Jaime Delgado Aparicio El Embajador y Yo

El Embajador y Yo, the reissued soundtrack to the 1966 Peruvian spy flick of the same name, flashes back to the days of muscular movie music, meaning deeply arranged, orchestra-driven, brass-heavy blow-outs, with soundtrack moguls like Henry Mancini and Leonard Bernstein leading the pack. Peruvian jazz pianist Jaime Delgado Aparicio, who composed this dynamic film score, channels that expansively swanky Pink Panther/007 vibe on El Embajador y Yo, but his soundtrack grooves are closer to their pop sources, with Aparicio wrapping the piano-led jazz instrumentals more tightly around surf, R&B, bossa and other pop genres. Starting with "Sexy Surf,” Aparicio trades in the surf guitar licks for some Ray Charles-like piano breaks, while on "Surf El Embajador” he rocks a proto-Hawaii Five-0 vibe, complete with punchy trumpet blasts. "Marcha a Chincha” reveals Aparicio’s quirky side, as he subverts the standard marching band dirge and injects it with a carnival-esque twist. However, the sweetest surprise in this set is "La Arana,” a wistful ballad sung by the film’s female protagonist, Patricia Aspillaga, whose sultry vocals evoke Brazilian singer Gal Costa’s dusky tones. As with previous releases, Vampisoul does an excellent job repackaging El Embajador y Yo, with a cover embossed with a scene from the movie, detailed liner notes and an immaculate remastering of the album’s 16 tracks. Vampisoul also includes the pianist’s debut album, Jaime Delgado Aparicio Y Su Trio, providing a musical context for the brilliant work of this ’60s Latin jazz musician. (Vampisoul)