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TORRE DE TIZA – GRABACIONES 2007-2007 (Mylodon Records, 2023)

It’s hard to believe that this music from Mexico’s Torre de Tiza is from the early 21st century for it sounds more a nascent blues and jazz leaning prog band from the late 60s/ early 70s. The staccato style of electric guitarist Guillermo Rodriquez takes a bit of getting used to, but the music eventually charmed me with its retro flair, although it sounds somewhat naïve and under produced at times.

It is mostly the standard keyboards/ guitar/ bass/ drums prog format, but on ‘Zozobra’, while perhaps the trumpet, tenor sax and flute don’t meet top jazz standards, the group’s ambition can’t be faulted, and on several occasions the melodies hit my sweet spot, as on ‘Intrigulis’ where the group reverts to a twin guitar (Juan Francisco Dávila as the soloist)/ bass/ drum format. Some clever moves are also heard on ‘Colores primarios’ as a retro organ soloes during a stop-start five minutes with some weird electronics to finish.

A mammoth track, ‘Matices de una vida’ comes in 11 parts over 27 minutes and embraces classical inspired piano sections and blues rock; inevitably rambling, but with some fine moments. The Latin-inflected final track is very good indeed (especially the guitar) and there is some wry humour in the music that was so typical amongst Canterbury bands in particular – a good thing in my book.

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