For the last 2 years I’ve been desperately trying to buy all the cumbia records from Ecuador that I possibly can. You’d think since the country is sandwiched between Colombia and Peru, that I would have a ton of success. But unfortunately I haven’t. It might possibly be that Ecuador didn’t have as robust a musical heritage/recording industry as the other two aforementioned countries, or quite possibly, the music from Ecuador just hasn’t hit the eBay circuit yet. Perhaps I should go to Quito one day.
Nevertheless, the music I do have from Ecuador is as promising as any other form of South American cumbia – with saxophonist Lucho Silva being one of its most popular performers. Silva, born in Guayaquil, began his career as a big-band/jazz musician, but somehow wound up associating himself with cumbia acts in the 70’s and 80’s. I have a suspicion that the Ecuadorian/Andean groups like El Gato and Polito y Su Conjunto used the more mainstream Lucho Silva to legitimize their acts – because before and after this era, Lucho Silva has been nothing but a jazz saxophonist. Despite all that, the music itself is almost a cross between the organ driven cumbia of Mexico and the guitar driven sounds of Peruvian chicha – with a heavy Andean emphasis like no other. The 45 I have of Cumbia del Indio is actually from Mexico (awesome 45 picture sleeve). Most my music from Ecuador is on LP form, so I tossed up 2 of my other favorite songs from a Lucho Silva compilation LP for good measure. Enjoy!