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Acid Symposium


Bwana CD coverBwana were a latin-psyche band from Columbia. Their self-titled LP originally came out in 1972. It has seven songs withing 46 minutes, some of them quite long, such as the closing track which clocks in at just over thirteen minutes.

While this may appear to be an Afro-beat record, it is actually closer in sound to early Santana, but without the presence of one strong personality leading the proceedings.

The fact that there is no central figure makes Bwana a great listen for anyone interested in rhythm. The emphasis is on the beat and the drums in every song. There are lots of extended percussion breaks held together by bass guitar, organ, and guitar.

There is no information to be found about Bwana anywhere (that I could find), and this CD offers no info other than band member photos and names

  • Roberto Martinez - guitar, vocals
  • Roman Cerpas - bass, percussion and vocals
  • Salvador Fernandez - Tumbas, bongos and percussion
  • Ricardo Palma - Oragan, guitar, piano, vocal
  • Donaldo Mantilla - Bateria, timbales and percussion
  • Danilo Amador - organ

Chapumbambe is a medium lengthed 7:36 and has a strong Santana feel due to the fair amount of vocal in the track. It is pretty catchy, and is probably the track I would play to someone I was showing this record to. The large percussive break between the two and five minute mark is pretty fine, even with the lead guitar...

Todo es Real is standard song length at 4:37 and has an organ melody right up front. The organ is like early Deep Purple or the House of the Rising Son. But the vocal part comes in after two minutes and brings you back to an early Santana 'Evil Ways' sound.

If you enjoy 70s rock with a lot of percussion and have enjoyed records on the Vampisoul label, there is a very good chance you will find plenty to like about Bwana and this CD. Moments date themselves because of lead guitar breaks, but most of the disc sounds pretty great here in 2006.

---Carl, March 8, 2006