Personnel: Jorge Anders (tenor saxophone); Gustavo Bergalli (trumpet).
Quinteplus, the Argentine jazz quintet represented on this killer reissue of material dating back to 1972, had their roots in the country's New Jazz Collective, which was founded in the early '60s. Gato Barbieri, his brother Reuben, Jorge "Negro" Gonzalez, and Santiago Giaccobe were all members of the collective. The latter two, on bass and keyboards respectively, went on to form Quinteplus with saxophonist Jorge Anders, trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli, and drummer Noberto "Pocho" Lapouble. The group recorded one studio album in 1971; it was released on EMI in 1972 and makes up the first six tracks of this set. The latter four tunes here were recorded live in late 1972 with a lineup that subbed Jorge Cutello on reeds and added electric guitarist Rolando Lew. These final four tracks went unreleased until Melopea issued them in 1980. Spain's great reissue label Vampisoul -- being the imprint of all things strange, exotic, and wonderful -- assembled all ten cuts for this self-titled release on CD and vinyl. The sound of Quinteplus was deeply rooted in the late-'60s funky soul-jazz of Blue Note and Prestige. Rhodes piano is used almost exclusively here, and electric bass as much as the upright. Rhythmically, though, Quinteplus were superior to a lot of what Blue Note issued at the time. Check the rhythm section on some of these cuts -- "El Marques" comes immediately to mind -- and you'd swear it was some date assembled by Lee Morgan or Horace Silver. Latin rhythms and polyrhythms from Argentine folk music and Afro-Cuban rhumba as well as hard bop and soul abound in uptempo grooves like "Loberman, el Hombre Loco" or shimmer and dance with subtly textured melodic ideas on the folkish ballad "Zamba de Mis Pagos." Three of the latter four tunes are extended workouts; they are much more invested in laying out funky rhythms, vamps, and snaky grooves, and the horn players are both tough soloists. The larger rhythm section -- with additional coloration by wah-wah guitar and choppy snare-popping turnarounds -- is especially effective: check out the 14-minute reading of Bobbie Gentry's"Ode to Billie Joe." Truth be told, the sound on some of this leaves something to be desired, and more than likely these selections were mastered from existing vinyl copies rather than master tapes. But whatever, it's still plenty listenable and it's the only chance you're likely to have to take in these now legendary sounds. Recommended. ~ Thom Jurek