The Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer
World Circuit/Nonesuch CD 79532-2, 1999 (52:11)
My first reaction: wow! This is even more sultry than the groundbreaking Buena Vista Social Club album (previously reviewed) that re-introduced many to traditional Cuban dance music. Most of the songs are taken at a languid pace by musicians who remember when seduction was an art of patience. That does not mean the beat is missing, but that it is expressed with stately confidence instead of swaggering assertion. (Trust me: all possible rocks are gotten off.) Seventy-two year old Ferrer is the main singer, almost-ninety Rubén Gonzaléz returns on piano, and producer Ry Cooder is on slide guitar (of course), although he is frequently upstaged by Manuel Galbán, playing a cheap electric guitar that sounds like your fourth Bacardi sour. (Galbán was part of a great bossa-nova-meets-the-Ventures Cuban group called Los Zafiros.) But the real stars are the authentic-sounding arrangements, the telepathic interplay of the musicians and the vividly spacious recording. The recording, especially, not only captures the sounds of the all the musicians-including the strings, brass, backup singers, and percussion-but even the heat and smoke in the air. A winner in every way. By the way, be sure to catch Wim Wenders' documentary film "The Buena Vista Social Club," which features wonderful footage of this very recording session.
performers Ibrahim Ferrer, vocals; Ry Cooder, Manuel Galbán, Eliades Ochoa, guitars; Omara Portuondo, vocals; Papi Oviedo, tres; Daniel Ramos, trumpet; Gil Bernal, tenor sax; Joachim Cooder, dumbek, drums, udu; Carlos González, bongos, cowbell; Roberto García, bongos, guiro; Amadito Valdés, timbales; Barbarito Torres, laud; Angel Terry, conga; Pio Leyva, José Antonio Rodríguez, Lázaro Villa, chorus
songs Bruca Manigua · Herido de Sombras · Marieta · Guateque Campesino · Mami Me Gusto · Nuestra Ultima Cita · Cienfuegos Tiene Su Guaguancó · Silencio · Aquellos Ojos Verdes · Que Bueno Baila Usted · Como Fué
of related interest
Bossa Cubana, World Circuit/Nonesuch CD 79572-2, 1999
Here are the original versions of Manuel Galbán's guitar licks in this fine compilation of the amazing Cuban doo-wop bossa nova rock'n'roll band.