Boomkat Product Review:
Following Far Out’s reissue of Agustin Pereyra Lucena Quartet’s La Rana, the label continues its memorialisation of the late, great Argentinian guitarist’s music with the first ever direct from tape, audiophile reissue of Pereyra Lucena’s self-titled debut album from 1970.
"One of the outstanding South American guitarists, Agustin Pereyra Lucena commanded a unique position in Latin music history. He hailed from Buenos Aires, but was obsessed with the music of Brazil. A disciple of Antônio Carlos Jobim, Baden Powell and Vinicius De Moraes, the nature of Agustin’s Argentinian roots combined with the nurture of Brazil and its music to give Agustin a sound entirely his own. After being scouted in a nightclub, by musician and guitar craftsman Jorge Demonte, Agustin was invited for an audition at Argenitinian label Tonodisc. Before he knew it, aged 22, he was in the studio recording his first album.
Agustin enlisted fellow Argentinian Brazilophiles Mario "Mojarra" Fernandez who played bass and drummer Enrique "Zurdo" Roizner. He had first heard the duo backing Vinicius de Moraes, Toquinho and Maria Creuza on their legendary La Fusa live album, also recorded in Buenos Aires. For vocals, Agustin brought in his old friend, a French teacher called Helena Uriburu, who at the time had (unbelievably) never sung in a studio before. The atypical bossas and spiritual swinging sambas, composed by many of Agustin’s aforementioned heroes, were elevated to new heights by Agustin’s dazzling arrangements and phenomenal guitar playing. The almost cosmic reaches Agustin achieved with his sound are balanced against the stylish sophistication and breezy nature of the music.
Moments of calm serenity include Agustin’s own composition “Nina No Divagues”, Durval Ferreira and Pedro Camargo’s “Chuva” and the Brazilian bossa classic “Tristeza Nos Dois”, which feels like it draws equally upon exotica and early library records. Accompanied by Roizner’s shuffling samba jazz drums, opener “O Astronauta” is Agustin’s cover of the Brazilian guitar standard composed by Baden Powell. Another Baden Powell classic, “Consolacao” is an extended full-band set, which features Agustin’s crisp guitar dancing around a hypnotic rhythm section. Upright bass is swapped out for a big, round-sounding electric one, which sits loud in the mix for almost seven minutes of deep, groovy, distinctively early-seventies magic."