Buena Vista Social Club Presents

June 1, 2017 - Comment

Cuban trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabel was among the first musicians recruited by British producer Nick Gold for the now legendary sessions at Havana’s Egrem Studio that yielded the multi-platinum Buena Vista Social Club album and Wim Wenders’ groundbreaking concert documentary. But the veteran player already had enjoyed a rich musical history, having performed for more

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Cuban trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabel was among the first musicians recruited by British producer Nick Gold for the now legendary sessions at Havana’s Egrem Studio that yielded the multi-platinum Buena Vista Social Club album and Wim Wenders’ groundbreaking concert documentary. But the veteran player already had enjoyed a rich musical history, having performed for more than 40 years in some of the most celebrated Cuban nightclub orchestras. With this lively set of ’40s-era conjunto classics, he pays tribute to pioneering Cuban composer-bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez, whose trumpet arrangements inspired Mirabel as a boy.For his first solo album, 71-year-old trumpeter Mirabal has created a tribute to the seminal bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez. The latter was a tres-wielding maverick who reveled in Cuba’s African heritage and gave new opportunities to the piano and brass. With three trumpeters on board, it is not surprising that the tracks often explode into blaring, festive, sloppy–precise fanfares, but Papi Oviedo on tres and pianist Roberto Fonseca more than hold their own. The singers also get a workout, notably on Me Bote De Guano, with its humming opening chorus and robust tenor lead vocal. The late Rubén González, who was Rodriguez’s original keyboard man, is heard on Dombe Dombe, a tune he suggested for the set list. The sessions were recorded in Havana at legendary Egrem Studios with a minimum of technical bells-and-whistles and if the sonic texture is somewhat rough and remote, it only adds to the studio-live atmosphere. –Christina Roden

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