Forged in the era of Central American proxy wars, Alfonso Lovo’s adventurous Latin jazz rock was sadly overshadowed by revolution. The guitar player and composer was the son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician and suffered for it when Sandinista rebels hijacked his flight home from Miami in 1971. A student at the time, he was shot in the hand and the stomach but lived to regain the use of his hand. His previously unheard album La Gigantona, made with his old friend, Santana percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas, met with setbacks as well. It was recorded in Managua in the mid-’70s where the political climate proved unfavorable. It was never released.
A single acetate survived, eventually landing in the hands of Chicago’s Numero Group label, who are putting it out this month for fans of freaky vintage psychedelia to delight in. It’s a wonderful thing, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a sucker for reissues. La Gigantona is a garden of psychedelic delights and every wah-wah guitar lick, lysergic synthesizer line, and poly-rhythmic beat gleams on this release.