Well, this music does come from the Andes, but it's not representative of the wide range of Andean music, given that there are only five artists on the disc, and one of those, the late, great singer and songwriter Victor Jara, only appears once, with "El Tinku." Like Jara, the other groups here have their roots in the time before the Chilean military coup of 1973. Among them is the venerable Inti-Illimani, a group that's existed for over three decades, playing not only the music of their native Andes, but who've also explored traditions across Latin America, although they moved to Europe following the coup, as did Quilapayun, who settled in Paris, continuing their vocal music, as on "El Canto Del Cuculi." All three of the above were quite political, Jara particularly, and socially concerned, traits reflected heavily in their music and songs, comprised not only of traditional pieces, but also the Nueva Cancion movement which had swept the country in the '60s. The same is true of Illapu, another band who were forced into temporary exlie from their homeland by their political stance. While they all kept one foot in the past and looked forward, the other group on here, Kollahuara, remained exclusively folkloric -- their "El Condor Pasa," a tune well-known to Americans, thanks to Paul Simon -- has the weight of many years behind it. So while this might not be a full view of Chilean Andean music, what's here is beautiful, with, of course, plenty of pan pipes and charangos, and well worth hearing, played by some true masters.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson