Bronca Buenos Aires

08/01/2023Altercat Records Reissues Free-Spirited "Jazz Poem" By Argentine Legend Jorge López Ruiz

Continuing our two-release exploration of essential jazz from Argentina by ways of Berlin imprint Altercat Records, today, we bring you this originally 1971-released and recently reissued "jazz poem" by late Argentine jazz legend and multi-instrumentalist Jorge López Ruiz (El Grito, Viejas Raíces). Last week, we had already featured the delicately crafted and beautifully arranged 1975 solo album by Chilean pianist Matías Pizarro (who played alongside López Ruiz on Viejas Raíces), which we believe to be a fitting introduction to this one-of-a-kind, boundary-pushing jazz outing by López Ruiz. 

"Bronca Buenos Aires" is the name of this avant-garde ode to the multi-faceted city of Buenos Aires, a four-track explosion of words and sounds that does not hold back. Due to the outspoken nature of this recording and the political tensions at the time, the album was kept under wraps upon release. "The text that accompanies the music, written and narrated by José Tcherkaski, was too daring despite not being directly outspoken against the dictatorship that ruled in Argentina, and broadcasters kept a distance under fear of retaliation by the military establishment. Inexplicably, several later re-releases of Bronca Buenos Aires omitted the spoken word overdubs, reducing the work to an instrumental album and stripping it of half of its beauty and significance," the description reads.

Altercat has now reissued the full recording, including not only the original spoken words in Spanish, but also accompanied by an informative booklet containing English translations as well as a foreword by both Jorge López Ruiz and José Tcherkaski. The recording was sourced from the master tapes and mastered by Pablo López Ruiz.

"History is dynamic and recurrent," writes José Tcherkaski. "In the case of 'Bronca Buenos Aires', I dare to think that we suffer the same frustrations, similar pains. Twenty years after its first reissue, it is being re-released again. I think the world is changing. There are new ways, new forms of social, political and ecomomic communication. But the pain remains the same."

Featuring a cast of musicians who, at the time this work was created, were young but renowned and well in their prime, "Bronca Buenos Aires" has aged well and remains as relevant a musical statement as ever, furiously free and brimming with righteous indignation. But hear for yourselves.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom