Cuba's most well-loved masters of the traditional "son" style gathered to make the one-of-a-kind BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB album in 1996. A tribute to these aging but masterful veterans of the Cuban musical form, it was produced and organized by Ry Cooder. Included are Ruben Gonzales, Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, and many other virtuosos. Unexpectedly, the success of the album and accompanying documentary made the elderly participants international stars, finally earning them some well-deserved renown in their twilight years.
\I felt like I''d trained all my life for this album. It''s the peak." So says guitar master Ry Cooder about his first recording since his Grammy-winning Talking Timbuktu he teams with a galaxy of Cuba''s finest musicians"
Ry Cooder's name has helped bring attention to this session, but it's the veteran Cuban son musicians who make this album really special. Reminiscent of Ellington in its scope and sense of hushed romanticism, Buena Vista Social Club is that rare meld of quietude and intensity; while the players sound laid-back, they're putting forth very alive music, a reminder that aging doesn't mean taking to bed. Barbarito Torres's laoud solo on "El Cuarto de Tula" is both more blinding and more tasteful than any guitar showcase on any recent rock album; a quote from "Stormy Weather" and some very distinct parallels to Hawaiian styles remind us of why it's called "world music." --Rickey Wright
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