We Are Busy Bodies are on the case again, dipping into the firmament of Latin-jazz heritage. After the ultra-hip Virgilio Armas re-issues last year (check the Backseat Mafia review from October), the label has kept up its Venezuelan focus and dug deep to re-release Elegua’s enticingly rare self-titled album on May 19th.
Originally out in 1977 as a private pressing, Elegua captured the Boston based big band with their foot hard down. Formed by trumpeter Gustavo Aranguren whilst studying at Boston College of Music and before he graduated to bigger things (e.g. Alfredito Linares, Esperanto, Irakere), the Elegua collective were a group of primarily Venezuelan musicians resident in the New England city, united by a passion for the preservation and progression of Latin music.
That commitment and drive spills out on the preview track ‘Extasis’ which announces the album’s incoming full release. Composed by Aranguren it’s a track that shimmers with sultry modernism and forward thinking bossa. Yes there’s the necessary percussive fluency, the strident unison vocals and those sky-pointing horns but ‘Extasis’ gets heated further with an electric charge. The upfront keyboard urgency, rock shaded dynamics plus wild and free, unrestrained solos point to contemporary energies that drove Elegua on this their only record. More than a curio this is an album that looks set to cut its own irresistible groove.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Elegua’, the band’s self-titled debut from We Are Busy Bodies HERE