Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ry Cooder/Manuel Galbán - Mambo Sinuendo

Hi all. Hope you had a good Thaknsgiving weekend for those who partake -- all I can say is -- I'm stuffed. Gorged myself as usual on good food, friends and music. After a major stuff - fest sometimes I need to relax.

Here are three of the best relaxers I can think of. All are first rate to chill to, grab'em up and disappear into your own private paradise.

First up -- RY Cooder does surf!!! Sort of. This is the closest thing you will ever hear from the multitalented musician that gets close.

If there's a certain instant familiarity to this collaborative celebration between U.S. guitar icon/musicologist Ry Cooder and Cuban fret legend Manuel Galbán, it's only testimony to how deeply the island nation's rich musical heritage permeated American pop music in the '50s, '60s, and beyond. Cooder and Galbán (a key compatriot in the American guitarist's Buena Vista Social Club project) invent a back-to-the-future sound--twin guitars fronting a Cuban rhythm section of two drum kits, congas, and bass--whose dreamy swing quotient is matched only by its sense of mirthful abandon. Tracks like "Dru Me Negrita" and "Los Twangueros" manage to evoke everything from Link Wray, Duane Eddy, and the Ventures to Mancini and Esquivel, while Cooder and Galbán twirl a standard like "Patricia" and the nervy title track around dueling poles of tradition and experimentation with deceptive grace. It's joyous, mercurial stuff that the two musicians conjure at their fingertips. --Jerry McCulley

This new project, "Mambo Sinuendo" features a small combo sound, a sound that was alive in the late '50's, early '60's. This setting does not showcase the big Buena Vista Social Club brass or vocals. This project is a stripped-down, seductive twangy guitar sound, featuring the guitar work of Manuel Galban up front & center. Manuel Galban is a masterful Cuban guitarist, whose style is like American guitarist Duane Eddy, one of Ry Cooder's influences.

Ry Cooder plays the harmony guitar parts, weaving dreamlike rhythms and occasional hawaiian steel guitar and organ throughout, adding texture. The drums & percussion are shared by Ry's son Joachim and Jim Keltner, one of the world's best drummers. The bass is played by Cuba's "Cachiato" Lopez, and along with a couple songs with congos and background vocals, the set is almost entirely instrumental.

Of my personal faves on this recording, “Dru me Negrita” is pure exotic surf, "Patricia" is a joy. The uptempo beat, duel guitar interplay is great. “Caballo Viejo” is a rousing number with a great organ as the lead. There are many soothing songs, and a couple of uptempo songs. Of the soothing slower ones, "La Luna En Tu Mirada", is so hypnotic, that I find myself so involved that I was almost in Cuba with them, resting on the beach at sunset. When the song ends, and I come to my senses, I realize that it was a only a dream. I highly recommend this, as it will not only remind you of how great Cuban combo music was in it's heyday, but will let you escape the grind and stress of your modern day. When it's over, as the last note fades into silence, you long for more.

1. Dru me Negrita 2. Monte a Dentro 3. Los Twangueros
4. Patricia 5. Caballo Viejo 6. Mambo Sinuendo
7. Bodas de oro 8. Echale salsita 9. La luna en tu Mirada
10. Secret Love 11. Boleros sonambulo 12. Maria la o

mambosin

1 comment:

brandonio said...

I am now a fan of Ry Cooder. I was never familiar with his work.You know one of those people whom we've all read about from time to time , yet never have taken the time to give a good listen to. Well this post has given me that such time and opportunity. I can totally get into this.My first thought was Blue Hawaiians then Calexico a bit there,then it went onto too many comparisons i had to stop. Over all this is execellent record. Thanks for opening up my ears to something great. AGAIN!!!

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