Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ana y Jaime - Es Largo El Camino (1968)

"Colombian youngsters Ana y Jaime were only 15 and 17 years old when recording most of the songs on this CD, in the very late sixties. You won't believe that when you hear the music. There's something for any '60s lover here -- the psychedelic fuzz dancer 'Es largo el camino,' the protest folk of 'Dire a mi gente' or 'Ricardo Semillas,' orchestrated '60s pop on 'Este viento,' some cool organ-drenched '60s pop, more dirty fuzz on 'Nina Nana' and 'Jerusalem' -- all in all a surprising and refreshing '60s nugget from South America which we're sure you will enjoy."

El Disco El Cultura Records has changed my life with this gem-encrusted reissue of Colombian brother-sister duo, Ana y Jaime (González), although I'm still struggling to accept the fact that the precocious siblings were only 15 and 17 years old when they started recording the album. The record is full of sophisticated messages and intricate arrangements. It quenches a wide range of thirsts, from pop-inspired folk-rock, like "Hombre Formal," to satisfying harmonies meshing with a circus of reeling organ sounds. Throughout, fuzzy, echoed vocals hover over traditional Latin American rhythms. And haven't you always wondered what a cumbia-inspired song would sound like on a Rhodes?

Sung all in Spanish, Ana y Jaime are equally triumphant in the lyrical department, whether it's an ardent folk song pleading a political protest or a psychedelic rock song that offers the wisdom of an old man; and Ana really gets me with her gentle crooning of "gente, gente" when she and her brother interpret Manuel Larroche's "Café y Petróleo," a song about Columbia and Venezuela's similar economical situations in the 1960s. Plus, I am only further baffled by the speed at which they sing in unison on "Nina Nana." And after listening to Es Largo el Camino several times, I must qualify Ana y Jaime's title: the road may be long, but it doesn't seem so tough while this record's around.

Carrie Pierce, Other Music, NYC

1. Cafe y Petroleo (3:05)
2. Dire a Mi Gente (2:10)
3. Es Largo El Camino (2:15)
4. A Desalambrar (3:01)
5. A Veces Quisiera Ser Ciego (2:53)
6. Nina Nana (3:21)
7. Jerusalem (3:02)
8. Este Viento (3:24)
9. Hombre Formal (3:20)
10. Dispersos (2:24)
11. A Las Seis (Cuantos Momentos) (3:43)
12. Dale Tu Mano Al Indio (2:34)
13. Ricardo Semillas (3:28)

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