Exposé Online banner

Banda Elástica — Aquí, Allá y Acullá
(Azafrán Media CDLN-50, 2008/2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-10-28

Aquí, Allá y Acullá Cover art

It’s always good to hear something new, or even old as it may be, from this long running Mexican band who got their start in the early 80s, and were last heard from on their 2003 release Ai Tencargo. This is in fact a 30th anniversary archival live collection featuring excerpts of performances spanning from 1994 through 2008. For those unfamiliar, their sound has evolved over the years from a more composed jazz-rock eventually encompassing more elements of improvisation, eschewing what might be considered fusion in favor of more acoustic sound with ethnic coloration and, due to the strong presence of mallet percussion (mostly marimba), a perceived influence of Frank Zappa might be detected in their grooves. When in improvisational mode, some influence from Henry Cow and other RIO ensembles can be detected as well. Membership has varied over the years, usually numbering six or seven, including bass, drums, guitar, usually two woodwind players (flute and saxes), one or two marimbas, and additional percussion. This set begins with a six song set from 1994 at the Knitting Factory in NYC, in more composed mode similar to what might be heard on the band’s studio albums from that period, Los Awakates de Nepantla and Maquizocoatl. This leads into an improvisation recorded at a festival in Trondheim in 2006, followed by a shorter piece, “Fierabras,” that starts out composed but quickly morphs into a wild blowing session, then finds its way back after a mere four minutes. The remainder of the disc features three improvisations with various guests players, not unlike the material on the band's 1997 album Catalogo de Tiradores; the first is a leaner five-piece Banda Elástica with guest sax player David Barret from 1999; the second, from 2006 features a six-piece BE with guest Alejandro Sanchez on violin. The third improvisation from 2008 is by far the most intense and engaging of the three, featuring the same six-piece with second drummer Chris Cutler guesting, the dual drum solo being one of the high points of the entire disc. All taken, this set is an outstanding cross-section of the band’s live persona through the years.


Filed under: Archives, 2013 releases, 2008 recordings

Related artist(s): Chris Cutler, Banda Elástica

Latest news

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nurse with Wound - She and Me Fall Together in Free Death – Beta-lactam Ring Records seems to revel in obscurity. Most of their product is released only on LP in limited pressings, they come with minimal credits, the discs themselves have lovely graphics in...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues