Sunday, November 22, 2015

Acuña Alex & The Unknowns - 1991 "Thinking of You"

Alejandro Neciosup Acuña aka Alex Acuña (born December 12, 1944) is a Peruvian drummer and percussionist, in the Afro-Cuban jazz style.

Born in Pativilca, Peru, Acuña played in local bands from the age of ten, and moved to Lima as a teenager. At the age of eighteen he joined the band of Perez Prado, and in 1966 he moved to San Juan Puerto Rico. In 1974 Acuña moved to Las Vegas, working with artists such as Elvis Presley and Diana Ross, and the following year he joined the jazz-fusion group Weather Report, appearing on the albums Black Market and Heavy Weather. Acuña left Weather Report in 1978, and became a session musician in California, recording and playing live with (amongst many others) Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Chick Corea, Whitney Houston, Plácido Domingo, former Weather Report bandmates Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Beck, Roberta Flack, U2, Al Jarreau Marcos Witt. He can be found on recordings by musicians as culturally Lee Ritenour, Johnny Clegg, Roy Orbison, YellowJackets, Lalo Schiffrin, Milton Nascimento, Don Grusin, Dave Grusin, The Brecker Brothers, Arturo sandoval, Paquito d' Rivera, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Brad Melhdau, Paco de Lucia, John Patitucci, Sadao Watanabe, Lyle Mays, Diana Ross, Sergio Mendez, Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne Beth Midler, Christina Aguilrera, Seal, Chris Botti.
In the 1980s Acuña also recorded and toured with the Christian jazz band Koinonia, which featured session musicians Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, Hadley Hockensmith, Harlan Rogers, and Bill Maxwell. The Winans, Andrae Crouch, Madona, He played on Willy DeVille's Crow Jane Alley album and in 1987 he teamed up with Elvis Presley's TCB Band for the Roy Orbison TV special "A Black and White Night". He played percussion on Blondie's number one hit "The Tide Is High", Also recorded more than 300 movies under the direction of lalo Shiffrin, Dave Grusin, Michelle Legrand, Bill Conti, James Horner, James Newton Howard, John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Michael Giachinno, Christopher Beck, Murice Jarre, Steve Jablonski, John Powell, Heitor Pereira. In 1987, Acuña was summoned back to Perú by producer Ricardo Ghibellini to form part of "Los Hijos del Sol", a supergroup of peruvian prodigies designed to promote peruvian music worldwide.
He has also worked as an educator at University of California, Los Angeles and Berklee College of Music.LAMA, Musicians Institute, USC, CSUN.

Alex Acuna & The Unknowns are one of the greatest fusion groups that nobody has heard of! Alex Acuna ( drummer for the famous Weather Report ) and world class session drummer is well known but his work with the "Unknowns" remains unknown to the vast majority of the jazz fusion listening public!

Great writing and musicianship - you gotta' here this album - and don't forget to check out the groups other release "No Accent" - absolutely some of the best jazz fusion!!! - David Arivett CJA Network 

01. Te Amo 3:52
02. Joe's Red Eye 3:48
03. Marionettes 4:43
04. Hoppin' It 5:31
05. Nice 4:06
06. Cocho San 4:16
07. Van Nuys Jam 2:56
08. Think Of You (Pensando En Ti) 5:05
09. Psalms 5:58
10. Ten O'Clock Groove 3:55

Alex Acuna - drums, percussions, vocals
Carlos Santana - guitar
Abraham Laboriel - bass
Paulinho Da Costa - percussion
Luis Conte - percussion
Brandon Fields - sax
Lou Pardini - vocal, piano
John Pena - bass
Michito Sanchez - percussion
Rudi Delgado - percussion
Efrain Toro - drums, percussions, programming
Otmaro Ruiz - keyboards, vocals
Pedro Eustache - flute, wind synthesizer
Ramon Stagnard - guitars
Cocho Abre - keyboards
Diana Acuna - vocals
Danilo Lozano - flute
Tiki - background vocals
Dante Young - background vocals



  2. I tried... but the production values and the synths are overwhelmingly not to my taste. To my biased ears, the whole is less than the sum of its many excellent parts. Oh well.
    In the plus column, Miles Davis' Live-Evil is great