The stand out tracks are
Ciudad Universitaria, El Hombre Aquel, Mi Dulce Amigo and
As Que Facil Es. The perfect mix of funky grooves and heightened vocals.
Favorite track: Ciudad Universitaria.
This is a collection by Venezuelan siinger and composer, born 1952 in Madrid, Spain. Nueva Canción singer Gloria Martín who was one of the most progressive Venezuelan singers of the left wing spectrum during Venezuela's seventies. She sang poetical revolutionary songs and sometimes added enough folky and orchestral soul and hipness to transcend just basic political messages, as well as the traditional folk music from the Latin American Nueva Canción.
She represented Venezuela in V Festival Internacional da Canção in Rio de Janeiro with the song Canción para no cantar in 1970.
Her childhood was spent in Spain and she emigrated to Venezuela with her parents at the age of nine. She finished his basic studies in that country and enrolled at the Central University of Venezuela in the career of philosophy and letters. She has a degree in Arts and a doctorate in cultural history.
Her career as a singer-songwriter began in 1969 . He performed at various festivals in South America and made his first disc recording in 1971 .
An active member of what was known in the sixties and seventies as the New Song movement , he shared scenarios with leading figures of said movement such as Joan Manuel Serrat and Víctor Jara , among others. She is the author of the song “Qué trabajo” popularized by Mercedes Sosa . Together with Alí Primera, he founded the cooperative of artists "Cigarrón".
Starting in 1977 , she entered the Central University of Venezuela as a teacher, which was coupled with a retirement from the artistic field until 1985, when she returned as an interpreter and writer.
In the seventies and eighties he was a clandestine member of the Party of the Venezuelan Revolution or PRV, close to Douglas Bravo , being a columnist for the magazine Ruptura Continental , an informative organ of the Ruptura Political Movement . This movement was initially a legal front for the PRV and later became a coalition movement when the PRV was legalized in the 1980s. He interpreted the song "Bandits", a product of the collective creation of the political prisoners of the San Carlos Barracks . The "Cantata to Fabricio Ojeda"A mixture of music, poetry and theater, it is a stark tribute to the murdered guerrilla fighter. On January 23, 2017, Martin performed some fragments of the play during the transfer of the remains of Fabricio Ojeda to the National Pantheon .
To me this self-titled record of Venezuelan singer Gloria Martín is the absolute Holy Grail of all Venezuelan records. Actually Martín wasn’t born in Venezuela, but in Madrid and moved to Venezuela with her parents when she was nine years old. So she basically became Venezuelan. She studied philosophy and letters at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), she graduated in Arts and got a Ph.D. in cultural history. At the same time she started a career as a singer and in Venezuela she’s mainly remembered for her Nueva Canción music. Nueva Canción was a typicial left-wing orientated musical style from Latin America (and Spain) addressing social problems in the society, usually songs on acoustic guitar highly influenced by the revolution in Cuba. Moreover it was a genre which tried to define the own identity of Latin American countries without being defined by colonialism, neo-colonialism or American influences. In Venezuela the Nueva Canción protest music was very much connected to student movements in Caracas of the sixties and seventies. Other representatives in Venezuela were people like Alí Primera, Soledad Bravo and Xulio Formoso. Gloria Martín also wrote a book about Nueva Canción in Venezuela in 1998 entitled “El perfume de una época (la Nueva Canción en Venezuela)” which I’d love to have to be able to tell more about this movement. Here you can at least find a very interesting article in Spanish about Gloria Martín and her role in the Nueva Canción Venezolana.
But this record is not one of Gloria Martín’s acoustic singer-songwriter protest albums. It’s more of an artistic showcase and does reflect the social environment, but doesn’t involve too much politics. This was an orchestrated musical masterpiece and so many years later it surprisingly shows that everything rightly got together at the moment when that recording was made. Sometimes cultural history gets captured in a recording that reflects the essence of a certain moment: true artistic pearls that are the perfect product of their time in every sense.
The compositions of the orchestra led by Venezuelan arranger Jesús Chucho Sanoja cover all the best musical styles from the early seventies and at the same time create the most amazing conditions for the beautiful voice of Gloria Martín. She was 26 years old at the time she recorded this album full of poetical beauty. Also she wrote all the lyrics herself. The album contains orchestral arrangements, jazz, bossa nova, collage, sound-effects, folk, early seventies rock influences and everything in between. It’s a highly sophisticated record that merges all the nostalgic beauty of Venezuela in the very early seventies (when people were still Damas y Caballeros) with student revolt, impressionistic decadence, sensuality, poetry and intellectualism. Considering all these dimensions, you have to be a really refined soul to be able to comply and apply these things as a youthful person going through university and at the same time being an artist. Conceptually, the album has a lot in common with certain progressive orchestrated music made for singers with studio effects and studio revisions like Serge Gainsbourg’s and Jean-Claude Vannier’s Histoire de melody Nelson (even length-wise!), but then in a Latin American context.
The main highlight of the album is the B-Side which starts after songs like “El hombre aquel” dedicated to Ché Guevara, the song “At the other side of the sea” sung in touching broken English and a bossa nova song sung in Portuguese. It kicks off with an ode to the Universidad Central de Venezuela called “Ciudad Universitaria”. The title reflects Gloria Martín’s passionate relation to her university and its social importance for her city Caracas. The lyrics are as important right now as if they were back then. They describe the paradoxical feeling of attachment to Caracas with its beauty and danger, because of words like “Ay mi ciudad, quién ha puesto detrás cada flor un policía?” which is accompanied by studio effects creating police alarms to intensify the lyrics. Apparently that song used to be censored during the seventies, because students adopted it as a form of social critique. The song itself is full of energy and shows some of the most groovy rare groove jazz ever to come out of Venezuela. The next song “Mi dulce amigo” is a song that should have been on some Jazzanova groove-jazz compilation of old killer tracks and is an absolute masterpiece. Next is an impressionistic decadent song called “Que facil es” which expresses what goes on in the dreamy mind of a young woman and her gentle diffuse thoughts when she’s under a spell of someone. These three songs make up that part of the album which elevates it into something of unique quality and emotion. “Si puedes” is accompanied by Venezuelan Santana-like psych band La Fe Perdida that also released some singles through Philips in the early seventies: like this one and this one. A core element which is to be found throughout the whole album is the melancholy which makes it strong, it doesn’t glorify the interior nor exterior life and it’s truthful, it might also be because of her deep voice; Grace Slick like. The lyrics of each song are to be found on the inner part of the sleeve. Gloria Martín once described her song writing as:
“Para hacer una canción lo que se necesita es decir algo, tener sensibilidad ante una cosa determinada y también experiencias instantáneas o de toda la vida”. “No considero mis canciones como un éxito, sino como un conjunto de las cosas que yo siento y deseo que lleguen al corazón de la gente”.
released August 7, 2022
Arranged By, Directed By – Chucho Sanoja Jr. & Luiz Eça
Arranged By, Instruments – La Fe Perdida
Guitar – Lucho Gonzalez*
Vocals – Gloria Martin
Written-By – Gloria Martin
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(1993-2003) the largest record store in Europe…the critically acclaimed label Moochin’ About has gained admiration from Cerys Matthews,Huey Morgan,Giles Peterson,Jamie Cullum,Stuart Marcone,Johnny Trunk,Robert Elms,Iggy Pop…...more