Exposé Online banner

Luz de Riada — Cuentos y Fábulas
((Not on label) no#, 2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01

Cuentos y Fábulas Cover artCuentos y Fábulas is the debut album by Luz de Riada, a new collective from Mexico City featuring woodwind player Ramses Luna (Cabezas de Cera) and Hugo Santos (Saena) on Stick and bass. The lineup is rounded out on this recording by Hernández Balderas on guitar, and guitarist Alejandro Vergara, who has since been replaced by Gustavo Jacob. Their music is a mix of jazz-rock and progressive rock informed by Mexican traditional and folk music, with a hearty dose of experimentalism blended into the mix for good measure. For most of the disc the tracks alternate between longer (four to eight minute range) rock oriented pieces and shorter (one to two minute) experimental interludes. Although one can hear the influences of both Santos' and Luna's other bands, the direction taken here on the rock oriented tunes is for the most part an entirely new one, where the melody and punctuation of the woodwinds receptively communes with the complexities and elaborations of the busy rhythm section, while the guitars play both sides, sometimes noisy and thrashy, sometime jazzy and precise. The experimental interludes are another thing altogether, where just about anything can happen, and so often does, in the context of free improvisation or in some cases loosely composed pieces by a subset of instruments, or even overdubbed solos. The program is mostly instrumental, but one does encounter guest vocals (male and female) from time to time, as well as additional instruments (violin, zurdo, theremin, accordion, additional guitars and winds) offering even more variety to their sound. The disc is housed in an interesting taller-than-wide oversized cardboard package like this writer hasn't seen before. Fans of the more jazzy and adventurous side of progressive rock (King Crimson, French TV, Smokin' Granny, many Cuneiform label artists, etc.) would do well to investigate Luz de Riada.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Luz de Riada

Latest news

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

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fish - Five Official Bootlegs – Bootlegs of live shows are often a mixed bag for both artists and their fans... how many times have you shelled out $25 or more for a bootleg CD only to find that it was pressed from either a crappy...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues