engaged lyrics, the harmonic parts are over the psych average, don’t miss this Inca Rock memento. Yaxşı Səyahət!

Telegraph Dreamers, 1972
Telegraph Dreamers, 1972

Tracks Include:

A1 Something Going

A2 Happy

A3 Sweet Whatever

A4 Lauralie

B1 Sungaligali

B2 Let Me Start

B3 Sometimes In Winter

B4 Telegraph Avenue

Companies

  • Recorded At – Estudios Mag

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar, Percussion (Gemelas), Congas (Tumbas), Vocals – Chachi Luján
  • Acoustic Guitar, Clavichord, Bass, Alto Vocals – Alex Nathanson
  • Maracas, Tambourine (Pandereta), Percussion, Drums, Vocals – Walo Carrillo
  • Xylophone, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Guitar (1a), Vocals – Bo Ichikawa
  • Written By – Nathanson (tracks: A1, A3, A4), Ichikawa (tracks: A2, B1 to B4), Luján (tracks: A2, B1 to B3), Carrillo (tracks: A3)

Notes

Grabación: Hecha en Los Estudios Mag de Lima, Perú en 8 Canales.

  • Design (Diseño) – Ichikawa, Carrillo
  • Design (Diseño), Photography By – Mario Acha

Gracias Joe.

Mag LPN-2404

Today
Today