Exposé Online banner

Chocolate — Peru's Master Percussionist (Perspectives on Afro​-​Peruvian Music. The Collection)
(Buh Records BR106, 1990/2019, CD / LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-09-16

Peru's Master Percussionist (Perspectives on Afro​-​Peruvian Music. The Collection)  Cover art

The full title includes the subtitle (Perspectives on Afro-Peruvian Music. The Collection), and was originally released on the New York-based label Lyrichord way back when it was recorded in 1991. Julio "Chocolate" Algendones was one of the essential percussionists in the tradition of Afro-Peruvian music, and recorded this set in Las Vegas at the same time his band Perujazz was there touring. A bit of history: African slaves were brought to the Spanish colony of Peru in the 1500s to work the gold and silver mines high in the Andes. Their bodies were not well suited to survive in such high altitudes and they died by the hundreds. Their Spanish or Criollo (born in Peru of Spanish decent) masters sent them down to lower elevations to work in the large private farms, in the milder climate of the desert coast. There, in small adobe huts, on the packed dirt floors of the courtyards overrun with animals and in the fields of cotton and sugarcane that Afro-Peruvian music, song, and dance were born and flourished. The first side of the LP (it’s available on CD also) opens with “Un Niño en Tiempo,” an introductory piece which is played solo on cajon (an instrument thought to have originated in Peru, although Cubans also claim it originated there) and over the course of almost four minutes Chocolate explores the instrument’s many voices. Following on, the fourteen minute-plus “Conga Forte, Rico Cajon” is what the title sounds like – another solo piece, this time involving both congas and cajon; if this piece is not overdubbed, it truly displays the amazing magnitude of Chocolate’s percussive prowess, and either way illustrates his creative skill and compositional savvy, offering what amounts to a hypnotic trance-inducing meditation. Side B opens with the fifteen minute “Añi-Añi Manola,” a powerful seemingly African ceremonial piece where Chocolate plays congas and seeds, and two other musicians join: Manola on congas, and Makelah on kalimba, the latter coming in around the halfway mark, truly changing the form of the journey. The closer, “Un Tych,” still predominantly an expressive piece played by Chocolate on congas, bongos and talking drum, it features the other members of Perujazz (Manongo Mujica on drums and bowed cymbal, saxophonist Jean Pierre Magnet, and bassist David Pinto) joining in the closing minutes for a powerful and surprising conclusion. Listeners who appreciate extended pieces for percussion will find much to enjoy herein.


Filed under: Archives, 2019 releases, 1990 recordings

Related artist(s): Manongo Mujica, Julio “Chocolate” Algendones

More info
http://bit.ly/30rDcgD

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Philip Pickett - The Bones of All Men – The subtitle on the cover continues after the title: “and of several remarkable curiosities therein occurring being a compendium of Dances, Pavannes, Steps and such, played this time by Mr Philip...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues