Category Archives: CUBA

Polo Montanez-Guajiro Natural

Performer: Polo Montanez
Album: Guajiro Natural
Genre: Cuban
Format: CD
Record Label: Lusafrica
Sound Quality: FULL
Format: Mp3_256Kbps
Recording Date: 25-4-2000
Total Time: 58:59
Size: 95,6 MB

Polo Montanez (June 5, 1955 – November 26, 2002) was a Cuban singer and songwriter.
Montanez was born Fernando Borrego Linares in Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Rio, in a farm known as El Brujito. At an early age he worked various jobs including driving a tractor, milking cows, making coal, assisting on the family farm, and as a lumberjack. In his spare time, Montanez would go from house to house singing and later began to sing in local parties and family gatherings.
In 1994, Montanez formed his own ensemble of family and friends. He quickly became the house act at a resort in the nearby touristic community of Las Terrazas, and in 1999, Montanez signed with European record label Lusafrica after being discovered by one of their directors that was staying at the resort.
Montanez had his biggest success in March 2000 with his first CD «Guajiro Natural» and the song «Un monton de Estrellas». He became known as the Guajiro Natural (Natural Countryman) because of his humble personality and songs about the peasant life in Cuba.
Polo Montanez died on November 26, 2002, six days after being hospitalized in the Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital, as a result of a tragic car accident in the Coronela zone near San Cristobal, Pinar del Rio. The Centro Cultural (Cultural Centre) on the main square in Vinales, Pinar del Rio, is named in his memory.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1 Amanece el Nuevo Ano
2 Gaujiro Natural
3 Quien Sera
4 Donde Estara
5 Si Fuera Mia
6 Un Monton De Estrellas
7 Un Bolero
8 Mi Mejor Amiga
9 Canten
10 Si Se Enamora de Mi
11 Barca a la Deriba
12 Como Sera Manana

Όταν πέθανε ο Polo Montanez, όλη η Κούβα τον έκλαψε. Τέτοιος τεράστιος τραγουδιστής είναι δύσκολο να ξαναβγεί. Και μάλιστα χάθηκε έχοντας δώσει δισκογραφικά, ένα μικρό μόνο μέρος από το τεράστιο ταλέντο της φωνής του. Μια φωνή που όταν την άκουγες, πότε έκανε τη ψυχή σου να κλαίει και πότε να θέλεις να βγεις στους δρόμους από χαρά και να χορέψεις, ενώ η μουσική που έγραφε ήταν απίστευτη ερωτική.

Ένα αυτοκινητιστικό ατύχημα το 2002 έδωσε τραγικό τέλος στη ζωή του ταλαντούχου Κουβανού τραγουδιστή και συνθέτη Polo Montanez. Το πρώτο του cd κυκλοφόρησε το 2000 και έγινε αμέσως πολύ μεγάλη επιτυχία σε όλη τη Λατινική Αμερική και στην Ευρώπη και ειδικά στη Κολομβία όπου έγινε πλατινένιο. Η μεγάλη επιτυχία του τραγουδιστή και συνθέτη από τη Κούβα που εργαζόταν ως ξυλοκόπος και τραγούδαγε τις αγροτικές μπαλάντες του σε ξενοδοχεία για τουρίστες είναι ότι κατάφερνε να γεμίζει τα στάδια όπου έπαιζε με κοινό που συνήθως δεν παρακολουθούσαν την guajiro (αγροτική) μουσική της Κούβας.

Buena Vista Social Club Presents • Omara Portuondo

Buena Vista Social Club Presents • Omara Portuondo
FLAC | 124,5 MB & 113,01 MB | 2000
mp3  256kbps | File Size: 74.04 MB | 2000

Tracklist :
01. La Sitiera
02. He Perdido Contigo
03. Donde Estebas Tu?
04. Mariposita De Primavera
05. Canta Lo Sentimental
06. Ella Y Yo
07. No Me Vayas A Enganar
08. No Me Llores Mas
09. Veinte Anos
10. El Hombre Que Yo Ame (The Man I Love)
11. Siempre En Mi Corazon

About Omara Portuondo
Portuondo was born in October 1930 in Havana, one of three sisters; her mother came from a wealthy Spanish family, and had created a scandal by running off with and marrying a black professional baseball player. Omara started her career in 1945 as a dancer at Havana’s Tropicana Club (following her older sister, Haydee).
The two sisters used to sing for family and friends, however, and after a brief time in a band called Loquibambia Swing, in 1952 they got together with two friends (Elena Burke and Moraima Secada) and formed the singing group Cuarteto D’Aida, backed by pianist Aida Diestro. The group had considerable success, touring the United States, performing with Nat King Cole at the Tropicana, and recording an album for RCA Victor.In 1959 Portuondo recorded a solo album, Magia Negra, involving both jazz and Cuban music. This didn’t, however, mark the beginning of a solo career, and although Haydee left the group in 1961 in order to live in the U.S., Omara continued singing with Cuarteto las d’Aida until 1967.
In 1967 Portuondo embarked on a solo career, and in the same year represented Cuba at the Sopot Festival in Poland, singing Juanito Marquez’ «Como un Milagro». Alongside her solo work, in the 1970s she sang with charanga band Orquesta Aragon, and toured with them both in the Communist and non-Communist worlds.In 1974 she recorded, with guitarist Martin Rojas, what would become one of her most critically acclaimed albums in which she sings praises to Salvador AllendeChile a year after the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. Among many other hits from the album, she also praises the work of Ernesto «Che» Guevara in the beautiful «Hasta Siempre Comandante». and the people of. During the 1970s and 1980s Portuondo enjoyed considerable success at home and abroad, with tours, albums (including one of her most lauded recordings in 1984 with Adalberto Alvarez), film roles, and her own television series. Her international profile was due to soar, however, in 1996.
Portuondo sang (duetting with Ibrahim Ferrer) on the album Buena Vista Social Club in 1996. This led, not only to more touring (including playing at Carnegie Hall with the Buena Vista troupe) and her appearance in Wim Wenders’ film The Buena Vista Social Club, but to two further albums for the World Circuit label: Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo (2000) and Flor de AmorClassic Open Air am Gendarmenmarkt for an audience of 7,000. The entire program was specially orchestrated by Roberto Sanchez Ferrer, a conductor/pianist with whom she had worked during her early years at Havana’s Tropicana Club. Scott Lawton conducted the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg. In 2007 she is performing the title role to sold out audiences in Lizt Alfonso’s dance musical «Vida», the story of modern Cuba through the eyes and with the memories of an old woman. In this same year, her performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival was released on DVD. She recorded in 2008 a duets album with Brazilian singer Maria Bethania, named Maria Bethania e Omara Portuondo. (2004). In July 2005 she presented a symphonic concert of her most important repertoire at the Berlin Festival
Η Omara Portuondo «ανακαλύφθηκε» από τη μουσική βιομηχανία, κατ’ αρχάς, και από τα δυτικά ακροατήρια, στη συνέχεια, στην Κούβα, όπως λίγα χρόνια πριν είχε «ανακαλυφθεί» σε ένα άλλο απομονωμένο μέρος του κόσμου, το Πράσινο Ακρωτήρι, η Cesaria Evora. Η Evora και η Portuondo είναι κάποιες από τις τελευταίες (ίσως, οι απολύτως τελευταίες) ανεξάρτητες, αυτονομημένες, αυθεντικές φωνές στο δυσοίωνο σκηνικό της παγκόσμιας πολιτιστικής ομογενοποίησης και ελεγχόμενης εμπορευματοποίησης. Η διάδοση της μουσικής τους πρότασης έφερε ουσιαστική ανανέωση στα ακούσματά μας και δικαίως οι ερμηνείες τους έγιναν ανάρπαστες στα ακροατήρια διεθνώς.
Η Omara ήταν η μοναδική γυναίκα που έπαιρνε μέρος στη μεγάλη μουσική γιορτή του Buena Vista Social Club, του φιλμ του Wim Wenders, που, με την προβολή του στις κινηματογραφικές αίθουσες το 1997 και με την ηχητική του επένδυση, επανέφερε το κουβανέζικο «son» στην καρδιά της μουσικής επικαιρότητας. Μετά την πολύ επιτυχημένη κυκλοφορία σε CD αρχικά του σάουντρακ και ακολούθως των προσωπικών άλμπουμ των Ibrahim Ferrer και Ruben Gonzalez, η επιλογή της κυκλοφορίας ενός σόλο δίσκου της Omara ήταν προφανής.
Με ερμηνεία αυστηρά ελεγχόμενη, από άποψη τεχνική, αλλά ταυτόχρονα και εκρηκτικά συναισθηματική, η Portuondo παρουσιάζει έντεκα τραγούδια πνιγμένα στο γλυκόπικρο ρομαντισμό, που κάνει τη μουσική της Κούβας μοναδική.
Το μελαγχολικό «He Perdido Contigo» είναι επιλεγμένο από το ρεπερτόριο της θρυλικής Maria Teresa Vera, μιας από τις ηρωίδες της Omara. Το «Mariposita De Primavera» είναι ένα τραγούδι σε στιλ «habanera», με συμμετοχή κουαρτέτου εγχόρδων, που αναβιώνει την αίσθηση των καμπαρέ της παλιάς Αβάνας. Στο bolero «Canta Lo Sentimental» ακούγεται η ηλεκτρική κιθάρα του Manuel Galban, ο οποίος έπαιζε και στην εκτέλεση του ίδιου τραγουδιού της δεκαετίας του ’60, με το δημοφιλές φωνητικό σύνολο Los Zafiros. Το «Ella Y Yo» είναι ένα από τα διαμάντια του στιλ «trova», με δύο κλαρινέτα σε ενορχήστρωση του Compay Segundo, στην οποία συμμετέχει και ο ίδιος παίζοντας κιθάρα. Το «Me No Vayas Enganar» είναι ένα bolero-cha με σόλο τρομπέτα από τον Guajiro Mirabal. Στο «No Me Ilores Mas», σύνθεση του Arsenio Rodriguez, η Omara τραγουδά ντουέτο με τον Ibrahim Ferrer, ενώ στο πιάνο αυτοσχεδιάζει ο εκπληκτικός Ruben Gonzalez, που ήταν ο πιανίστας του Arsenio στα ’40s. Το «El Hombre Que Yo Ame (The Man I Love)» του Gershwin είναι το μόνο μη κουβανέζικο τραγούδι του δίσκου και παραπέμπει στην πρώτη ραδιοφωνική εμφάνιση της Omara. Tο άλμπουμ τελειώνει με το «Siempre En Mi Corazon», μια κουβανέζικη μελωδία που έκαναν δημοφιλή στην Αμερική ορχήστρες μαέστρων όπως ο Glenn Miller.
Κριτική από: Σπύρος Αλεξόπουλος, Hitech

Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán – Mambo Sinuendo

MAMBO SINUENDO won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. «Patricia» was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

Ry Cooder, the guitarist/composer/arranger behind the Buena Vista Social Club and numerous film scores (JOHNNY HANDSOME, PARIS, TEXAS), is back with a suave collection of tunes infused with more of the sinuous rhythms from Cuba. Just as we are comfortably settling into the seductive feel set up on the opening track, «Drume Negrita,» enter Mr. Cooder’s languorous pedal steel and we are transported beyond the south-of-the-border to a place both exotic and intriguing. On this set, Cooder is teamed with the leader of the popular 60’S and 70’s group Los Zafiros, Manuel Galban. Galban and Cooder trade tasty and occasionally quirky riffs that put their distinctive guitars front and center. The mutual admiration these artists have for one another exudes a contagious warmth and wealth of good humor that underlies all the proceedings. The temperature rises on «Monte Adentro,» courtesy of a wonderfully lucy-goosey rhythm section and a tres solo by Mr. Cooder and on the title track, a melody in signature style is served up by none other than Herb Albert.

As Cooder has written – »You can look at this as a road trip through different worldless fantasy landscapes. Sometimes you’re in bright daylight, sometimes the streets are dark & empty. You’re riding with the Conjunto Sinuendo – drummers Jim Keltner & Joachim Cooder, Conga-player »Anga» Diaz, & bassist Cachaito Lopez, to hold you on the road. High performance Twang!» Slipcase. Nonesuch. 2003.

Recorded at Egram Studios, Havana, Cuba; Capitol Studios and Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, California.

Personnel: Ry Cooder (guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar, electric piano, vibraphone, tres); Manuel Galban (guitar); Herb Alpert (trumpet); Orlando Cachaito Lopez (bass); Jim Keltner, Joachim Cooder (drums); Gregorio Hernandez Rios «Goyo», Maximino Duquesne Martinez, Marcos H. Scull, Yosvani Diaz (bata drums); Miguel «Anga» Diaz (conga); Juliette & Carla Commagere (background vocals).

This information from
Duerme Negrita (Ernesto Grenet) — 5:00
Monte Adentro (Arsenio Rodríguez) — 2:53
Los Twangueros (Manuel Galbán/Ry Cooder) — 4:42
Patricia (Perez Prado) — 3:29
Caballo Viejo (Simón Díaz) — 3:51
Mambo Sinuendo (Manuel Galbán/Ry Cooder/Joachim Cooder) — 2:31
Bodas de Oro (Electo Rosell «Chepin») — 4:40
Échale Salsita (Ignacio Piñeiro) — 4:27
La Luna en Tu Mirada (Luis Chanivecky) — 4:13
Secret Love (Paul Francis Webster/Sammy Fain) — 5:49
Bolero Sonámbulo (Manuel Galbán/Ry Cooder) — 4:31
María la Lo (Ernesto Lecuona) — 4:19

Απ’ όλους τους χαρακτήρες στο Buena Vista Social Club, ο Manuel Galban ήταν αυτός που φαινόταν πιό πιθανό να «σκεφτεί λίγο διαφορετικά». Του αρέσουν οι πειραματισμοί. Μεγαλώνοντας στις δεκαετίες του ’50 και του ’60, βρέθηκε στην εποχή που η Κουβανική μουσική άρχισε ν’ακολουθεί ποπ και τζαζ δρόμους, μέσα από τις φουτουριστικές δημιουργίες συνθετών όπως ο Perez Prado και ο Frank Emilio, που οδηγούσαν τη λάτιν μουσική πέρα απ’ την παράδοση… 

Ο Galban τότε ήταν μέλος των Los Zafiros,ενός Κουβανικού Doo-wop σχήματος,στο οποίο είχε το ρόλο του κιθαρίστα και του ενορχηστρωτή.
Την ώρα που οι περισσότεροι μουσικοί,στην ερώτηση «Πως θα έπαιζε ο Lenny Tristano το Danzon ;»,θα σου απαντούσαν πως ο Lenny έχει πεθάνει και γι’αυτό δεν έχουν ιδέα,ο Galban ενδιαφέρεται γιά τη μουσική σαν κάτι το φανταστικό.

Ο Ry Cooder είναι ένας «μουσικός του κόσμου», ο οποίος έκανε τον κόσμο να στραφεί στη μουσική της Κούβας, χάρη στη συνεργασία του με ντόπιους μουσικούς (Buena Vista Social Club 1997).
Γνωστός γιά τις συνεργασίες του, με τον Ινδό κιθαρίστα Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Meeting by The River 1993) και τον Αφρικανό Ali Farka Toure (Talking Timbuktu 1995), αλλά και τη συμμετοχή του στο Let it Bleed των Rolling Stones και τη δημιουργία του soundtrack της ταινίας, Παρίσι Τέξας του Wim Wenders, ο Cooder φαίνεται να μη γνωρίζει μουσικά σύνορα.«Όλοι οι μουσικοί μοιάζουν μεταξύ τους.Αν σκεφτείς τι τους ταρακουνά και τι τους αγγίζει,είναι το ίδιο πράγμα, απλά σε διαφορετικές εκδοχές»,θα πει.
Έξι χρόνια μετά το Buena Vista, ο Cooder ήθελε να δοκιμάσει κάτι διαφορετικό.

Ο Galban και ο Cooder, ένοιωσαν πως υπάρχει ένας ήχος, ο οποίος δεν έχει εξερευνηθεί.Μιά Κουβανική ορχήστρα, με ηλεκτρική κιθάρα, που θα μπορούσε να μιμηθεί την ατμόσφαιρα της δεκαετίας του ’50.
Οι δύο κιθαρίστες πλαισιώθηκαν από δύο ντράμερς,κρουστά και μπάσο,σε μιά εκδοχή «σεξτέτου», με αρκετή ιπποδύναμη που θυμίζει Big Band, όμως και τη λεπτότητα ν’αποκαλύψει το μυστήριο κλασσικών κομματιών, και βρέθηκαν στον cool κόσμο της Mambo-Jazz. Κάπου ανάμεσα στον Perez Prado και τον Henry Mancini.
Μπορείτε να δείτε το Mambo Sinuendo σαν ένα δρόμο με φανταστικά τοπία.Μερικές φορές βρίσκεστε στο φως της ημέρας,κι άλλες φορές οι δρόμοι είναι σκοτεινοί και άδειοι.
Ταξιδεύετε κι έχετε τους Ry Cooder, Manuel Galban (κιθάρες) Jim Keltner, Joachim Cooder (ντραμς) Conguero “Anga” Diaz (κονγκας) και τον μαέστρο Cachaito Lopez (μπάσο), γιά να σας κρατούν στο δρόμο.
Το Mambo Sinuendo, είναι Κουβανική ψυχή σε υψηλή απόδοση και φαίνεται πως οι μουσικοί το διασκέδασαν. 

Ibrahim Ferrer – Buenos Hermanos

BUENOS HERMANOS won the 2004 Grammy Award for Traditional Tropical Latin Album.

Ibrahim Ferrer’s first project in four years once again found him in the studio with producer/guitarist Ry Cooder. The result is BUENOS HERMANOS, yet another trip into the world of traditional Cuban music, sparked by the success of the Buena Vista Social Club. Cooder rides herd on a collection that’s an irresistible collage of bottom-heavy congas and bongos, plunking bajo, call-and-response vocals, and horn arrangements that bob and weave throughout. Ferrer’s rich vocal style slips in perfectly, whether he’s bouncing along in the spry «Boquinene» or ripping up the sizzling son «Hay Que Entrale a Palos a Ese.»

Ferrer’s skill as a balladeer comes through readily as he caresses each word in the lush bolero «Mil Congojas,» buoyed by the guitars of Cooder and Los Zafiros member Manuel Galban. Equally impressive are guest appearances by Flaco Jimenez, whose squeezebox is the perfect complement to Ferrer’s croon, and the Blind Boys of Alabama, whose uplifting harmonies on «Perfume de Gardenias» transcend any language barriers. Even «Oye El Consejo,» a metaphorical song dealing with Cuban society’s complex attitude towards race, provides a chance to shake your hips while making you think.

Ferrer’s first release since 1999s gold-certified debut Buena Vista Social Club Presents. Ibrahim Ferrer is full of surprises. The band includes Blind Boys of Alabama and Jon Hassell on trumpet. 13 tracks with Slipcase. Nonesuch. 2003.

Recorded at Egrem Studios, Havana, Cuba.

Personnel: Ibrahim Ferrer (vocals); Clarence Fountain, Joe Williams (vocals); Manuel Galbán (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, organ); Ry Cooder (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mario Fernandez, Gerardo García, Silvio Duquesne, Ariel Sarduy, Ana Julia Badia, Rogelio Martinez, Jr., Hugo Cruz (violin); Robert Herrera, José G. Marón, Marta Amelia Salgado, Ricardo Fernandez, Enrique Navarro (viola); Alejandro Rodriguez , Arelis Zaldivar, Roy Avila (cello); Flaco Jiménez (accordion); Pantaleón Sánchez, Modero Mekanisi, Javier Zalba (alto saxophone); Rafael ‘Jimmy’ Jenks, Antonio Jimenez, Gil Bernal, Alfred Thompson (tenor saxophone); Ventura Gutierrez (baritone saxophone); Luis Alemañy, Jon Hassell , Manuel «El Guajiro» Mirabal, Alejandro Pichardo (trumpet); Chucho Valdés, Roberto Fonseca (piano); Jim Keltner, Joachim Cooder (drums); Miguel «Angá» Diaz (congas, bongos, claves); Demetrio Muniz, Bernardo Choven Garcia (congas); Isél Martínez (bongos); Amadito Valdés (timbales).

Audio Mixer: Jerry Boys.

Recording information: EGREM Studios, Havana, Cuba; Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sunset Studios.

Photographer: Christian Jaspars.

Personnel includes: Ibrahim Ferrer (vocals); Manuel Galban (electric guitar, organ); Ry Cooder (electric guitar); Lemay Olano, Rogelio Martinez (violin); Roberto Herrera (viola); Arley Zaldivar (cello); Flaco Jimenez (accordion); Javier Zalba, Pantaleon Sanchez (alto saxohone); Antonio Jimenez, Carlos Oviedo (tenor saxophone); Ventura Gutierrez (baritone saxophone); Jon Hassell, Manuel «Guajiro» Mirabel (trumpet); Chucho Valdes, Roberto Fonseca (piano); Orlando «Cachaito» Lopez (bass); Joachim Cooder (drums); Amadito Valdes (timbales); Miguel «Anga» Diaz (bongos, congas, clave); Jim Keltner, Joachim Cooder (percussion); Pepe Maza, Alberto » Virgilio» Valdes, Juliette Commagere, Carla Commagere (background vocals); The Blind Boys Of Alabama.


1 Boquiñeñe
2 Buenos hermanos
3 La música cubana
4 Guaguancó Callejero
5 Naufragio
6 Como el arrullo de palma
7 Perfume de gardenias
8 Mil congojas
9 Hay que entrarle a palos a ése
10 No tiene telaraña
11 Fuiste cruel
12 Boliviana
13 Oye el consejo


Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall

Buena Vista Social Club
Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall
World Circuit

There is an old joke about a young man walking the streets of New York City with a violin case under his arm. After failing to find the address he’s looking for, he stops and asks the first person he sees for directions. «How do I get to Carnegie Hall?» he inquires. Without blinking an eye, the other man replies, «Practice, my dear man, practice.» Ten years ago this prestigious hall, which has witnessed some of the best musicians and bands through the ages, hosted a «one-off» event featuring the Buena Vista Social Club band.

It has been said that every artist who stands on the Carnegie stage is standing on history anchored by excellence. And surely, the Buena Vista debut cannot be described otherwise than as momentous. Beside becoming the all-time best selling record in the world music genre, the Buena Vista Social Club (World Circuit, 1997) studio album did something more than that—it promoted Cuban culture in a way that hadn’t been done before (or since Tony Montana). The record was brimming with magic and full of songs from the vast trove of musical treasures with which Cuba is plentiful.

But the performance at Carnegie Hall on the 1st of July 1998 remains the pinnacle of the Buena Vista project. Ten years after the event, Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall has been, at last, released—for everyone who was there to remember, and everyone else to enjoy.

It’s possible that no music has ever appealed to so many people around the globe as has Cuban music. With so many different roots and influences, no wonder it has enchanted and seduced such a diverse collection of peoples. Somehow there is something for everyone. The island’s music, instruments and dances are mostly of European (particularly Spanish) and African origin. Most forms of the present day are creolized fusions and mixtures of these two great sources. Large numbers of African slaves and European (mostly Spanish) immigrants came to Cuba and brought their own forms of music to the island. There were even Chinese indentured laborers later in the 19th century.

All these peoples brought their musics and instruments and the plethora of influences spawned a myriad of styles. Since the 19th century, Cuban music has been hugely popular and influential throughout the world and has produced many celebrated artists and songs. Through the years, music has been the most exported Cuban product beside cigars, rum and revolutions.

But the Buena Vista Social Club album, the Wim Wenders film and subsequent solo recordings by some of the participants were truly a revolution. Artists like these don’t come along too often, and though some of them were well known and respected prior to Buena Vista, it took 70, 80 or 90 years for their 15 minutes of fame to come on a global level.

The music throughout Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall is a deep pleasure—melodic and full of warmth. The songs beg for motion from the listener. «Chan Chan» will surely draw a smile on your face as soon as you hear the now familiar chords. It is impossible to remain still while listening to songs like «Candela,» «El Cuarto de Tula» and «El Carratero,» as they raise the temperature with impassioned vocals and faster tempos. The boleros—»Quizas, Quizas,» «Veinte Anos» and «Dos Gardenias»—are magnificent. There are three tracks heard on Introducing Ruben Gonzales (World Circuit, 1997)—»Mandinga,» «Siboney» and «Almendra.»

As for guitarist (and producer) Ry Cooder, his performance may be surprising to those familiar only with his signature style. Here he’s a tender and sensitive contributor who never dominates (check «Silencio»). Cooder nevertheless plays a key role in an ensemble that has produced a highly enjoyable debut. Glimpses of the triumph at Carnegie Hall can be seen in the Wenders movie, where the group is seen performing «Chan Chan» for their encore (not included on the audio disc), and when bandleader Juan de Marcos’ aunt brought the Cuban flag on the stage.

With high-spirited ecstasy sprinkled throughout this recording, Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall is a hard album to sit still through, and an even harder one to listen to just once. These songs recapture the magic of the studio record. They shine with the same glow and evoke an era that is long gone.

CD1:Chan Chan; De Camino A La Vereda; El Cuarto De Tula; La Enganadora; Buena Vista Social Club; Dos Gardenias; Quizas, Quizas; Veinte. CD2: Orgullecida; Y Tu Que Has Hecho? Siboney; Mandinga; Almendra; El Carretero; Candela; Silencio.

Personnel: Octavio Calder: trumpet; Joachim Cooder, drums, percussion; Ry Cooder, guitars; Angel «Terry» Domech, congas; Ibrahim Ferrer, vocals; Roberto Garcia: bongos, cowbell, guiro; Hugo Garzen: vocals; Juan de Marcos Gonzalez: bandleader, coro, guiro; Ruben Gonzalez, piano; Pao Leyva: vocals; Manuel «Puntillita» Licea: vocals; Orlando «Cachato» Lopez: bass; Manuel «Guajiro» Mirabal: trumpet; Eliades Ochoa: guitar, vocals; Omara Portuondo: vocals; Jesus «Aguaje» Ramos: bandleader for Ruben Gonzalez, trombone; Salvador Repilado: bass; Compay Segundo; guitar, vocals; Benito Suarez Magana: guitar; Barbarito Torres: laoud; Alberto «Virgilio» Valdes: maracas, coro; Amadito Valdes: timbales.