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Review, Analysis and Recordings Containing
Ataypura!
Ataypura! Monophonic Duophonic
High Andes!  (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter - 2:58)
Recorded in 1950

Review and Analysis of Ataypura! by Nicholas E. Limansky
From Yma Sumac - The Art Behind the Legend
used with permission - all rights reserved, © Nicholas E. Limansky
Read more on the Legacy of the Diva Web site!
"The Andes fill with awe and affection the hearts of the natives who live in this constant mountain grandeur.  Here are the voices of the people, mixed with the voices of the winds, a chorus of man and the elements, surviving and exulting side by side."  (Liner notes from 1956 re-pressing)

"An evocation of the three-thousand-year-old Incan culture in the varied facets of its daily experience - the call of the Andean peasants - the mystery of the Andean winds - the voice of the Andes."  (Program from University of Minnesota concert, November 4, 1954)

Of the songs recorded at this time, "Ataypura" was the only one to remain (on and off) in Yma's repertoire for over 47 years.  And to this day it remains a favorite with record listeners.  Because it was used as the main theme in the movie Secret of the Incas, and heavily scored throughout the film, it is often considered her theme song.  This piece (as an orchestral introduction) was also often used as entrance music for Yma's nightclub and concert appearances.  It is easy to see why Moisés [Vivanco] selected this particular number for Yma's first selection on concerts since the opening measures allow Yma the opportunity to warm up her voice.

[Les] Baxter's arrangement emphasizes the mysteries of the Andes with its use of low, vibrant strings and unusual chordal structure.  In two sections, "Ataypura" is typical of Yma's Incan chants in that it has a simple A-B structure (cousin to, even if far-removed, to the operatic A-B form of Cavatina and Cabaletta).  In Yma's case, section A is usually lyrical while section B shows Afro-Cuban influence and is most often a vocal free-for-all.  Although there was a definite guideline for both sections, what occurred during them was Yma's choice.  More often than not B sections boasted fantastic rhythmical or vocal counterpoint.

Section A shows Yma's dusky contralto and excellent use of the chest register as Yma sings an introductory call.  Despite the fragmented phrases, Yma's singing is smooth and lyrical.

Yma begins section B by belting a B flat in an open, raw chest voice pitched at B flat.  She then skats up two-octaves and repeats the main theme of the song.  This is a stunning effect not only for the beauty and nonchalance of Yma's singing but also for the rhythmical emphasis she gives to single notes within phrases.  She follows this with bird-like high staccati of pecked-at high Fs and F#s different in execution (more marcato) from the staccati of the previous band, "Taita Inty."  Rhythmical accents abound and grace note attacks serve as excellent bird effects and emphasize Yma's rhythmical pointing.  There is also a fascinating use of quarter-tone for subtle colorations.  There is an unusual form of jazz scatting as Yma ascends, with obvious relish to play among high Ds and E flats.  This playing with notes is an instrumental concept that Yma was enamored with, a type of altitudinous dancing with high notes.  She frequently used it in concert and on recordings throughout her career.  As late as 1997, Yma danced among high Cs and Ds as she had for over forty years during her performances of La Molina at the Montreal Jazz Festival.  In each instance her joy communicates itself through the record groves.  This communication of pleasure was one of Yma's outstanding musical traits.  Because of this, there is a riveting attraction to her singing that lasts through infinite repetitions.  The song ends as Yma offers quarter-tones and textural accents two-octaves lower and fades away into non-sensical whispers.

Ataypura!  is included on the following releases
Download-only version of Yma Sumac's first (Voice of the Xtabay) and third Inca Taqui albums, probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These are the same tracks that can be found on legitimate releases of Voice of the Xtabay. The exact country of origin is u . . . 2011 Australia
catalog no: SSL-3266
This is one of several transcription LP (16" vinyl format) that we've seen and this one has six of the original eight Voice of the Xtabay tracks on one side with the last two on the second side, followed by an unrelated suite of four orchestral pieces called Caucasian Moods. This recording was . . . 1950 United States
catalog no: AMR536
Another collection featuring tracks from Yma Sumac's various Capitol Records releases of the '50s. This release is available only as a download. 2010 United Kingdom
Download-only version of selections from Yma Sumac's Voice of the Xtabay, Legend of the Sun Virgin and Inca Taqui. probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These tracks are included on legitimate releases of Voice of the Xtabay and Legend of the Sun Virgin b . . . 2013 Australia
Download-only version of the original eight track release of Yma Sumac's Voice of the Xtabay, probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These are the same tracks that can be found on legitimate releases of Voice of the Xtabay but with the English translations . . . 2011 Australia
Unusual 78 single from Brazil pairs two tracks that are generally unrelated: Babalu is usually paired with Wimoweh as a single only but High Andes (Ataypura) is from the 1950 Voice of the Xtabay 78 rpm album 1953 Brazil
catalog no: CP 053
Single from Voice of the Xtabay 1950 New Zealand
catalog no: 15648
One of several 78 RPM singles from France on the Telefunken label. 1950 France
catalog no: CD-244
This was Yma Sumac's first album after arriving in the United States in 1946. Before that, she recorded a number of sides in Argentina in 1943. 1950 United States
catalog no: CD-244
This album, which was recorded in 1950, is a reissue of Yma Sumac's debut album. The original pressings did not have the wood grained border around the cover art as seen on this later reissue. By the time this one was made, 78s were falling out of favor so that this pressing is rather rare today. 1952 United States
catalog no: CD-244
This album, which was recorded in 1950, is a Canadian reissue of Yma Sumac's debut album. Unusual in that it has an embossed leatherette cover without cover art. 1952 Canada
catalog no: CDF-244
This is one of the early pressings of Yma Sumac's first U.S. album and was released right after the 78 set. 1950 United States
catalog no: CDF-224
One of several unusual Voice of the Xtabay pressings without any front cover photo. On this version, the track listing and credits are also on the front with the inside cover containing the notes and the back of the box being plain. 1952 Canada
catalog no: EAP1-684
Part 1 of set from Norway has tracks from both Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) so is actually a compilation rather than an original reissue. 1956 Norway
catalog no: EBF-244
Reissue of first album, b/w back cover photo. 1952 United States
catalog no: H-244
Reissue of first album, color back cover photo.  The first edition pressings in this format such as this one do not have the woodgrained border as have later pressings. 1952 United States
catalog no: H-244
Reissue of first album, with wood-grained border and b/w back cover photo. This release, as with many European pressings, has the cover art and wood grained border printed together and unlike many others, it does not have the High Fidelity logo on the cover below the Capitol logo. 1952 France
catalog no: LCA 244
Reissue of Yma Sumac's 1950 recording.  This is one of the few pressings to have a plain cover without a photo.  Instead, it has white and dark blue text on a light blue background. 1952 Germany
catalog no: H-244
Import reissue of first album embossed burgundy cover, white print logo, black print title without cover art of any kind.  Has color back photo, probably dates to the first 10" LP reissues. 1952 Canada
catalog no: LCA 244
Reissue of Yma Sumac's 1950 recording. Another release from Germany has the same catalog number but does not have the cover art that this release has. 1952 Germany
catalog no: LC.6522
Import reissue of first album Blue cover, white print logo, black print title without cover art of any kind 1953 United Kingdom
catalog no: H-244
Import reissue of first album burgundy cover with gold embossed text, without cover art of any kind.  Has B/W back photo, probably dates to a later 10" LP reissue. 1953 Canada
catalog no: LC.6522
This pressing was actually manufactured in the U.K. but was made specifically for the South African market.  It differs from the U.K. release in that it has liner notes and the South African "Seal of Guarantee / Waarborgseël" along with some slight differences on layout. 1953 South Africa
catalog no: L-244
Later reissue of first album, with woodgrained border and b/w back cover photo 1954 United States
catalog no: L-244
Reissue of first album from New Zealand.  Mfg. by His Master's Voice (N.Z.) Ltd. 1954 New Zealand
catalog no: UV092
Recent 10" LP release of Yma's first album with the original eight tracks. 2003 Italy
catalog no: L-244
Brazilian pressing of Voice of the Xtabay has liner notes, label and sleeve text in Portuguese. Yma Sumac was very popular in Brazil and performed a number of concerts there through the years but the album pressings are only now starting to appear outside the country. As with most South American pre . . . 1952 Brazil
catalog no: ST-26 498
12" LP compilation from Spain.  Manel Domínguez-Navarro, who wrote the liner notes, is a regular visitor to this site and is also an Yma Sumac fan. 1982 Spain
catalog no: 3070
Radio programming Silver Platter contains ready-for-broadcast music by many Capitol artists with interviews of some.  Includes announcements and premiums for use by radio stations. 1963 United States
catalog no: W-684
This is the first 12" LP reissue of Yma Sumac's phenominal 1950 premier album and includes all the tracks from her third album, Inca Taqui to fill the larger capacity of the 12" LP format. 1955 United States
catalog no: REG 2007
This unusual 12" LP reissue from England of Yma Sumac's first album, recorded in 1950, has original eight tracks only - it does not include the Inca Taqui tracks as other 12" LPs.  The cover shows a closeup photo of flowers without a photo of Yma Sumac.  The back is fairly plain with title . . . 1956 United Kingdom
catalog no: 5C 038-85488 (T-684)
LP containing sixteen tracks from Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) from Holland. Similar in most repects to the U.S. releases except in catalog number and logo details. It was released on the EMI Records Holland sub-label. Inner sleeve features an artist rendering of the Capitol Reco . . . 1956 Netherlands
catalog no: W-684
Reissue of first album, B/W back cover photo, this is a later pressing without the inset of the Inca Taqui cover art that graced the original release in this format.  Although not the very first, this is one of the earlier 12" LP releases and shares the catalog number with original 12" pr . . . 1963 United States
catalog no: DW 684
Reissue of first album, Duophonic simulated stereo, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1963 United States
catalog no: DW-684
Duophonic (simulated stereo) LP from Canada is virtually identical to U.S. pressings other than the tiny Made in Canada notations on the sleeve and disk label. 1963 Canada
catalog no: SLEM-323
One of the few known pressings from Mexico, this 12" LP is in the simulated stereo Duophonic format. 1972 México
catalog no: SUA 14 729
Supraphon version with plain back (track listing only) and no cover title.  This album is basically a reissue of Voice of the Xtabay but with one song less on each side. 1965 Czech Republic
catalog no: DV 6150
Gramophon record club version with cover title and liner notes. This album is basically a reissue of Voice of the Xtabay but with one song less on each side. 1965 Czech Republic
catalog no: 7243 8 317161 3
Double LP Compilation from Greece features tracks from Voice of the Xtabay, Mambo! and Legend of the Jivaro 1971 Greece
Vinyl releases seem to be the trend now as this recent double LP indicates. This time it is a reissue from a compilation CD rather than being a reissue of an original vinyl disk. 2005 United Kingdom
catalog no: 314 536 903-2
Soundtrack recording with a track by Yma Sumac 1998 United States
catalog no: 154575
Interesting collection. 2003 France
catalog no: ASIN: B00004UZVZ
Little is known about this compact disc but it is apparently a collection that contains both Yma Sumac's music and that of other performers. 1993 France
catalog no: PS39015
A collection featuring tracks drawn primarily from Yma Sumac's Mambo! (1954) and her Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952) albums with several others from various albums and singles. 2007 Germany
catalog no: SOW 90201
Compact Disc compilation from Holland, which is the first time that any of the early 1943 tracks from Argentina have been heard on a CD release outside South America. There is lots of ambiguity in this CD's country of origin (it indicates that it was made in Portugal in some places and The Netherlan . . . 2002 Netherlands
catalog no: DZS-092
Compilation with a track by Yma Sumac 1994 United States
catalog no: SOL 610
This compilation has fifteen tracks including a live track by Yma Sumac recorded in Bucharest, Romania and two instumentals by Les Baxter from his 1951 Ritual of the Savage album. It also features an interesting revision of the Inca Taqui cover art similar to what was used on a painted version of th . . . 2003 France
catalog no: CD-12 532
Part of a series of public domain CD releases from Promo Sound, formerly listed here is being in Italy but their business headquarters are in Ireland. 1996 Ireland
catalog no: 796 642-1
Contains Voice of the Xtabay and half of Mambo!, volume one of two 1991 France
Collection to be released on January 17th, 2005, although the country of origin is somewhat vague. It seems to show up primarily on sites in France but was more likely made in Italy. 2005 France
catalog no: INTROCD2086
Another compilation of early '50s material by Yma Sumac. 2006 United Kingdom
catalog no: CD-367
Compact disc compilation. 1995 Italy
catalog no: CD 367
Part of a series of public domain CD releases from Promo Sound, formerly listed here is being in Italy but their business headquarters are in Ireland. 1997 Ireland
catalog no: CD 31507
Another compilation featuring selections from Yma Sumac's first four Capitol Records albums. This release is part of the Entertainers of the World series. Although the country origin is not stated anywhere on the packaging inside or out, the publisher is located in Ireland. This release does not hav . . . 2009 Ireland
catalog no: CD 72 435-21 434-2-9
Compilation 2000 United States
catalog no: Promo
Compilation Promotional edition, Mfg. by Imperial Tape Company 2000 United States
catalog no: TOCP 50 037
CD compilation from Japan features a nice cross section of Yma Sumac's '50s material.  Now out of print, it still shows up once in a while. 1996 Japan
catalog no: EMI-RE-020 428
Contains early 1943 Argentina Session material, along with later Capitol Records tracks 1996 Perú
catalog no: OLFC 032
Compact Disc compilation from Italy. 2003 Italy
catalog no: CDP-7-91 217-2
Reissue of first album, first CD reissue, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1987 United States
Promotional copy of 1996 Right Stuff CD reissue, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1996 United States
catalog no: 0777-7-91 217-2-4
Reissue of first album, second CD reissue, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1996 United States
catalog no: 8374292
EMI Rarities reissue of first album with Inca Taqui tracks and bonus track with original unedited cover art 1999 France
catalog no: CREVO 34 CD
Compilation with previously-unreleased material.  This is the original 1995 issue but a more recent version exists with different tracks. 1995 United Kingdom
catalog no: CREVO 34 CD
Reissue of compilation with previously-unreleased material. This reissue contains a slightly different track selection than the original 2001 United Kingdom
catalog no: CD 830 62702-5
Despite EMI and Sony logos this interesting collection, which also includes tracks by great Peruvian performers Wara Wara, Siwar Q'ente and Martina Portocarrero, has countless typos and discrepancies of origin as to make the legitimacy of it questionable. Although stated made in France, it was likel . . . 2006 France
catalog no: 23351
76 Hits and Rarities from the goddess of Exotica. More details and track for this September 2012 collection coming soon. 2012 United Kingdom
Although this double CD has the tracks in a different order, it is basically the CD version of the LP, The Very Best of Yma Sumac, and is one of the few known pressings from Greece. 2003 Greece
Three CD set features performances by some of the best performers in music history with a track by Yma Sumac. Other performers include Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark, Judy Garland, Tammy Wynette, Ethel Merman, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Mae West, Evelyn Thomas, Grace Jones, Anita Ward, Peggy Lee, . . . 2006 Netherlands
catalog no: GSS 5482
This 3-CD set advertised as being from Holland but package and disk printing indicate it was made in Portugal. Released in March 2008 and contains 47 tracks, this boxed set contains three standard jewel cases all with the same cover art and no booklet or notes. The box cover is shown. 2008 Portugal
catalog no: 118734
Anthologie 1950-1959 Compact Disc set of Yma Sumac's containing all of Yma Sumac's 1950's Capitol Records original release catalog. Probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These tracks are included on legitimate releases of all the original albums. 2013 France
catalog no: GSS 5384
3-CD set featuring many performers as heard in various movie soundtracks. Most sites list this collection as being from the Netherlands but it is likely from Portugal. As with other releases by this label, it is a boxed set that comprises a cardboard slip-sleeve with standard jewel cases inside. 2008 Portugal
catalog no: BLUE102CD
Double CD collection features remastered tracks from the 1943 Argentina Session along with those from the Capitol Records years. 2005 United Kingdom
Yet another compilation CD with the title of Queen of Exotica making three with that title. This one, which is a 2-CD set, combines four of Yma Sumac's '50s albums. 2005 United Kingdom
catalog no: 0777 7 99701 2 4
Two-CD reissue of Voice of the Xtabay (original eight tracks only), Mambo and Legend of the Jivaro, in one jewel case. Manufactured in Holland for EMI Germany. 1992 Germany
catalog no: B00006IWIC
Two CD set containing the entire Mambo! and Ultimate Yma Sumac Collection CDs, probably as individual CDs in a slipsleeve. 2002 France
catalog no: FE 020537
Contains early 1943 Argentina Session material, along with later Capitol Records tracks 1996 Perú
catalog no: LL1084
An apparently legitimate DVD release, or at least a professional release, of Secret of the Incas from Spain in the PAL/Region 2 format. It will not play on standard U.S. DVD player. In English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish subtitles, includes an interactive menu with . . . 2012 Spain
catalog no: CEC 309
An apparently legitimate DVD release, or at least a professional release, of Secret of the Incas from Italy in the PAL/Region 2 format. It will not play on standard U.S. DVD players. Excellent quality and vivid color. In English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Di . . . 2013 Italy
This was Yma Sumac's first Hollywood film, copies of which exist in the Archives in English, Spanish, Italian and German but it has not been professionally released on video tape or DVD in the United States although there are several European releases in the PAL format. In our opinion, this is the b . . . 1954 United States
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