Most Wanted! Elkin & Nelson – Jibaro (Enrolle) (CBS)
‘Jibaro’ is a one of a kind piece of folky Latin Jazz/Funk with tribal accents. But also a true Balearic classic in the meantime, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Although its paternity shouldn’t be credited to Electra who released it back in 1988 as a “Balearic Beat” concept. But to Colombian brothers, Javier and Leon Marin Velez who relocated to Spain. This before securing a deal with a major company (Columbia) and release their debut-album – ‘Angeles Y Demonios’ – back in 1974. Meanwhile fusing Funk, Soul and Afro influences with their native Latin rhythms to create infectious gems. Beginning with the seminal ‘Jibaro’.
As a matter of fact, ‘Jibaro’ pretty much made its way to the regulars of Ibiza. This after the release of its 12″ version five years later. With its reissue, back in 1986, adding much to its notoriety. And this at a time when Ibiza had started to become the holiday destination of a growing amount of people in Britain. With thanks to a bunch of British DJ’s who started establishing Summer residencies in the White Island.
Therefore, no wonder how ‘Jibaro’ managed to make some space in the list of the most sought after tunes around. Meanwhile it would find extra exposure on countless compilations that florished by the end of the 80’s. A masterpiece which British transient outfit Electra covered back then. This although without acknowledging its authors for some reason.
Needless to say, you don’t wanna miss this if ever you have until now. Do you?
Arriving from Medellín (Colombia), Javier and Leon Marin Velez dropped their luggage in Spain back in 1973. And, in the meantime, their colorful compositions, most likely playing acoustic guitars and singing with a certain exuberance. They came to the attention of Juan Pardo Suárez while performing in clubs around Madrid. With the latter getting them to sign a record deal with CBS and eventually become their producer.
The ‘Elkin & Nelson’ album saw the light the year after. This with the contribution of some of the most sought after local musicians. Beginning with Iñaki Egaña. A bassist whom some of you might remember of as a member of Barrabás. But also keyboard player Eduardo Leiva Rosell who worked along with countless Spanish artists. Be it as a musician, arranger and composer.
As for the photo session, the brothers were styled in a glamourous way. Close to the look associated with the ‘Gay Power’ movement which didn’t get them a lot of sympathy. This at a period when the homosexuals were persecuted in the country and extravagant looks not allowed on the public TV channel. This didn’t get the brothers from makin’ a stir though. Standing as the only Spanish singin’ artists to have a mention in ‘Gay Rock’, the influential book by Eduardo Haro Ibars. Meanwhile their ‘Elkin & Nelson’ featured goodies such as ‘Samba Samba’ and ‘A Caballo’. The latter eventually resurfacing years after. This as a part of an EP titled ‘The Balearic Sound Of Elkin & Nelson’ on Sunkissed Recordings.
The same would apply to the boiling hot ‘Abran Paso-Ahoa’ as a matter of fact. Itself makin’ its appearance on their ‘Angeles Y Demonios’ album. An effort that got them to reach the celebrity in Spain and some Latin American countries. Meanwhile featuring what would be their biggest classic ever as a matter of fact. And this by the likes of ‘Jibaro’. A cut that pretty much illustrates their ability to blend Soul, Jazz and Funk vibes with their native Latin rhythms.
Reappearing 5 years later as a 12″ single brought ‘Jibaro’ to a new life. Makin’ its way to a brand new crowd in the Balearic Islands where it got the status of a classic. With British transient outfit Electra givin’ it a cover version in 1988. Although not acknowledging it. With this comin’ up much as a surprise at the end when havin’ a deeper look at the identity of its main protagonists. In other words, Paul Oakenfold and John Rocca.
Quite surprisingly as well, one wouldn’t hear anymore of Elkin & Nelson for almost 20 years on the release front. The two brothers putting an end to a 18 year hiatus with a third album – ‘Expresiones’ – on Area Creativa back in 1992. Meanwhile, Elkin dropped a couple of singles as Elkin Marin. Comin’ up with ‘Belladona’ on CBS in 1983. Then ‘Me Voy’, three years later on Diapason.
Last but not least, one could read on Discogs that Elkin & Nelson eventually collaborated with The Gibson Brothers. Thus appearing on some of their biggest classics. Beginning with the memorable ‘Cuba’ back in 1978, but also ‘Ooh! What A Life’. Not to mention ‘Que Sera Mi Vida’…
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