Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo

November 26, 2015 - Comment

Bearing the trademark of the most successful world music, phenomenon of the era – now certified platinum – comes the solo debut of Cuban singer Omara Protuondo. A key artist in the original Buena Vista sessions, Omara was among the most talked-about discoveries to emerge from the project, and has since – in her touring

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Bearing the trademark of the most successful world music, phenomenon of the era – now certified platinum – comes the solo debut of Cuban singer Omara Protuondo. A key artist in the original Buena Vista sessions, Omara was among the most talked-about discoveries to emerge from the project, and has since – in her touring with Ibrahim Ferrer -established a name for herself as a performer to recon with. On an album noteworthy as the first reunion of the original Buena Vista musicians since the landmark sessions, Omara performs ballads and uptempo numbers with full big band support, by an ensemble studded with master players, including Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez, Compay Segundo, and Eliades Ochoa. The alluring nostalgia of these romantic numbers, produced in Havana by Nick Gold, captures a lost era of music that has been resurrected by a new generation of music fans.While she came to global prominence as the female singer on the Buena Vista Social Club album and in the film, Omara Portuondo has a career that–like the other participants–stretches back many years. She puts her experience to good use on this record, sounding for all the world like a Cuban Billie Holiday, smoky and quietly tragic, with a history of lost love. The lush arrangements, which often sound transplanted straight from 1950s Havana, frame her voice exquisitely while guests such as Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, and Rubén González add their inimitable talents to the mix. Her reading of “The Man I Love” (“El Hombre Que Yo Ame”) is also a microcosm of the disc–slightly jazzy, with a yearning vocal that’s emotive without ever being overwrought. There’s little doubt that Portuondo is a world-class singer, and this is the ideal showcase for her extraordinary talents. –Chris Nickson

Comments

M. H. Bayliss says:

Omara Portuondo’s enchanting voice will get you addicted When I watched Buena Vista Social Club, I especially loved the studio recording of “Silencio” with Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo and also “Veinte Anos” from the Carnegie Hall concert. When I listened to this CD for the first time, I couldn’t believe just how good Omara Portuondo really sings. In a variety of Cuban styles (Guajira, Bolero, Mambo, Son, …) she sings about lost love. But even though the themes of the songs are similar, the music is always completely…

A Customer says:

worthwhile for the collector of Cuban music For those who are expecting dance music, this is definitely not your CD. The Billie Holiday comparision is apt in some ways: this is melancholy music, not your high charged son montuno or salsa. If you are looking for that type of music, go for some of the other BVSC discs. Some of these tracks are incredible — and you don’t have to listen to Ry Cooder’s grating slide on every track. My personal favorite is “no me llores mas.” This disc brougth back memories of one of my…

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