Friday, 8 June 2018

Alameda “Alameda"1979 Spain Symphonic Prog,Andalusian Rock, Flamenco Rock debut album


Alameda “Alameda"1979 Spain Symphonic Prog,Andalusian Rock, Flamenco Rock debut album
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When those from Alameda get into the Audiofilm studios under the guidance of Gonzalo García Pelayo, they have already had a relatively direct track record and the songs they are going to record are pretty trite. That circumstance will help a lot to get a superb debut LP. The comparison with Triana is inevitable. The voice of Pepe Roca and the keyboards of Manolo and Rafael Marinelli are in keeping with the interpretative style of Jesús de la Rosa. 

” Aires de la alameda “, initiated by acodes of piano and keyboards that will give way to a voice full of melismas is one of those defining themes of Andalusian rock in which the rest of the instruments remain in the background. The piano and the synthesizer scratch at a great height in a development full of feeling, of those that reach deep into the listener. 

The second cut is an instrument of the most flamenco, with a rhythm marked by the palms in which the keyboards and the Spanish guitar of the guest Enrique Melchor sound fabulous. Precisely this guitarist will start here a long collaboration with the Sevillian group. In the same coordinates moves "Ojos de triste llanto” with the same musician and with the voice playing tablao in each of the words. 

“ Towards the dawn ” is a concert for two keyboards with all of the law in which the Marinelli give free rein to all their wisdom in the first minutes and then break into a relatively intervention strong voice coplera and again return to the arabesques of the keys well seconded by a low complex and a ductile battery able to pass in an instant from the aggressiveness to the delicacy. 

Flamenco jazz touches on “ A la vera del Jueves ”, the second totally instrumental piece of the LP, with the participation of the guitarist Luis Cobo - Manglis - who at that time was active on the Guadalquivir , to score a solo of many carats. To highlight also the percussion details of Luis Moreno. A theme that contrasts strongly with the remaining six, departing a lot from the path indicated in the previous tracks 

I leave for the end those that can possibly be considered the two most remarkable topics.“Amanecer en el puerto” starts mixing water noises and synth waves. After a melody developed by the watery notes of the keyboard and finally the voice of José Roca who tells us: “ Look out the window that dawns a new day .” A delight over which he plans at the same time the flamenco singing and experimental instrumental discourses of Yes or King Crimsom. Rarely has the Andalusian rock appellation complied so much with the two words that make it up. The other subject to which I referred earlier is the oneiric ballad “ Matices ”, of great formal elegance. A mysterious subject, even obscure, 

“Alameda” (Epic-CBS, 1979) also has lyrics that drink in Andalusian popular poetry that are an inseparable part of the musical development of each song. An LP that brought the namesake group through the big door and sold an unthinkable amount of discs for a work of these characteristics. In the end, the group could never get over this excellent first job…..~


Formed by five sessions musicians (a couple of them, recurrent collaborators for Triana, while keyboardsman Rafael Marinelli assisted Guadalquivir on piano duties), Alameda turned out to be one of the most refined cases of symphonic prog with a strong Flamenco essence. Their own country's musical press hurried at pointing them as a Triana-clone band, but the fact is that the similarities are only partial. Their refinement didn't get them as far as to equal that amazing magic that Mezquita, Cai and Imán provided to the listener through their astonishing albums, that's true; yet, Alameda's music remains a consistent exposure of Flamenco-tinged romanticism and texturial elegance, all of it seasoned with Latin-jazz inspired flavours every now and then. The fact that the two Marinelli brothers were in charge of keyboards (grand and electric pianos, synthesizers and some clavinet) makes the repertoire enhance its melodic aspect, as well as retain an unmistakable sense of exquisiteness. That becomes clear from the opening track: 'Aires de la Alameda' is a flow of pure musical magic focused on the orchestrations, harmonic leads and layers created on the dual keyboards' input. It's a pity that the fade-out comes too soon: its 4:20 duration feels really too short, especially when you come to realize that guitarist-lead singer José Roca has the most beautiful voice of Flamenco-based prog. It's really true that a well performed and genuinely emotional singing makes the mastery of language a trivial issue: you don't need to speak Spanish to feel touched by the song's structural emotion. The same goes for the album's summit track, 'Amanecer en el Puerto'. This is perhaps the band's most emblematic song in their whole career. Starting with a sonic portrait of a deck (including sound effects of water flowing and seagulls softly screaming) in a subtly mysterious way, the mood changes for the main section, a beautiful celebration for a new era (perhaps the advent of democracy in Spain? I don't know). The continuing piano washes perfectly complement the synthesizers' harmonies and leads, while the rhythm section sustains the overall sound with accurate precision. The most intense side of Alameda is shown in those numbers instilled with obvious Latin-jazz references: those are 'Hacia el Alba', 'Matices' (a great closure) and the instrumental 'A La Veradel 'Jueves'' (featuring "Manglis" from Guadalquivir as a guest lead guitarist). It seems as if the romantic side of Roca's musical ideas were as strong as to lead the band through the path of melancholy, so the adequate counterpart had to come from a more essentially joyful musical source - and joy is what Latin-jazz is mainly al about. These aforementioned tracks are the ones in which the musician's technical abilities become more obvious, since the ambience is set to demand a more thorough use of colorfulness in the instrumentation. There is another instrumental in this album: track 2 'La Pila del Patio' is sheer Flamenco-fusion (hand clapping included), something that might have appeared in any Guadalquivir album with a different instrumentation. Track 3 is really moving, and the only song based on a Flamenco guitar duet [leads played by guest Enrique Melchor], with a subdued keyboard role. The lyrics, passionately and hauntingly sung by Roca, portray an overwhelming oath of loving care and devotion. This is the closest that Alameda gets to traditional standardized Flamenco: a breeze of simplicity among a forest of tastefully adorned stylization. In conclusion: Alameda's debut album, while not genius, is well structured, full of attractive melodic ideas and skillful performances. [I dedicate this review to the memory of Manuel Marinelli].....by Cesar Inca .....~


Alameda were part of the 70's Andalusian Rock movement in Spain.They came from Sevilla and were led by Marinelli brothers, keyboardists Rafael and Manuel, along with guitarist/singer Jose Roca (Jose and Rafael played formerly with Tartessos), bassist Manuel Rosa and drummer Luis Moreno.With a demo out in 1978 they searched for a contract, eventually signing with CBS and releasing their self-titled debut in 1979 (under the Epic Records name). 
Their sound was no more or less than romantic Andalusian Rock with Latin Jazz/Fusion influences, based on pleasant vocal harmonies and the dual keyboard work of Marinelli brothers.The tracks are characterized by Flamenco-flavored pleasant melodies, led by the pianos and the flamenco guitars of Rosa, partially mixed with the strong moog synthesizers and supported by a tight rhythm section.There is a very calm and positive atmosphere throughout the album, lacking the intensity of TRIANA, though their sound is fairly comparable.As the album unfolds the tracks obtain an evident Fusion edge with good interplays, strong synth work and an uptempo rhythm section, filled with some nice solos.The instrumental parts are decent, well- executed and performed, but the compositions lack a real depth to say the least. 
''Alameda'' belongs among the good albums of the movement, energetic, fast-paced and rhythmic Andalsusian Fusion/Rock with decent individual performances and fine vocals, despite lacking a monster track.Recommended.....by apps79 ....~



They were considered, and disapproved for it, as children of Triana (the group, not the Sevillian neighborhood), but Alameda were completely authorized: Pepe Roca (guitar and vocalist) and Manuel Marinelli (keyboards), took root in the historical Tartessos. While the bassist Manuel Rosa, until the release of this first album by Alameda, was the fixed support of the golden trio of Andalusian rock (Triana, for those who have not caught it). 

Alameda followed the dictates of what already in 1979, date of original edition of this premiere, was a movement: the Andalusian rock. And precisely the great ideologue of the movement, Gonzalo García Pelayo, also producer of the first three albums of Triana, took charge of the production (signed as "Producciones ZA"). And Alameda, of the most orthodox, fell in the comparison, mainly because they shared city and querencia by that certain solemnity that dyed great part of the triana work. But Alameda was not a second table, nor B series, at all, it was a band that in its day even reached great sales. And they are widely claimed today, because their sound remains fresh, original. 

The album starts with the sober "Aires de la alameda", which serves as a guide for the sound of the group: songs on rock bases (electric guitar, bass and drums, the latter played by Luis Moreno, who had been a member of Los Payos, previous group of Eduardo Rodríguez Rodway, guitarist of Triana) and the addition of a synthesizer plus a piano (both by the Marinelli brothers, Manuel and Rafael), with an aflamenced pinch in the very personal voice of Pepe Roca. All this with a certain sadness or nostalgia component, such as creating a closed climate but really beautiful and certainly intoxicating in its final invoice.
But where Alameda most freed his hair was in the instrumental, with those who could investigate between elaborate developments and solos, but approaching in many moments to jazz rock, which distanced them, against the topic, completely from Triana's proposal, more symphonic and progressive. Take for example 'La pila del patio', beautiful fantasy flamenco with palms, joy (in contrast to the songs sung, more imbued with longing), in a formidable exercise with the instruments in constant dialogue, without the words being necessary to capture to the listener.
In the middle are cuts like ‘Hacia el alba’, which evolves from a jubilant instrumental throughout its first part, walking towards jazz rock, highlighting a funky bass and a playful and chatty synth that pursues it: surprise above after three minutes , when we realize that we are facing a song when the voice enters. They also show the flamenco rajo - Spanish guitar in the foreground - that Andalusian rock could express in the intense 'Ojos de triste llanto', with much more rennet than many of the productions of the genre, always with that sadness of Alameda ("Si I could change your sadness for my singing, "intones Roca deeply. The melancholic feeling also guides 'Dawn in the harbor', again marked by the deep voice of Pepe Roca, intense, who lifts the song and drags it.
'On the verge of Thursday' is another fascinating exercise in jazz rock with the piano assuming the leading role, approaching in some passages what Felipe Campuzano would do more "serious" or, in another dimension and years later, Dorantes. For its part, the brutal 'Matices', with the typical long development of Alameda, is one of those songs with the label of the group in which it matters little what is sung, because the voice works as one more instrument. 

Alameda continued recording regularly until 1983, then they disappeared, they returned in 1992 (they recorded in 94 and 95), they broke up again to reappear for the last time in 2008 (the album "Calle arriba"), only with Pepe Roca and Rafael Marinelli of the founding components......by....JUAN PUCHADES.....~ 



Credits 
Bass – Manuel Rosa* 
Drums – Luis Moreno (3) 
Engineer – Antonio Morales (2) 
Guitar [Guitarras], Vocals – Jose Roca* 
Keyboards – Manuel Marinelli*, Rafael Marinelli 
Photography By, Design – Máximo Moreno 
Producer – Za (6)




Tracklist 
A1 Aires De La Alameda 4:20 
A2 La Pila Del Pato 2:33 
A3 Ojos De Triste Llanto 4:11 
A4 Hacia El Alba 5:40 
B1 Amanecer En El Puerto 6:36 
B2 A La Vera Del "Jueves" 4:10 
B3 Matices 6:19

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