Buena Vista Social Club
Buena Vista Social Club

World Circuit

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$42.00 SGD
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$42.00 SGD


A TAV Essential Listening Album.

“‘Buena Vista Social Club’™ is both the name given to this extraordinary pool of musicians and the album, recorded in just six days in Havana’s 1950s vintage EGREM studios. It was clear from the atmosphere of the recording sessions that something very special was taking place. However, no one could have predicted that Buena Vista Social Club™ would become a worldwide phenomenon, outselling any other record in the same genre, elevating the artists to superstar status and popularising Cuba’s rich musical heritage, all of which has contributed to a massive boom in Cuba’s tourist and recording industries.

The album has an intimate, natural charm that comes from musicians totally at ease with other, sharing a deep passion and understanding for the music, playing a repertoire suggested by themselves. Arrangements and instrumentation were worked out during recording according to the feel of the individual songs, and the vast majority of the performance was recorded ‘live’ in one or two takes.

The album features the vocals of septuagenarian Ibrahim Ferrer, a star from the 1950s who was literally called in off the streets on the first day of recording after years of musical inactivity . Also on vocals is the only woman on the album, the great bolero singer, Omara Portuondo “the Edith Piaf of Cuba” (Cooder). Omara happened to be in another studio rehearsing and Cooder invited her upstairs to record. On piano is the brilliant Rubén González veteran of Arsenio Rodríguez’s early 1940s band whom Cooder describes as “the greatest piano soloist I have ever heard in my life.” On guitar and vocals is Eliades Ochoa the great country musician who was flown in for these recordings from Santiago in the east of Cuba. The oldest musician on the album is the 89 year old giant of Cuban music, guitarist and vocalist Compay Segundo. According to Cooder, “the whole album turned on Compay. He was the fulcrum, the pivot. He knew all the best songs and the way to do them. Well, he’s been doing them since World War One.”

These featured musicians are joined by a host of Cuba’s greatest players including Orlando ‘Cachaíto’ López on bass, Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal on trumpet, and the percussionists from the band Sierra Maestra.

The album includes an extraordinary variety of Cuban styles from the city sounds of Havana to the country style of Santiago and the songs cover a range of the island’s history, from ‘La Bayamesa’ written in 1869 to ‘Chan Chan’, a recent composition by Compay Segundo.

‘Buena Vista Social Club’ ™has a timeless quality. This is a music that transcends the vagaries of mere fashion and an album which is destined to be regarded as a classic for years to come.” - Buena Vista Social Club

“All of these songs were recorded live -- some of them in the musicians' small apartments -- and the sound is incredibly deep and rich, something that would have been lost in digital recording and overdubbing. Ry Cooder brought just the right amount of reverence to this material, and it shows in his production, playing, and detailed liner notes. If you get one album of Cuban music, this should be the one.” - AllMusic


Label: World Circuit ‎– WCV050

Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Stereo, Gatefold, 180g

Country: Europe

Released: 23 Oct 2015

Genre: Latin

Style: Afro-Cuban, Son, Danzon, Bolero, Trova, Guajira, Ballad