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Originally released in tiny numbers in 1975 on the Promusica label, ‘Pelo de Rata’ was the debut outing for a considerable talent in South American jazz, Matias Pizarro. A pianist and composer of some skill and flair, his output sadly falls far short for someone who exhibits such a natural ability to conjure up such an idiosyncratic style of jazz, replete with thoughtful yet simple melodies and driving rhythms. 
Born in Chile in 1949, Piazarro became one of the leaders of the new school in Chilean jazz of the late 1960s and, like jazz musicians all over the world at the time, he was influenced by the electric sounds of Miles Davis and the group of musicians who coalesced around the Dark Prince. Pizarro also drew on local rhythms and textures and teamed up with fellow South American jazz heads to form a group called Fusion. It featured David Estánovich (tenor sax), Lautaro Rosas (guitar), Enrique Luna (bass), Mario Lecaros (electric piano), and Orlando Avendaño (drums). They were one of the watershed bands in South American jazz and released an album called ‘Top Soul’ that is highly collectible. It is considered a crucial artifact in the maturation of jazz from the Americas during a particularly troublesome time. 
Sadly, like much of Latin and South America, Chile fell victim to military dictatorship in the1970s, after the CIA backed overthrow of President Salvador Allende by the military junta headed by General Augusto Pinochet (he would rule until 1993). Artistic expression during this time was fraught with difficulty, with many writers, artists and musicians imprisoned or murdered by the military powers. Dictatorships and jazz tend not to mix.


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