"Virgo" is a very personal work that faithfully defines my conception of music and that has in composition it's central core. Plegaria (Prayer) represents the moment before an important event in our lives, when we look up to the skies searching for guidance, light, hope, luck, and wisdom. "Sinfonía" (Symphony) is a work in which I try to establish my conception of music. "Lluvia" (Rain) is a romantic song that through a metaphor, talks about the search for love; it's central part is made of two themes for piano and strings. "Breves Piezas Rockeras" (Brief Rock Pieces) is the other extreme of the CD: powerful and direct instrumental music. At the time of the recording I didn’t have much money so I was invited to use a studio in their non working hours, it could be 40 minutes in the morning, 1 hour at the evening, or the whole night. I remember several days in which I didn’t sleep at all: those were absolutely good times I must say.
Jaime Rosas: Keyboards
Jaime Scalpello: Vocals (in Lluvia)
Recorded at Opus 125 Studios, Santiago, Chile.
Mixed at Magna Studios, Santiago, Chile.
Mixing and voice recording by Rodrigo Godoy
Masterization: Juan Anderson
Graphic art: Patricio Saavedra
Photography: Soledad Gómez
Release date: February, 2003
Label: Virus Music / Sony Music
Composed & produced by Jaime Rosas
For some time now, Jaime Rosas, the gifted keyboard player of Progressive Rock band Entrance, has been willing to record his solo works. After arriving from their Mexican tour, where the band played at the Baja Prog Festival, he finally released his CD. We have to recognize that while in our country there is an acclaimed Alejandro Silva on guitars with the heritage of such musicians as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, there is also a great keyboardist, who follows the symphonic tradition of classical performers of the instruments, such as Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson or Tony Banks, to name a few. This is very important for our music, that the diversity of styles keeps growing and that our artists can develop their music with freedom. Only talking about Progressive Rock there is a great number of bands in Chile; this is really motivating, moreover is the fact that these musicians can release their solo works. In spite of the fact that this album will be appreciated mostly by keyboard oriented fans, this CD stands out for the stylish piano and keyboard work with Rosas virtuoso at times and full of emotions in other passages in symphonic compositions. This will be interesting to any prog fan, classic and modern. We have to say this: Jaime Rosas is the most important keyboard player that we can find today in our country.
One of the highlights of "Virgo" is the extensive instrumental piece “Sinfonia", a four movement opus, that takes us through a journey with different shades, sonic textures, calm and intense elements. I would say that in Rosas we find a perfect combination between modernity and tradition, between old and new progressive. There are profound and beautiful passages clearly inspired in classical music, form composers such as Beethoven and Stravinsky, both of which Rosas is a kind of specialist and a truly admirer. In summary, this is a great Opus of a pure symphonic style and with clearness in what he wants to express. The melancholic "Lluvia" is one of the strongest moments of the album with a very beautiful piano introduction and with Entrance’s Jaime Scalpello in vocals. With very touching lyrics, Jaime Rosas shows us a real aesthetic quest, which searches into life’s poetic moments. It is here that we can find the true justification in the existence of this work. Musical styles don’t have real importance, what is remarkable is the way each artist performs that style and makes it his own, puts his emotions, his creativity and his unique way of understanding life. The record ends with "Breves Piezas Rockeras", five remarkable short compositions, more powerful, that give the necessary balance to a nice album, outstanding at moments that with any doubt will be fully enjoyed by the always enthusiastic fans of progressive rock, a very influential trend in contemporary rock.
Hector Aravena, Rockaxis. Chile
Sometime ago we reviewed the second album of Entrance, the progressive Rock band where Jaime Rosas plays; a true virtuoso, compared to eminencies such as Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. Now in the context of the Focus concert in the Municipal Theater of Viña del Mar, Jaime Rosas gave us this CD, distributed by Virus Music, a subsidiary of Sony Music. This work opens with the reflective "Plegaria" continuing with the ambitious "Sinfonía", a four-movement-opus, where you can appreciate the personal sound that Rosas has showed in Entrance, crossing through allegro, scherzo, adagio and vivace passages, he takes us with power to more Rock oriented perspectives, arriving finally to "Lluvia" with the vocal participation of Jaime Scalpello. The Journey ends with "Breves Piezas Rockeras" closer to Entrance’s style. The CD is completely performed by Rosas, who plays all kind of keyboards in this invitation to music in a pure form. A remarkable work that proves the healthy and outstanding state of Chilean Rock and shows us that not all keyboard oriented music is monotonous and mechanical music such as some styles in techno.
Rene Cevasco, La Estrella de Valparaiso. Chile
Jaime Rosas is known as the keyboard player for the very interesting chilean progressive band Entrance, whose CDs we have reviewed. We emphasized then the keyboard work of Jaime. Now is the time for his first solo work. And not only solo but solo alone...or almost, because in one of the tracks he Jaime Scalpello of Entrance, sings. Besides this collaboration, Rosas is in charge of everything you can hear in the record. With almost-tributes to symphonic rock classic keyboardists, particularly to Rick Wakeman in "Plegaria" that opens the record. Rosas shows remarkable composition skills, alternating full colored passages in the four movement "Sinfonía", central piece of the album. He also shows melancholy and classicism "Lluvia" the only sung track of the opus; and an vigorous ending in the well named "Breves Piezas Rockeras". There will be people who would have preferred this compositions in a band approach and there will also be people admired for Jaime's ability to cover all aspects of performance. My personal opinion is that Virgo confirms the talent of this musician, look forward for future activities.
Humberto Luna, Progresiva 70s. Argentina
Jaime Rosas, the Artist wears his (he)art on his sleeve and apparently believes in being direct and to the point. Thus, the titles of the tracks pretty much sum up their contents very nicely thank you. Plegaria is a nice opening to the album, revealing Rosas’ considerable talents both as player and arranger. The centrepiece of the album is the four-movement Sinfonia. The opening movement is particularly impressive, with a truly commanding orchestral feel to the arrangements. Aside from a couple of cheesy moments and some clumsy drum effects, this is a keyboard fans dream come true, with plenty of terrific solos and dramatic crescendos. It should appeal to all lovers of symphonic rock. The second movement is a gentle affair, with some lovely electric piano, and a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. The synths reproduce a nice woodwind type of sound. The third movement is short but highly charged with tension and drama. There is a richly cinematic feel here, achieved with string synths and Moogs. The percussion is hugely effective on this track. The final movement brings things to a satisfactory conclusion, with yet more Moog and organ soloing. There is plenty of variety in the keyboard textures and voicings, with only the drum machines to lower the quality a little. This is a powerful end to a long but well sustained work. Lluvia is a romantic ballad, with a lush arrangement, primarily featuring rippling pianos, and topped with a moving vocal from Jaime Scappello. He has a richly toned voice, which imbues the Spanish lyrics with a highly poetic air. For the concluding suite of short pieces (mostly around the two minute mark) Rosas really whips it out, and whips up a storm. Abandoning the orchestral feel for a much more rocky approach, he proves himself to be equally at home with this much punchier style of playing and writing.
The tempos are generally pretty fast, but Rosas is a good player, and is more than equal to the task, his fingers executing lightning fast runs to rival Wakeman or Emerson at their best. What stops this being a great as opposed to a good work is the slightly one-dimensional production and, more importantly, the lack of input from other musicians. I would love to hear Rosas as part of a full band, or even better, to unleash his composing, arranging and soloing talents on a full orchestra. Now that would be awesome. Having said that, Rosas is a talented individual, and his work deserves hearing by all fans of symphonic keyboard extravaganzas.
Dave Sissons, Dutch Progressive Rock Page. Holland
Symphonic works, if they exist, is this faithful exponent of the genre entitled by his creator, Jaime Rosas, "Virgo". He is chilean keyboard player of progressive rock band Entrance, one of the best bands of the region. After two records released with his band, Rosas decided to enter the the soloist world, and he did a good job. "Virgo" proves all his potential and clearly is an effective and well done work. This is an 100% symphonic album where the keyboards control the scene from the beginning, with effective programmed drums although with a true drummer the CD would have been exceptional. Another low point is the lack of power in some of Jaime's keyboard passages, his sound is sometimes too light and in some points with little enthusiasm. Nevertheless, through all the work, the virtuosity of this musician is remarkable, not a single excess note with everything fitting into perfection, all of this reflects the rigorous work of composition that Rosas did. With a detailed examination of the best of the album I choose "Plegaria", one of the best music I've heard this year in Symphonic Rock; another favorite is “Sinfonía", a 25 minute symphony. The end of the record is divided in two: "Lluvia" the only song in the album and "Breves Piezas Rockeras", five powerful passages, although with an electric guitar it would have been perfect. In conclusion, a very good work, highly recommended for all the followers of this kind of music: the good one.
Alexis L. Berman, Planeta Rock. Argentina.