Monday, 26 January 2009

Azteca - Pyramid Of The Moon (1973)

I first heard Azteca here (but the link no longer works, I'm afraid), courtesy of Alpax's posts over at the 'Call It Anything' blog.

A monstrously huge ensemble, sometimes numbering as many as 20, formed by brothers Pete and Coke Escovedo (father and nephew of Sheila E, most famous herself as an associate of Prince), Azteca put out two monster latin-jazz-rock albums on Columbia in the early 1970s: a self-titled debut, in '72, and this one, in '73. There's a link personnel wise here with my previous Courtial post, in that Coke Escovedo, Errol Knowles and Bill Courtial are on both.

Check the personnel on this album! The connections go way deep: Santana, Herbie, the west coast Latin scene. Some heavy cats, and a hip chick! What can I say but, if you're not already familiar with this excellent group, get hip! What a magical musical time this was. Azteca's debut has been reissued and can be bought new (when in stock!), albeit at a fairly steep price (it's a Jap import, put out on Sony Japan, so unless you hail from those Pacific isles you'll most likely end out paying quite a bit for carriage and excise, never mind the cost of the actual CD).

Also noteworthy is the superb artwork, by Bruce Steinberg, a real renaissance man of the funky West Coast scene (most famously associated with the mighty Tower Of Power), who sadly died fairly recently (Dec 2007). His Aztec style roundel, which the band used on both their album covers, incorporates guitars, horns and a circular keyboard motif... Moy groovy Mr Steinberg!

Azteca reformed in 2007, leading to a new album and a DVD, neither of which I've yet had the pleasure of seeing or hearing. Make friends with them on MySpace.

Tracklist:

Someday We'll Get By
Mazatlan
Find Love Today
Whatcha Gonna Do
New Day Is on the Rise
Mexicana, Mexicana
Red Onions
Love Is a Stranger
A Night in Nazca

Personnel:

Errol Knowles, Wendy Haas, Rico Reyes - Vocals
Pete Escovedo - Percussion & vocals
Tom Harrell - Trumpet
Pat O'Hara - Trombone
Bob Ferreira - Tenor sax, Flute
Mel Martin - Tenor, baritone and soprano saxes, flute
Bill Courtial, Neal Schon - Guitar
George Muribus, George DiQuattro, Mike Nock - Keyboards
Flip Nunez - Organ
Paul Jackson, Tom Rutley, Tony Juncale - Bass
Lenny White, John Brinck - Drums
Coke Escovedo - Timbales
Victor Pantoja - Conga & vocals

3 comments:

beaug said...

can you repost the album if not i see you said you got from another blogsite what was the month and year was the album is located on that blogsite. i can use a flac converter if you cant re up it. let me know thank you.

beaugraham@hotmail.com

EstrategiaComercialWeb.com said...

From Bernie Lozano Salsa Vallarta

I was one of the lucky ones who got to see them live in concert in Mazatlan. This was before they came out with this song.

It was supposed to be a spring break concert, but the Mexican government at the time stopped the "hippies" from coming.

The band played at Mazatlan's Stadium. Rummor has it that they were snuck in as a baseball team and had to borrow instruments.

Instead of having a large group, there were only less than 200 of us.

It's one of the best memory I have of Mazatlan.

Steve Stenlake said...

Regarding AZTECA'S PYRAMID OF THE MOON ALBUM being released on CD.........I have completely remastered this album from Reel to Reel tape along with the artwork in my studio.......I have just received the final clearance and OK to put it out on CD professionally and distribute it, and I am hoping to receive shipment of the first batch of CD'S sometime around the end of March........ If you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can reach me at.....
s10lake@verizon.net I will respond asap........
thanks..........Steve