Victor Jara

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Though especially loved by residents of his native Chile, Victor Jara's talent and appeal range much farther than South America. His solid songwriting, plaintive readings, and political strength make his music perfect for a crossover to folk audiences all over the world. This 1974 LP, a reissue of a much rarer 1969 work titled Pongo en Tus Manos Abiertas, includes 12 excellent performances by the Chilean singer/poet. From the faraway flute textures on "A Luis Emilio Recabarren" to the enchanting love song "Abre Tu Ventana" to his version of the Peruvian folk song "A la Molina No Voy Mas," Jara's readings are so emotional, no knowledge of Spanish is necessary to understand his songs. There is some superficial distortion to the material -- the result of a direct-from-phonograph transfer -- but the music is timeless.

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