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Music: Buena Vista Social Club Rich and Full of Style

“Buena Vista Social Club” is a collection of music done with true feeling, talent and spirit. Great music never gets too old and here is evidence the great music from Cuba is still vibrant today as it was 40 years ago. The film based on the group had a special message about how age doesn’t matter in the area of the great artists. One of the musicians here is in his 90s and look at how alive and energetic and moving this music is! The vocals, the music, the lyrics are all rich and full of style. These are real musicians playing real music.

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Like Santana’s “Supernatural,” “Buena Vista Social Club” is more of an experience than just good music. Songs like “Chan Chan” are really deep and move you in a nice way, others like “Candela” just excite you with the energy and fun feeling of it all. I’m grateful to Ry Cooder for bringing back these incredible musicians who play some of the best Cuban music ever.

The simple arrangements and instumentation are powerful. A guitar, trumpet, conga, saxophone, and vocals that sound as if they are from another time are often all there is to make this gem come alive. The disc is beautifully recorded, yet still sounds as if you have stepped back into the 1950s in Cuba.

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I wish I spoke fluent Spanish so I could REALLY enjoy this wonderful recording, but it’s not necessary. The music speaks for itself (please checkout the YouTube video) and the meaning of the songs are fairly obvious. But to satisfy your curiosity there is a translation included with the Spanish lyrics so you can read along and get the gist even if you aren’t Cuban.

This is certainly an essential recording to add to your collection. I expect I will be giving this to several people I know for gifts. No holiday required. It will add texture to any party you choose to play and it will take the edge off a work day from hell paired with a cigar and neat drink. Cook dinner for yourself and put this on while you chop and sauté. You might even find yourself dancing a bit.

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