Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fabulous son cubana

From December 7, 2012:


The release of Ry Cooder's Buena Vista Social Club album in 1996 introduced many of us to the sound of "son cubano", the Cuban blend of Spanish and African melodies and rhythms that was a feature of the Havana dance club since the 1940s. Influenced by American jazz - and especially by Willis Conover's Voice of America Jazz Hour in the 1950s and 60s - the music of the venerable Cuban musicians became a big hit. Here is another excellent ARC CD of world music, with a selection of the best of Buena Vista by a few of the original BV musicians. They're led by a leading sonero, Luis Frank, and the great singer Pio Leyva. But just as important, the album features the accomplished musicians of Buena Vista: the Next Generation. The highlight is Compay Segundo's Chan Chan, the breakout hit from the original album, which is sung here by his nephews. This is amazing, vital, rhythmically complex and melodic music that will put a smile on your face, and get your body moving.

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