San Lucas Band - Music of Guatemala LP
Label: Bongo Joe
Release Date: March 8th, 2024
First reissue of these cult 1974 recordings of a Mayan brass band playing funeral dirges and popular songs in its distinctive extended harmonic and rhythmic style. The members of the San Lucas Bandlived in the mountain village of San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala, playing local events of both religious and social nature. The pride of their town since 1922, the band represented a fast-disappearing musical tradition when these recordings were originally released in 1975. Their unique sound derived from an unusual combination of instruments, a repertoire including pieces dating from more than fifty years before the recordings were made to more recent ones, and above all from the highland Maya style of their playing, which is characterized by a preference for freer rhythmic structures and a wider variety of pitches than Western scales allow.
One of Jon Hassell and Charlie Haden's favorite records, it was nominated for a Grammy Award upon first release and has remained much beloved by a small community of enthusiasts for decades. A profound and rewarding musical experience for all adventurous listeners, notably fans of Albert Ayler, microtonal and raw cosmic music.