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7 May 2017

Alfonso Lovo ‎“La Gigantona” 1976 Nicaragua Psych Funky Latin jazz Fusion released in 2012












Alfonso Lovo ‎ “La Gigantona” 1976 Nicaragua Psych Funky Latin jazz Fusion released in 2012…recommended..!
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Unreleased 70’s Psychedelic Latin jazz and funk album by Nicaraguan guitarist Alfonso Lovo, has heavy early Santana influences. ‘Firebird Feathers’ is a killer percussive uptempo groove.The Brassy funky ‘Sinfonia Del Espacio En Do Menor’ has some wicked sax playing whilst ‘Tropical Jazz’ is the most accessible funky latin groover..............

a psychedelic swirl of latin jazz & pan-american funk made with the guitarist's musical partner, percussionist jose 'chepito' areas of santana fame...........

Nicaraguan singer-guitarist Lovo recorded this masterpiece in 1976, and somehow it never got officially released, despite being THE absolute acme, ultimate, most-high peak of Latin psych-groove stoniness I've ever heard! This is where Santana, Malo and the Latin Playboys are trying to go, but it's on a higher plane that any of those cats have ever achieved (in my humble opinion). Every tune is a moody, soulful electric groove that somehow mutates into 10 minutes of percussion, spacey synth noodling and King Tubby-worthy echo games. The whole thing is a gorgeous mind journey as heavy as any cosmic '70s slop from Funkadelic to Lee "Scratch" Perry to Can to Zappa. Read the booklet too for his action-packed life story, from getting shot in a hijacking attempt to organizing rock festivals to running a seafood biz in Miami. All hail the Numero Group as always!........................

“From Chicago with Lovo !! A años de su lamzamiento esta pegando. The Numero Group gang has unearthed yet another storied gem and pressed it up for the waiting masses, this time from Alfonso Lovo. La Gigantona is a thrilling mixture of psychedelic acid Latin Jazz, Nicaraguan-style classic Spanish Guitar and percussion filled Funk. Thanks to the deep digging abilities of the Numero Group, this amazing record finally sees the light of day. La Gigantona is gentle and heartfelt with pepperings of splendid and inspired guitar work and hard hitting and breathtakingly ecstatic body moving Funk Jazz pieces that take their time, stretch out and explore the groove. Reminiscent of Miles Davis' "On The Corner", Eddie Palmieri's "Harlem River Drive" project with a distinctly Latin vibe enhancement and of course early era-Santana, "La Gigantona" is lost treasure that warrants many a repeated listen just to catch up on this long forgotten mystery album of soul saving rhapsody. Mega Recommended.”....— Numero Group, Wordpress................

The son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician, Alfonso Noel Lovo was an obvious target when Sandinista rebels hijacked a Managua-bound flight from Miami in December of 1971, ultimately putting several rounds through the talented musician’s torso and hand. After several years, and as many surgeries, he would break ground on this psychedelic pastiche of Latin jazz and pan-American funk, recorded in his nation’s capital in 1976. The binary stars of the sessions would be the agile Lovo and percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas, whose timbale work can be heard on watershed records by Carlos Santana, including the Latin-rock milestone, “Oye Como Va.” Lovo’s unreleased masterpiece, combining the talents of Nicaragua’s most notorious players, recalls at once the spiritual funkiness of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi, the studio trickology of Lee “Scratch” Perry, and the dense propulsion of Billy Cobham’s Spectrum. Fusion begets confusion, as hand-plucked guitar melodies tumble into synthesizer meltdowns with wasted grace. More experimental than Jamaica’s heaviest dub plate, La Gigantona lays in a groove that is, at times, as deep in the pocket as it is in the clouds.............

Alfonso Lovo is an obscure Nicaraguan-born guitarist of yesteryear whose now extant corpus consists of Latin jazz flavored with a healthy dose of psychedelia. As is documented in The Numero Group�s CD reissue of his hitherto all but lost 1976 opus La Gigantona, Lovo�s life and his tenure as a hobbyist musician with professional talent have both been affected in ways large and small by the political turmoil his native country has seen in his lifetime. The son of a well-to-do member of Nicaragua�s political elite, a 20-year-old Lovo was shot by dissidents who had hijacked an airplane on which he was a passenger. Lovo eventually attended college at the Georgia Institute of Technology and, later, when the Sandanistas took power in Nicaragua, Lovo settled in the United States. A few clever Reagan-era conservatives attempted to co-opt Lovo�s sometimes political music as propaganda for their foreign policy agenda, but had it not been for The Numero Group�s hand, La Gigantona would have remained the musical addendum to a bit of marginal (if fascinating) history.

Fortunately, that counterfactual state of affairs was not to be, and the unbridled experimental energy of La Gigantona is now available for fans of virtuosic guitar, Latin jazz and psychedelic rock to appreciate in equal measure. Though its effects-heavy instrumental tracks swirl about and cross one another in single songs, making for sparks both dazzling and dizzying, the genre-hopping sound of Lovo and his crew is remarkably coherent. Swaggering atop bass heavy grooves of funk and jazz, Lovo, timbales drummer Jose �Chepito� Areas, and their fellow players perform an almost exclusively instrumental set that showcases both their chops and their ability to keep their densely interwoven solos from becoming self-indulgent parts that betray the whole. That�s no small accomplishment, given the many strands that run through La Gigantona.

The album�s less adventurous, more familiar sounding material is compelling in its own right. Opener �Nueva Segovia,� for instance, begins with sensual arpeggio strums and builds to what sounds like a fury of wristwork on the nylon strings of a Spanish guitar. On the other hand, while the memorable horn loops out in front of the Latin keyboard on �Los Conquistadores� could have been plucked from any of a host of canonical salsa recordings from the late 1960s or early �70s, such cuts would have been pioneering syntheses in their day, and remain arresting in ours.

Still, it�s the stranger moments that give La Gigantona its distinctive color and charm. Topping eight minutes, �La Bomba de Neutr�n� begins with a deep, sultry groove of the kind Serge Gainsbourg mastered. Then, about two minutes in, it conjures Sun Ra by taking on board the echoed voiceover of what sounds like a traveller from outer space. Similarly entertaining is the nearly 10-minute excursion, �Sinfon�a del Espacio en Do Menor,� which lays more extraterrestrial effects onto searing solos for trumpet, clarinet and a host of other instruments. Numbers such as these make La Gigantona another special release from a reissue label that has long made them a habit........By Benjamin Ewing............

The latest reissue by the Numero Group label extends their marvellous run of left field, Latin-oriented releases that cover subcultures from Chicago to Belize to, in this case, Nicaragua. Amidst this label's resurrection of scratchy 45s are a number of basement tape-oriented releases, and this one qualifies. Lovo was the son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician in the '70s and clearly had money and/or studio time available to him to create this obsessive, Santana-esque cosmic journey. Aided by Santana's percussionist (and fellow Nicaraguan) Jose "Chepito" Arias, the sound is superior, free-floating Latin rock. After a classical guitar opening that nods to Andres Segovia, "La Bomba de Neutron" starts with Lovo's mediocre voice leading into a meditation on tape delay and Fender Rhodes noodling. It's no wonder Herbie Hancock is invoked in the liner notes, as this free-floating, dubwise groove taps successfully into the universal fusion vibe that he and other Miles Davis alumni were positing at the time. In comparison, La Gigantona holds up well, with particular highlights being the psych, synth-y "Sinfonia de Espacio en Do Menor" and the heavily phased funk of "Firebird Feathers." ...........By David Dacks.............

Tracklist
A1 Nueva Segovia
A2 La Bomba De Neutrón
A3 Tropical Jazz
A4 Los Conquistadores
B1 Sinfonía Del Espacio En Do Menor
B2 La Gigantona
B3 Firebird Feathers
B4 Río San Jaun Drums

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