Buena Vista Social Club pianist Rubén González not only recorded one of the most delayed debuts of all time -- he was 77 when Introducing...Rubén González hit stores -- but at age 82, he's surely one of the oldest performers to vanquish the music biz's famous sophomore slump. Chanchullo, recorded with González's touring band plus a number of BVSC alumni and Cuban all-stars such as vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer, tresero Papi Oviedo, and flutist Richard Egües, is remarkably loose and assured, considering the somewhat staid demeanor evinced on Introducing.... Whereas the latter paid homage to jazz and elegant ballroom styles of '40s Havana, Chanchullo is a look back at the young González who backed up Cuba's blind genius Arsenio Rodriguez on hard-charging, sexy son and mambo. With a broad, elegiac tone that recalls McCoy Tyner, González is a stylistic virtuoso, deploying his encyclopedic technique without any professorial baggage. Indeed, his mastery of both classical music and more refined Cuban rhythms such as the danzón is what attracted the pianist's biggest fan Ry Cooder in the first place. The title track incorporates bits of Cuban classics like "El Manisero" alongside snatches of the classical repertoire, but González tosses off these asides with sophisticated nonchalance. Another standout is the vigorous posse cut "Choco's Guajira," which features Ferrer, Sengelese star Cheikh Lo, and Cooder, and conveys González's gutsy approach to the ivories. This swinging second outing not only tops his debut, it's easily the most accessible and enjoyable solo album in the growing Buena Vista catalogue.