ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 3

Continue from part 2alfredo cover RC2

So we are in 1963.  How many LPs did you recorded with Nico Estrada?

2 or 3.  They are mixes, a cumbia and some tropical songs.

No Jazz?

No, all tropical music, and one salsa song.  Nico always leaned towards guaracha and salsa.  During that time, the band was formed by the two vocalist,  Kiko Fuentes and Pochi Macedo, also brother of Macedo; in the bass was Gillermo; Coco in the congas, Nico played the timbalitos and in the trumpets was Tomas Oliva, Felipe Olluz and Amaya.  The other vocalist was Gillermo Mendez, who recorde in Pepe Hernandez’ Combo.

And Alfredo Linares in the piano?


When you returned to Lima, Did you get hired again?

Correct!, When we where in Buenos Aires we had an offer to work there.  But for sentimental reason and family, we said: “Nope, my kids, etc”.  That is how we came back to Lima.  The following year, when we came back, we played with Tito Rodriguez.

For real?! Who played the piano?

It was Rene Hernandez

Rene “El Latigo” Hernandez?

Yes, that one!, there was also another pianist too, a tall guy… we formed part of the group, also Mike Collazo, “Danny” Rodriguez and Alberto Valdez in the congas.

Vitin Paz on trumpets?

Bobby Porcell in the sax… the rest I don’t remember.  It was a group of four trumpets and five saxophones.

Not bad, Imagine playing with all that brass?

Marta Correa and Elliot Romero did the vocals.  Marta was more of a dancer, she appears in the cover of Tito Rodriguez’ LP call “Carnaval de las Americas”.

In Argentina you found your companion, the one you took back to Peru.  But also you told me, you had about 3 girlfriends in Argentina during that year.

That is because Argentinian women are beautiful!

They can not be more beautiful than the Colombian girls.

No, the Colombian women are a different ball park.  They are more women, more blood latina.  Meaning they are more feminine.  An Argentinian man told me the same when I lived in Bogota.

The Venezuelan women are beautiful also.

Yes, that has changed a lot.  When I arrived in Venezuela, the Venezuelan women where more authentic, more darker skin, to be honest: “Morenas”.  For sure we are mixed.  Beautiful women up there.

Maestro, did you played the drums as well?

I played the bongos and congas more.  Besides, Coco Lagos had felt in love with my sister.  Because I had two congas, he told me: “Look, let me teach you something…”.  For sure it wasn’t for me to turn into a “Conguero”, I was more focus on absorbing all the info he was about to give me.

You told me when your fathers drummers did not appear for a presentation, You would play the drums.

Yes, that was normal when a musician was missing.  That also happen when a percussionist was missing.  One time at a gig, I had to sing, cuz the vocalist never appeared.

You dominate the saxophone and the clarinet.

I studied saxophone and trumpet, but I repeat, It wasn’t my call, it was part of my formation as a musician.  For sure I wanted to learn what was an orchestration.  That way you know what instrument was leading and which one was need it too.  I also remember there was a young guy that played the saxophone also, he lived at my house.  He started teaching me how to played the sax and the flute, that is how I learned both instruments.

Let’s go back to 1963.  You returned to Argentina with Nico…

We when about 3 years in a row, in Buenos Aires they loved us.  Also for the label that the song “Calle 13” reached.  We played that song a lot and the band was formed very well.

Was it in Argentina where you felt in love with “Tango music”?

No, It was in Lima, there was lots of people that would listen to “Tango”.  But Buenos Aires was the city that gave me the opportunity to watch some of the greatest Argentinian Musicans, like Picho Coltrado, Alfredo de Angelis and there was a few others that I cannot remember right now.  You can distinguish then by their “filo” sound (sharp notes).

Did you lived in Buenos Aires?

No, I came back.  The second time is when I felt in love with the Argentinian girl and by the third time, I took her back to Lima.  We marry in Buenos Aires.

Do you have a son?

Yes,  Alfredo Linares Carrizo.  Carrizo is a great last name, popular in Argentina, I remember a gol keeper from River Plate named Amadeo Carrizo.  He was very famous when I was young, I was crazy for soccer.  I used to play every day even when I played the piano all night.

So you returned to Lima?

Yes.  And I kept working with Nico Estrada, but at the same time I had my own style and formation, with the Orquestra de Alfredo Linares, I replaced my father.  There was lots of work, we played every week.

Did you recorded anything from the Orquesta Linares?


Did you play with some of the great players that came to Lima?

Yes, I played with various musicians that visited Lima like “Negro del Batey” (Alberto Beltran), with Ronaldo Laserie (The handsome of the song) and with Bienvenido Granda (the mustache that sings), to name a few.  They where all good experiences that I was collecting, that gave me more style, I became more confident.  I also recorded with Leo Marini and Nelson Pinedo.  I did some arrangements in one piece for Nelson, a song called “Enamorado de una amiga mia” (in love with a girl-friend).

After I finish my season with Nico Estrada, I continued my studies at the conservatory.

Let’s talk a bit about Jazz in Peru.

I offer you anything.  Referring to the generation of pianist in Peru.  The ones that follow Jazz closely where:  Fernando Alcazar, called “El Chato” and also Charlie Palomares, the singer, he also played the piano.

And Jaime Delgado Aparicio?

Jaime Delgado, Yes!. He was already out of this world.  It was like listening to one of the greatest.

Was he your partner?

Almost.  He was a few years older than me.

He was more leaning towards Jazz, more than Antillana-music.

Correct!, He studied in the Berkley University of Music.  So when he came back to Peru, he came very well informed and ready to take any job coming his way.  He formed various musical groups, locally and world wide.  He had a son.  Is not too much to say that Jaime was a men of Culture, he came from a wealthy family, so he enjoyed a good live economically.  That is how he was able to studies in Berkley and still return to Lima.

The show we did together was to play with a Canadian singer and Mario Escobar also came to the band, a Chilean saxophonist out of this world,  as well as Jaime.  They both where virtuosos in the saxophone.  The drummer was a kid named Cocho Arbe,  he was amazing too.  Jaime played bass and I played the piano.  All of them where great musicians,  very versatile in various genre.

Was it recorded?

No,  The show was at the “Feria del Pacifico” during 1968,  every year Peru would celebrate at the Fair.  To show the flexibility of the musicians,  in that show we even played Japanese music,  but well played and done.  The arranger advised us to listen to Japanese music, so we can learn what he had written.  Thanks to God we had been raised in between Japanese Peruvian Culture as well as Chinese Peruvian Culture.  This both cultures are very rooted in the Culture of Peru.

And Nilo Espinoza,  the great saxophonist,  he recorded in the Combo of Pepe, right?

Yes, true indeed!.  But it was with Pepe Hernandez and with Pepe Moreno.  Nilo also played the flute. I did a few Bossa Nova arrangements for him.  Later that was, around 1974 I came back to Lima and we formed a Jazz group (Alfredo shows the new paper clippings)

El Pito

Courtesy LP from Roberto Ernesto Gyemant Collection

In which order did you LPs came out first?  El Pito is your work and also El Combo De Pepe and the two Descarga LPs of Coco Lagos?

EL PITO was the 1st one.

In the year 1966 or 1967?

Around that time.  It came out when Joe Cuba released “El Pito”  (I’ll never go back to Georgia” in the LP “We must be doing something right” Tico 1966)  The proposition was given by the owner of the record label Manuel A. Guerrero.  He knew what he was doing.  MAG RECORDS was the Label.  He gave us the Joe Cuba LP and we recorded the song in one take.  Later came “Yo traigo boogaloo” and then is when it came El Combo de Pepe.

How did your relationship with MAG started?

It was an open door, I have to say it like that!… For all of us to record.  Logically,  we didn’t have a huge faith in wealth.  We mainly did it for the “impulse” in music, and the musical impulse.

Did you have the music written when you did El Pito?

No, El Pito didn’t have any arrangements.  We recorded in one take, with all the musicans in the studio, yes!

Who are the musicans in EL PITO LP?

It was the studio’s group,  so all the recordings was done with Mario Allison in the timbales,  Coco Lagos in the bongos and congas,  Joey Di Roma in the bass,  Melcochita in the vocals and chorus and also Beny Alzolar.  Also Kiko Fuentes did some vocals and Carlos Muñoz formed part of the studio band, who also did some of the chorus in the Orquesta de Lucho Macedo.

Do you appear in other recordings from MAG’s artist?

Yes, but it wasn’t exclusive for MAG.  We could record with any record label in Peru, no strings attach.  I recorded with VIRREY some commercial songs, also I did some recording with Peter Delis,  he know the commercial part of music,  songs more Colombian and some “popurris” (madleys).  I played a FARFISA organ, made in Italy.  I also recorded with SONORADIO PERU while Kiko recorded with the Orquesta de Enrique Lynch.  To say it like that, really Enrique’s name was a house hold name… Who played the piano part was Otto de Rojas.  Rojas was a men of talent and he knew how to play the “tumbao”,  he was a natural pianist, he didn’t read music, something ironic, because he’s sister was a concert pianist.

The group of the studio was something not definite it was something electric.  Some musicians would come one day and then the other day now show.  It was:  Mario Allison, Coco Lagos and Nilo Espinoza in the saxophones,  Betico “Salsa” in the 1st trumpet, he was member of the Lucho Macedo band,  Tito Chicoma an excellent trumpeter too, he was the one who played the trumpet in “Mambo Rock”,  another that played the piano was Charlie Palomares who also played the vibraphone, I also played the vibraphone in a few tracks, while Kiko, Carlos Muñoz and Melcochita would sing.

And what do you now about Carlos Hayre?

Yeah, he was one of the best players in Peru in those times.

What instrument did he played?

He played the guitar and the bass, he also did some arrangements.

Did you recorded any tracks with him?

He recorded one of my songs in his LP.  He didn’t do too many recordings,  as from what I know,  he was more part of the ambient, since he had a difficult time… it was during the time when Carlos felt in love with Alicia Magina.  Alicia Magina was the author of a Peruvian popular song call “Fina Estampa”  (Alfredo starts to sing “Fina Estampa”)…. “Caballero de fina estampa… Caballero!” During that time the racial tension was very strong in Peru.  Alicia was part of the high society in Lima, while Carlos was just a “barrio” boy, from the humble neighborhoods of Lima, Like me!

What “Barrio” Neighborhood?

From “Barrios Altos”,  this is who Carlos and I took the advantage to play with other musicians, we learned what the high society people liked to ear.  We had the versatility to play for the “Pueblo” and at the same time to do a Bossa Nova or Jazz concert.

Carlos and Alicia got marry,  but they had to go to Ecuador to get marry.  Every body in Alicia’s family was opposed to the marriage because Carlos was  a “Moreno” (Black men) and Alicia was a white woman.  Alicia didn’t share those same believes with her family, she was a progressive woman, she remember that for musical reasons she had felt in love with Carlos.  So they marry in Ecuador and from what we saw, they lowered the critical label of racism in our society,  like that!… Carlos had done a great work in Peru with his Sonora.  La Sonora Sensacion,  was one of the best in the country.  When he marry, he became part of the other society, he’s dedication was concerts presentation and tv shows.

After you played the bass in his recordings.

Well,  because the bassist didn’t show up to the session and he played a baby bass,  I took the challenge and played the bass for the recordings.  Later on.  When I became a producer,  I couldn’t wait for no one… time was money.  Also, hiding, I used to play the bass.  In Bogota happen the same as in Lima, while I was recording “Mambo Rock”,  I did the bass part and I placed it in the recordings,  as well as in the song “Soul & Feeling”.


For this last recording I borrowed a baby bass from a colleague,  Guillermo Vergara’s brother.  During that time a baby bass was a rare object.

Your 1st LP “EL PITO” is it consider a rare piece and is also a very well looked record around the collectors in the world.  When it came out, Was it well received?  Was it a total success?

Well,  It was well received for the critics, because the title was very commercial.  So the people liked it right away, specially the people that follow this type of music,  At that time we called it in Peru, “Jovenes del barrio” (youngsters of the neighborhood).  But it was also well received with the “Malandros”, that is how they called it in Venezuela, to the people that loved the hard / strong emotional songs.

Did you like your nickname “EL BRAVO”

For sure!,  I had a few nick names in that record… I created a few.

It was your marketing.

Sure, It was a form of marketing to put my name out there.

And that yellow blazer you are wearing in the cover?

Yeah! (laugh) it was borrowed as well as the thin black tie. (laugh)

If you would off spilled mustard on it, nobody would off notice… (laugh)

Ah, yeah. Sure! (laugh)

You have played many roles in the music world:  musician, director, soloist, producer, arranger, etc.

When I came back from Argentina I wanted to produce.  I kept studing, and kept learning, You know?!  It was a journey of searching.  Searching constantly to find my own sound.  That is what I tried and I accomplished that… I found the sound of Alfredo Linares.  In every way I tried not to sound like the others.

One Response to “ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 3”

  1. […] ALFREDO LINARES Interview by Roberto Ernesto Gyemant (span) / Translation by Listen Recovery (eng) Part 4 continue from part 3 […]

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