Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club

by Buena Vista Social Club


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Buena Vista Social Club

This album is named after a members-only club that was opened in Havana in pre-Castro times, a period of unbelievable musical activity in Cuba. While bandleader Desi Arnaz became a huge hit in the States, several equally talented musicians never saw success outside their native country, and have had nothing but their music to sustain them during the Castro reign. Ry Cooder went to Cuba to record a musical documentary of these performers. Many of the musicians on this album have been playing for more than a half century, and they sing and play with an obvious love for the material. Cooder could have recorded these songs without paying the musicians a cent; one can imagine them jumping up and grabbing for their instruments at the slightest opportunity, just to play. Most of the songs are a real treasure, traversing a lot of ground in Cuba's musical history. There's the opening tune, "Chan Chan," a composition by 89-year-old Compay Segundo, who was a bandleader in the '50s; the cover of the early-'50s tune "De Camino a la Verada," sung by the 72-year-old composer Ibrahim Ferrer, who interrupted his daily walk through Havana just long enough to record; or the amazing piano playing on "Pablo Nuevo" by 77-year-old Rubén González, who has a unique style that blends jazz, mambo, and a certain amount of playfulness. 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. 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/29/2006
Label: World Circuit
UPC: 0846833001797
catalogNumber: 50
Rank: 2843

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buena Vista Social Club   Primary Artist
Ry Cooder   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Oud,Slide Guitar,Bolon,Mbira
Omara Portuondo   Vocals
Joachim Cooder   Dumbek,Conga,Drums,Udu
Julio Fernandez   Maracas,Vocals
Rubén González   Piano
Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez   Bass
Eliades Ochoa   Guitar,Vocals
Alberto Valdés   Maracas,Vocals,Background Vocals
Carlos González   Bongos,cowbell
Manuel "El Guajiro" Mirabal   Trumpet
Benito Suárez Magana   Guitar
Julienne Oviedo Sánchez   Timbales
Compay Segundo   Guitar,Conga,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ibrahim Ferrer   Bongos,Conga,Vocals,Background Vocals,Claves
Juan de Marcos González   Conductor,Vocals,Background Vocals,Guiro
Barbarito Torres   Laoud
Salvador Repilado Labrada   Bass
Manuel "Puntillita" Licea   Conga,Vocals,Background Vocals
Luis Barzaga   Vocals,Background Vocals
Lázaro Villa   Conga,Guiro

Technical Credits

Ry Cooder   Producer,Liner Notes
Guillermo Portabales   Composer
Jerry Boys   Engineer
Nick Gold   Executive Producer,Sleeve Notes
Rubén González   Composer
Larry Hirsch   Engineer
Maria Teresa Vera   Composer
Sindo Garay   Composer
Jenny Adlington   translation
Rafael P. Ortiz Rodriguez   Composer
Nigel Williamson   Sleeve Notes
Electo Chepin Rosell   Composer
Sergio Siaba   Composer
Eliseo Silveira   Composer
Eusebio Delfin   Composer
Ibrahim Ferrer   Composer
Francesca Clarke   translation
Faustino Oramas   Composer
Francisco Repilado   Composer
Israel Lopez   Composer
Isolina Carillo   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Buena Vista Social Club 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this group after watching the 2 hour documentary, the following day I went to purchase the cd. I usually just download my music, but they really did deserve every penny I paid for.My children are singing and they don't speak spanish.I will attend their concert. they are truly fabulous!!!!