Nilo Espinoza Shaken, Not Stirred

Unlike any other reissue label, Vampisoul has some crazy South American hook-ups. Not only have they reissued obscure music from Peru, Uruguay and Bolivia but now Vampisoul is putting out a second generation of reissues that build on some of the choice artists discovered the first time around. Enter Nilo Espinoza, erstwhile Lima, Peru-based saxophonist of the ’60s and ’70s. This comp charts his progress from his most famous group, Los Hiltons and their boogaloo garage vibe, to more progressive territories in Bossa 70 and Nil’s Jazz Ensemble. The latter group kick off the disc with a track that’s worth the price of admission, like some long lost Strata East jam. As with many of the Peruvian hip shakers that Vampisoul has dug up, there are plenty of references to American and pan-Latin influences adapted to the Peruvian musical scene. Curiously though, with the love of African diasporic music throughout this set, there is no Afro-Peruvian influence at all on this disc. Perhaps that speaks to the other theme here, as related by the interview with Espinoza in the liner notes, which is his mind-broadening experience working overseas in the ’70s. Certainly Espinoza appears to be looking globally, not locally, with this music. The basic but catchy grooves of Los Hilton’s became far more widescreen as the recording dates got later, incorporating the influences of Isaac Hayes and Grover Washington, and addressing the needs of his hotel nightclub gigs and their international patrons. (Vampisoul)