Extremos, my second solo album, this time with a real bassist an drummer. We recorded this album, and even composed some of it, in a very brief period, less than a couple of weeks, maybe ten days. The beginning of this work keeps track of "Breves Piezas Rockeras" ("Brief Rock Pieces"), initiated in "Virgo" (2003), now, with a drummer and a bassist. The spirit is the same: instrumental, direct and powerful pieces. BPR VI characterizes by the constant strength given by drums and bass and above this, the keyboards running with a triumphant spirit through a constant changing harmony. In BPR VII the keyboards don't stand out, in fact I play only synthesized bass, leaving all the responsibility to the guitar, played by Rodrigo Godoy. Sonido Vital I is music for piano solo, just that. Honestly I composed this track thinking in the “Piano-solo-moment” which every show must have, and it has worked ok through the years. BPR VIII is pure strength, with Alex von Chrismar playing a changing rhythmic pattern in 4/4 and 4/4 + 1/8, the keyboards introduce a dodecaphonic theme, and later, a unison line with the bass, with tension and energy. BPR IX, again Rodrigo on guitars and I, playing synthesized bass, now in a direct and energized track. Sonido Vital II, music mostly for piano, with a acoustic guitar in the main theme. A documentalist used this music for a film that showed wild life in southern Chile. When I composed it, I was thinking in having a good glass of wine rather than penguins, but it worked just fine. BPR X, This track summarizes the other BPRs: a combination of irregular rhythms and 4/4, unison keyboard/bass themes and the classic C minor solo. Tiempos de Paz is a musical wish for better times. Piano and synthesizers. Finally, Viajero Astral, the progressive track of the album. It is a team work composition, in which Alex and Rodrigo worked on ideas of rhythms, solos, and harmonies. Right after we finished the recording of this album, and the copies were delivered from the label, we took a plane and toured Mexico for a month, sometimes a good tour is a powerful motivator to finish an album in time.
Jaime Rosas: Keyboards
Rodrigo Godoy: Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Alex von Chrismar: Drums
All music composed by Jaime Rosas,
except "Viajero Astral", music by Jaime Rosas, Rodrigo Godoy & Alex von Chrismar, lyrics by Jaime Rosas
Recorded, Mixed, & Produced in
Magnasonica Studios by Rodrigo Godoy
Masterization and 2nd engineer: Rodrigo Mardones
Art work and photography: Francisco Rojas & Romy Farías
Live JRT pics: Jaime Scalpello
Release date: February, 2004 through Mylodon Records
Distribution: Mylodon Records / Musea Records
JAIME ROSAS TRIO consists of the former members of the Chilean progressive band Entrance, which was part of the international Progressive Rock movement during the '90s, so they aren't novices in this walk of life. Besides, "Extremos" is already the second album by the trio. Synopsis. Well, the band is a trio, and, playing trumps:-), I can tell you that the archetype of their music is Classic Progressive of the '70s, and the album features little overdubs, retaining a distinctive live feel throughout. But although these are rather eloquent if not telltale signs, this is not the case when, having just learned them, you can steer your thoughts into the right areas and get a more or less clear idea of where these Chilean men go in their creation. The album is full of surprises, catching the listener everywhere, and about a half of its contents don't belong with the music, which is traditionally typical for keyboard trios. According to the CD booklet, the band's main man, keyboardist Jaime Rosas, penned all the compositions. However, as you will see below, he is not the only hero in this show. I am even inclined to think that a couple of tracks were written by Rodrigo Godoy, who handles all sorts of guitars, bass included, and also sings (on the epic last track). Who would expect that already the second track would not contain keyboards at all? Only some parts of bass on Breve Pieza Rockera-VII were elicited from synthesizer - either directly or with the use of bass pedals. The music is a dynamic, mostly high-speed and rather harsh guitar Art-Rock in the best traditions of the genre, but without any resemblances to those of whom you've just thought about, Rush, nor any representative of that direction. All the same words are topical with regard to the Part IX of the piece (5) where there are literally a couple of synthesizer passages, flashing somewhere in the middle. Two tracks: Sonido Vital Uno and Tiempos de Paz present Rosas's solo performance. Each is a piece of serious Classical Music, a little symphonic concerto for piano. The piano, strings and acoustic guitar-based Sonido Vital Dos has a similar perspective, though there are a few repetitions. I am not sure that I am able to depict the fourth track, featuring perhaps more solos of bass and drums than those of keyboards. It's like watching an eruption from a safe place. There is no electric guitar, but the music is heavy, powerful, and mesmerizing, so I'd call it a unique Cathedral Symphonic Rock. These men are full of inspiration and have a luxuriant imagination, not to mention that they are gifted composers, very inventive arrangers, and fantastically virtuosi musicians. The remaining three compositions (1, 7, & 9) can be compared to classic ELP, but only stylistically and only partly.
Still, many solos of bass are high-speed and pronouncedly heavy simultaneously (many progressive bassists should take lessons from Rodrigo to be on par with him), so the sound of Jaime Rosas Trio will always be immediately recognizable for anyone 'in the know', and I believe there'll be many. The guitar solos and piano passages return on the last 15-minute track, which is the only song and is the container of all the styles presented on the recording, though there also are the bits of Jazz-Fusion (drum solo) and real Cathedral Metal (guitar riffs).
Conclusion. Indeed, "Extremos" is in many ways an extreme album, in the most positive meaning of the word. The band covers several different music styles, easily toying with complex meters and everything, which is of help to make their music a really dainty progressive dish. It's a classic for the future, without a doubt.
Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages
I am scared when I see the suffix Trio after the name of a musician (if the word is Quartet I get definitely frightened). But if the musician is from South America and the tracklist includes five tracks titled “Breve Pieza Rockera” and two titled “Sonido Vital” I imagine all kind of experimental nonsense I try to avoid because I have no interest in circus acrobatics by bands who tries to show how Crimson or how avant-garde they are. This time I'm wrong because Jaime Rosas Trio is a real and mighty progressive rock band. Very original although they don't use their musical skills in order to surprise us with senseless Martian experiments. In fact there are lots of connections to ELP´s ostentatious and megalithic music along the five parts of “Breve Pieza Rockera”.
This trio from Chile is formed by Jaime Rosas (keyboards), Rodrigo Godoy (bass, guitar, vocals), and Alex Von Chrismar (drums). OK then, the burst with “Breve Pieza Rockera VI” (3:37) is pure Emersonnish adrenalin supported by a powerful bass notes and overwhelming drums. A sort of “Hoedown” in a shitty mood. Godoy leads “Breve Pieza Rockera VII” (3:20) with an amazing guitar work. By the way... where are parts I to V?. Sorry I haven't more information regarding this band, but if these parts are in a previous album, I have to look for it. “Sonido Vital Uno” (3:32) is a track only with a piano that creates nice melodies. “Breve Pieza Rockera VIII” (2:42) is pure “Tarkus” sound and “Breve Pieza Rockera IX” (3:10) brings back the lead guitars. What an amazing album!. What amazing musicians they are!. “Sonido Vital Dos” (6:02) is like the first part, a keyboard and piano oriented song with a sweet acoustic guitar. “Sonido Vital” is the Beauty and “Breve Pieza Rockera” the Beast. “Breve Pieza Rockera X” (2:22) and his speedy keyboards is the prelude to the last two tracks, the short and nice “Tiempos de Paz” (2:45) and the suite “Viajero Astral” (15:13), the only sung track – God didn't gave Rodrigo the gift of a wonderful voice – where the trio shows how they can create good vocal melodies. In the same way the trio also shows how they can play long songs with different rhythms and atmospheres. The track is impressive, with epic moments and an overwhelming instrumental development from the seventh minute until the end. Enough said... if you love ELP, sympho rock in all its best with all the adjectives used by the enemies of progressive rock, this album is a must. One of the best albums I've listened to in a long time. By the way, Jaime Rosas Trío will play next June 25th at Austral Progresivo Festival in Argentina.
Alfonso Algora - Progvisions, Spain
Jaime Rosas, Entrance’s keyboardist, along with bassist-guitarist-vocalist Rodrigo Godoy and drummer Alex von Chrismar, releases this “Extremos”, the band’s second CD. It is an amazing demonstration of the musician’s technique very good accompanied by his two adventure pals. The style and musical approach of Jaime Rosas varies from rock of five short pieces called “Breves Piezas Rockeras” to classical music of “Sonido Vital” and “Tiempos de Paz” (with vestiges of new age) to a more typical progressive rock composition in “Viajero Astral”, the only sung track (in an optimum way). Congratulations to the little known Jaime Rosas, who can handle the comparison with all the master celebrities of the genre, from Hammond virtuosos from 30 years ago to prog metal contemporary idols.
Marco Piva - Movimento Prog, Italy
Jaime Rosas, ex-keyboardist for the Chilean prog-rock band Entrance and a Rush tribute band called H-Sur, now has his own Jaime Rosas Trio (also reviewed by ProgNaut.com link); he has crafted an instrumental symphonic rock album with a beautiful vocal track, “Lluvia” done by Jaime Scalpello in Spanish. Even though I barely understand the Spanish language, I don’t think it would have sounded better if done in English. Virgo features 11 tracks divided into four sections spread over 58 minutes. The two epics (done in separate sections), the surrealist soundtrack like “Sinfonia” and the more aggressive “Breves Piezas Rockeras” are reason enough to purchase this cd. There’s even “sequels” on a part two of Virgo, entitled “Extremos”. It’s recorded under the moniker of Jaime Rosas Trio. I had a chance to see JRT perform at Baja Prog in Mexicali, Mexico, in March 2004 and I rather enjoyed it even though I kept hearing views of JRT to be on the bland side. The keyboard based trio format has been done before so that might be other’s reasons why they didn’t think highly of Jaime Rosas' music. I thoroughly enjoyed the music and would recommend both releases!
Ron Fuchs - Prognaut, USA
The Jaime Rosas Trio hails from Chile but apart from the fact that the man himself plays keyboards, and I means PLAYS, I can’t find much background information on either Jaime or the band. The link to his website, as shown on the back cover of the CD casing, is defunct and whilst I know he performed at Baja this year (2004), that’s about it, so I thought. In the end, I found Jaime’s new website (link below) but no bio to speak of (but plenty of MP3s). Anyway, it’s the music that is important here. Extremos is a 42-minute album consisting of nine tracks, seven of which are short-ish pieces of around the three-minute mark, largely showcasing Jaime’s virtuosity on keys. That, however, does not mean that guitarist, Rodrigo Godoy and drummer, Alex Von Chrismar, are left to loiter in the background as both these guys get the opportunity on some of the tracks to take the lead role. Much of the music is fast, furious and complex yet it is not without more delicate moments, living up to the album’s title. Jaime’s style is a mix of classical and contemporary (Emerson, Wakeman, Ars Nova) with great piano and Moog/synth led pieces. Melodies are ever present but the shorter tracks are a little like those extended improvised moments you get at gigs, full of ideas yet could be expanded. Closing track, Viajero Astral, is an expanded work and somewhat of an epic. This 15-minute piece incorporates vocals (Rodrigo Godoy), flowing melodies and those more aggressive powerful bits which have more meaning here than if they were used as stand alone tracks. Maybe because this track contains many contrasts, it seems to be as short as the short tracks.When all’s said and done, it is all good stuff and worthy of investigation. I would like to see Jaime explore a one or two track work, combining and expanding his ideas rather than separating them out on his next album.
Jem Jedrzejewski - The Hairless Heart Herald, UK
Still impressed with Mar de Robles’ "MdR", Akineton Retard’s "21 Canapés", Angulart’s "Donde nacen las horas" and Matraz’s "Gritaré", this great Jaime Rosas Trío album, "Extremos", has being sort of low profile. Today I started listening to it in my computer, and after it ended I listened to it again, and again. The truth is I´m beginning to understand it´s importance. It is a very good work. The first track that stood apart was "Sonido Vital Dos", while I was listening to it I thought it could be in a CD of any of the great masters of the genre (I thought of Vangelis, specially at the very beginning...though in different style). Here I emphasize the musical value (melody, harmony) over the performance that always comes to mind with the work of Jaime Rosas, at least in it’s first impression. It startes after a brief atmospheric synthesizer introduction, with a sequence of chords in Extremos (2004)piano in an allegro moderato spirit; after a while, an acoustic guitar enters, with a perfect timbre and masterfully panned; then it comes a central part, a melancholic piano theme that starts growing in strength to finally return to the allegro moderato with piano and guitar. Superb track. If this album was bad, which is not the case, this track by itself will justify the purchase. The name of the CD (Extremes) stands for the two atmospheres that co-exists in the album and that should be considered opposite extremes, although I think there is a third one, an what a third! In the powerful extreme there are the "Breves Piezas Rockeras", there are five in this disc from number six to number ten. In the smooth extreme we have "Sonido Vital Uno", the already commented "Sonido Vital Dos" and "Tiempos de Paz". To balance this two extremes JRT give us "Viajero Astral", a 12 minute-mini-suite (15:13 with the hidden reprise): the only track with lyrics, sang in a very neat style by Rodrigo Godoy. It has everything a progressive song should have (even a brief drum solo), emotion, virtuosity and power. Everyday I’m more convinced that the ultraviolet rays are doing something in the progheads musicians of Chile.
Pancho Torre, Chile
About the new "Jaime Rosas Trío" Cd, I have many good things to say, this is an album that impressed me with the great quality of the musician's performances, the album sounds like a first project of a good band. A lot of strenght, many ideas and the most important thing, "first level music". When you hear a trio, you expect the recurrent paths explored by this kind of bands, but in this chilean trio I hear a lot of fresh ideas and a good balance between the instruments drums-bass-guitar and keyboards. There is space for all the instruments, so each musician can express their musical arguments without interruption and sometimes there is a mixture creating a sound mass attack. The rhythmic base is almost perfect making the guitar or keyboards arguments stand and shine. One of the most remarkable tracks of the album is a 15 minutes suite called "Viajero Astral", where Rodrigo Godoy sings; in this suite I find a lot of balance in the composition, a melodic approach and an ethereal touch given by Jaime Rosas: I predict an outstanding succes in Baja Prog and to everyone reading this, don't miss this CD, it will be a classic.
Idea Musical Mexico
"Extremos" is the second album by this versatile chilean trio, composed by three musicians of the band Entrance (keyboards/guitars and vocals/drums). Mostly instrumental, Jaime Rosas trio’s music is made of short, dense and explosives pieces, except the final track, a 15 minutes epic! This surprising music reveals impressive musicians –and a keyboard virtuoso! This is not only for E.L.P./Rush fans, even if this power trio often offers musical dynamite, powerful rythms and frantic keyboards! But Jaime Rosas also likes neo-classic piano parts and symphonic majestic moments, with a real progressive spirit, and "Extremos" finally happens to be very diverse and eclectic, but always extremely well played and produced. Brilliant stuff!
Musea Records, France
A keyboard lead trio may draw some immediate comparisons, possibly a little jazz combo (dismiss this from your thoughts immediately) or more likely one or two bands from the halcyon days of progressive rock. The Rosas' trio emerged from the embers of Entrance who released two albums Entrance (1999) and En La Tierra (2002). In Rob Michel's review of En la Tierra of he highlights several influences, from those we might take ELP, Triumvirat and Rick Wakeman as good pointers here. Adding perhaps Patrick Moraz to this list. The tracks from Extremos are in general short, punchy, to the point and aptly summed up by their titles (an idea continued from the previous album, Virgo). No better displayed than in the album opener, Breva Pieza Rockera VI, which sets a hefty pace with Alex Von Chrismar pumping away on his double bass drum pedal, joined swiftly by Rodrigo Godoy's punchy bass, all of which sets the stage for Jaime Rosas to sweep majestically across his synths. The track itself is split into three sections the opening flurry, a more restrained mid section and finishing as it started. Three and a half minutes may not seem long, but this trio pack enough punch into this allotted time to make your mouth salivate with anticipation of more of the same. Not to be, as Breva Pieza Rockera VII features the guitar work of Godoy and here the keyboards take a backstage, being almost non-existent, save some bass synth work. The track is therefore a fairly riff orientated piece carried by the dynamics from the drums. I wasn't really sure about this track at first (and possible still not) - certainly a bold move not to feature the keyboards, but somehow the track itself is lacking. This may be because ... VI had such an instant appeal - or perhaps a strong hook line was missing - certainly though the piece might have benefited from a less "dry" guitar sound, certainly in the solo sections. Still a brave move. With Sonido Vital Uno the keyboards return to the fold in the form of a solo piano piece. Once again Rosas' skills are amply displayed and the crafted left hand work and chordal structuring did bring Keith Emerson to mind. The gentler and more ornate middle section however was more reminiscent of Rick Wakeman. Certainly Rosas' technique is comparable to the aforementioned. Breva Pieza Rockera VIII brings back the band - once again a mid-tempo, riffy track, with shades of MMEB in there. Not to dissimilar to ...VII but the keyboards are employed to follow the main riff, making it a much more satisfying track. The music is a little darker here, although the track itself grooves along admirably. As does Breva Pieza Rockera IX - the pace is picked up somewhat for the opening salvo and here Godoy plays some precise guitar runs which he mimics on the bass. A JRT formula seems to be emerging, as the mid section of the track is once again slower, but this time Rosas uses a large choral backing to accompany the themed guitar solo. Once again the band pick-up the pace, returning to the opening section to conclude ...IX.
A rather more lush arrangement is employed for Sonido Vital Dos with the strings giving a mellower texture to the track. The piano drives the piece along without the aid of the drums. The music is not stagnant though and in the driven parts Rosas provides a suitable pulse from bass end of the keyboards, not to dissimilar to Vangelis. This is an infectious piece with intricate and deft touches on the piano. It did strike me that a strong vocal melody would have made this into a superb track. On to part ...X and here the gloves are definitely off - sweeping Emerson-esque synth lines from Rosas, controlled but often frantic bass from Godoy and busy but precise drumming from Von Chrismar. A lot is packed into these two minutes or so, splendid stuff. The lull before the storm is second of the gentler piano pieces, although this time augmented by simple synth melodies and a string under-current, akin to some of Rick Wakeman's solo passages. Engaging. The closing track is the multi-faceted Viajero Astral clocking in at just over fifteen minutes. First run through I suspected the opening chords might takes us into a Tarkus like track. Not so, as the opening tempo is slow with a melodic guitar theme introducing the only vocals to be heard on Extremos. The lyrics are sung in Spanish and I suspect this may be why the band have not utilised them more on the album - shame really as it really does add another dimension to the sound. Following this vocal section is a nice punctuated Hammondy solo interlude, before a reprise of the chorus, opening guitar theme and gentler vocals.
The remaining bulk of the track is taken up with solos (with brief returns to the vocals) - firstly the Emerson-like synth sounds for Rosas' solo, followed by a brief drum solo from Alex Von Chrismar. Viajero Astral ends around the 12 minute mark and had I been quick on the eject button I might well have missed the end keyboard extravaganza. Possibly some of the strongest on Extremos.
Certainly Jaime Rosas has raised the ante with Extremos and his material has had a breath of new life with the inclusion of a real drummer and bass player. Certainly the arrangements are not as orchestrated as those to be found on Virgo, however this has been replaced by a greater dynamic in the music. Areas I felt that the music could improve on where firstly in the arrangements, which were at times a little simplistic, using an A-B-A formula or in the case of Viajero Astral where the track seemed "glued" together, shorter songs, rather than whole piece. Secondly the material could use a few more "hook lines", be it keyboard or guitar themes or expanding on the vocals and vocal harmonies.
Apart from those two slight negatives, Extremos was an enjoyable album. For those who are missing a keyboard wizard in their lives and hark back to those times when Messrs Emerson, Wakeman, et al were at their most prolific, then this CD is well worth investigating further.
Bob Mulvey, Dutch Progressive Rock Page