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    1. Legend (New Packaging)
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    2. Buena Vista Social Club
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    3. Caribbean Steeldrums: 20 Famous
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    4. El Kilo
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    5. Introducing...Ruben Gonzalez
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    6. A Toda Cuba Le Gusta
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    7. A Lo Cubano
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    8. Buena Vista Social Club Presents
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    9. Islands [Putumayo]
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    10. Desde Siempre
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    11. Caribbean Island Steel Drum Fa
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    12. Buena Vista Social Club Presents:
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    13. I Am the Upsetter: The Story of
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    14. Buena Vista Social Club Presents
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    15. Caribbean Steeldrums: 20 Most
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    16. Ay Candela
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    17. French Caribbean
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    18. Steel Drum Party
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    19. Very Best of Toots & the Maytals
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    20. Heart of the Congos

    1. Legend (New Packaging)
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000669JL
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 418
    Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (44)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Primer On Marley
    "Legend" is a good starting point to get aquainted with the music of Bob Marley, but any compilation of Marley's work will not do justice to the scope of his amazing career. I even purchased the 4 CD retrospective and found it lacking. Each album that Bob Marley and the Wailers released during his career were really song cycles, and so any collection of Marley will not capture the immediacy and passion that of hearing them on each orginal album. Any collection of Marley are will be just that, a random out of context presentation of his music.

    "I Shot the Sheriff" comes from the "Burnin'" album and Bob is an angry young revolutionay, and each song on "Burnin'" reflects that. "Is This Love" is from the album "Kaya" where Marley celebrates the pleasures of the simple life and sensual love. The songs on "Uprising" and "Exodus" capture the internationalism of reggae music, as Bob Marley became the most celebrated musician in the entire world, he wrote songs about the world wide movement of "jah people." In order to "overstand" (as Rasta says) the man...Bob Marley, you must hear these songs side by side with the other songs in the original release. Each song on this compilation will become even more powerful when heard in that context. I still give this collection 5 stars because it has aquainted so many people with Bob Marley, who otherwise would have never heard him. The best way to hear Bob Marley is begin with "Catch A Fire" in which Marley is an angry youth from Trenchtown, and move chronologically through his career ending with "Uprising" his final album before his death. It is they only way to capture the amazing development and scope of Bob Marley's message and music.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Classic tracks
    Whether you are a reggae fan or not, you've got to love the works of Bob Marley, the man is a genius. This is an excellent compilation, every track a classic. From the party classic 'Jamming' to the universal anthem 'One Love/People Get Ready', the gorgeous, beautiful acoustic 'Redemption Song' and the tender 'No Woman No Cry', this CD is loaded with brilliant songs. It is really worth owning, one of the greatest Greatest Hits. However, as always, some essential Marley tracks are missing: 'Sun Is Shining', 'Rainbow Country', 'Lively Up Yourself', 'Kaya' and 'Trenchtown Rock'. Of these 5, only 2 are actually included on the One Love CD, the other Marley greatest hits, so competition is stiff, especially as the version of 'Redemption Song' is far superior and 'Satisfy My Soul' is left off One Love altogether.

    Overall, this is a great Marley compilation to buy for any music fan at all, loaded with classics, but its worth buying other albums for several other tracks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Different shades of Bob
    This is a great record. Bob's body of work is extensive so obviously not everyone's favorites can be included and we must understand that. There are many that I would have added.

    Under some circumstances I would agree that it seems thrown together but in other respects that too is a representation of Bob. He was a lover and a fighter (activist) all at once. How can you possibly separate the two? If you dont have love, if you care for nothing, then what are you fighting for?

    Someone suggested that this CD (or maybe his music) was gloomy and bitter. It pains me to read this because this person does not know anything about reggae, Jamaica,our language or our culture. This CD is overflowing with love. Romantic love: I listen to the seemingly simplistic metaphors and they stir great emotions in me. There is great love for family for understanding that the family helps us through. There is love for life. Love for the struggle that we as Jamaicans, as humans must endure.

    Dont let this be your only Bob Marley experience, but if you're a novice its a good place to start.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Legend (New Packaging) [EXTRA TRACKS] [ORIGINAL RECORDING RE
    Bob Marley is a so so vocalist and his music is simplitic and not very advanced, However the biggest problem is that his politics somewhat destroy otherwise nice melodies. It is like one is listening to some bitter old man at times and this is not so fun since music should be fun and not to serious. Come one Mr Marley the world is not always that bleak and gloomy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My introduction to Bob
    Well, I've always known that Bob Marley was at one point and still is to a lot of people all over the world, a huge influential icon. His messages in his music touch us all because he talked about such deeply meaningful issues affecting all of humanity. The fact that it's reggae and has that unmistakable reggae sound, it became popular because it was so hard not to notice and appreciate it. Previously I had not known of any of his music being 25 and pretty much into R & B, and Hip Hop but wow, this CD really introduced me to him and made me a fan. I plan on purchasing more of his music. See, that's the best part of "Best Of" albums they can peak your interest and make you want the whole that the artists have to offer. ... Read more


    2. Buena Vista Social Club
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B000005J56
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 435
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Ry Cooder's name has helped bring attention to this session, but it's the veteran Cuban son musicians who make this album really special. Reminiscent of Ellington in its scope and sense of hushed romanticism, Buena Vista Social Club is that rare meld of quietude and intensity; while the players sound laid-back, they're putting forth very alive music, a reminder that aging doesn't mean taking to bed. Barbarito Torres's laoud solo on "El Cuarto de Tula" is both more blinding and more tasteful than any guitar showcase on any recent rock album; a quote from "Stormy Weather" and some very distinct parallels to Hawaiian styles remind us of why it's called "world music." --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Reviews (277)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Full Of Life And Energy.
    "Buena Vista Social Club" is a collection of music done with true feeling, talent and spirit. Great music never gets too old and here is evidence the great music from Cuba is still vibrant today as it was 40 years ago. The film based on the group had a special message about how age doesn't matter in the area of the great artists. One of the musicians here is in his 90s and look at how alive and energetic and moving this music is! The vocals, the music, the lyrics are all rich and full of style. These are real musicians playing real music. Like Santana's "Supernatural," "Buena Vista Social Club" is more of an experience than just good music. Songs like "Chan Chan" are really deep and move you in a nice way, others like "Candela" just excite you with the energy and fun feeling of it all. I'm grateful to Ry Cooder for bringing back these incredible musicians who play some of the best Cuban music ever. The only reason other arists like Celia Cruz don't mention them that often is because they still live in their homeland, Cuba. But they deserve praise and more. Recently we remembered Tito Puente who was a great musician and recently passed away, but we should also appreciate those who really brought Latin music to life, the ones who really play it with spirit and feeling. "Buena Vista Social Club" is no less than a masterpiece.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Cuban Masterpiece
    I have no words to describe how brilliant this recording is. Buena Vista Social Club bring alive the music that has sustained Cuba as far back as the 1920s. Listening to the likes of Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez, Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo and Omara Portuondo paint a picture of a vibrant and soulful Cuba from the not too distant past. Needless to say, all musicians on this album have such incredible talent, that it is difficult to believe that we've missed out on such a musical extravagance for over 50 years. I have not come across a singer that can deliver such heartfelt passion in their music like Ibrahim Ferrer (83) and Compay Segundo (93), but the person that moved me the most on this recording was the 77 year old pianist Ruben Gonzalez. You just have to listen to PUEBLO NUEVO and MURMULLO to realise this man's incredible talent. It is hard to believe that Ruben virtually had given up playing due to arthritis in his hands, and that he has no piano at home.

    It is amazing to think that none of the musicians received recognition at the height of their careers, and seeing their current living conditions is a humbling experience. Nonetheless, I am happy that they achieved fame at last. All songs on this album are masterpieces. This recording is worth ten times its price, and it is one of my most treasured CDs in my music collection. It is a nostalgic, yet brilliant piece of Cuba.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this cd.
    I saw the video on PBS a couple of years ago. I was instantly hooked. I don't speak Spanish but like other reviewers have said, music is a universal language, and the beauty of this music proves that. I highly recommend this cd as a must own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cuban Music Like Mama Used To Make
    I happen to come across this cd by sheer luck. It is the best cd that I have purchased to date. I mixes latin jazz, big band and ballroom music all together. There are several fun songs with a deep routed soul that I thought had been lost. Even if you do not understand spanish this is a wonderful treasure to have in your collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Unbelievable!
    Buena Vista Social Club's self titled first album is musical excellence. Focusing predominantly on son, a traditional Cuban musical form, BVSC delivers, and with spectacular results. This collaborative masterpiece between BVSC and Ry Cooder simply must be experienced. From the first chords on the tres on "Chan Chan" to the final notes of "La Bayamesa", BVSC takes the listener on a trip to both Old Havana as well as rural Cuba. BVSC provides an excellent introduction to traditional Cuban music to those who are new to the genre, as well as a more than satisfying offering to even the most discerning Cuban music afficionado. In all honesty, I feel (and I think that most of this album's reviewers would tend to agree with me on this one) that to discredit this album is truly to demonstrate profound ignorance and lack of appreciation for son music, one of Cuba's oldest and most respected musical styles. In short, this album is ablsoutely essential listening and a must-buy, hands down. If you don't already own this album, buy it as soon as possible. You won't be disappointed. ... Read more


    3. Caribbean Steeldrums: 20 Famous Tropical Melodies- Calypso, Samba
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B00004U00V
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6282
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magical Caribbean Steeldrum Music
    A very unique recording, instantly takes you back to the caribbean and if you have never been.....just close your eyes sit and listen....magical....just like volume 1...can't wait for Volume 3....Tropical Supprise/Girl from Japan/summertime my fav tracks

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most beutiful realaxing music of all Caribbean music.
    The most relaxing and soft music you can ever hear. With a maragrita, a good sunset, some sun and this CD at home your in the tropics at once. Where i come from there isn't many warm days. But with this CD it does. It brings to life the palms and warm beaches...

    Ahh... ... Read more


    4. El Kilo
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B0007UDD16
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1261
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Since its 1999 breakthrough, the Cuban rap trio Orishas has been hailed as one of Latin hip-hop's true saviors. But the group's intoxicating third album, El Kilo, is about more than DJ scratches and looped samples. In fact, that's not at all what it's about. The group eschews studio tricks for live instrumentation on El Kilo, and it makes for a heady, well-rounded effort. El Kilo crackles with passion and urgency from beginning to end, and the album transforms Orishas into a wholly unclassifiable, strikingly original music machine. Blaring horns highlight album opener "Naci Orishas," and the pensive title track rides a simmering, soulful groove. Rappers Yotuel and Ruzzo play wonderfully off each other, and vocalist Roldan anchors every song with his playful vibe. A kitchen sink mix of soul, reggae, bossa nova and salsa inform Orishas' sound. There's even an appearance by Cuban rapper Pitbull on the raucous closing track, "Quien Te Dijo." The album's lyrical and musical poetry, however, belongs wholly to Cuba's three hip-hop heroes. --Joey Guerra ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Look at The BIG Picture...
    I guess I am among the minority in thinking that these guys know exactly what they are doing & they are progressing quite deliberately with each album. I acknowledge that it is an unpopular belief that Emigrante (their second release) is indeed a progression & a step in the right direction.As impressive as 'A lo Cubano' is, it is still their first record and as any creatively strong project, they learned from their mistakes early on & decided not to depend on the guaranteed formula of their first success. Indeed, they lost one of their MC's between album one & two but the fact remains that (in my humble musical opinion) the absolute & undeniably strongest musical force in this ensemble is without a doubt: Roldán. His mastery over melody, harmony & over all musical sensibility to give a song the absolute hook, is unrivaled in ANY hip-hop SINCE 2-Pac, and that is a bold statement my friends.This new effort from the trio is absolutely on point & a creative continuation from Emigrante, just as that one was from its predecessor, regardless of the knee-jerk reaction most fans & critics had to it because it was missing an original member and because it wasn't a carbon copy of the first release. Again, as an artist you are damned if you do/damned if you dont, if you repeat what you did before you are being safe, if you grow, you are losing your way, how do you win that battle? There has been absolutely NOTHING missing, melodically, lyrically, musically, beat-wise, hook wise or production-wise since the first album regardless of any absence in personell. These guys are still at the very forefront of ANY hip-hop, it just so happens that they are Cuban & incorporate masterfully & very melodically some of the sweetest aspects of Afro-Cuban music (Batá, Son, Guaguancó, Son Montuno) into R&B tinged Hip Hop. This new album proves that they are right where they need to be musically & lyrically. The soul, funk & R&B influences are more evident in this effort, but the fact remains: these guys are at the Top of their Game. This is Hip Hop at its finest, regardless of language, influence or commercial outlook. Mainstream hip hop could learn a few lessons from any and all of their releases. A Lo Cubano is a great record, but so is Emigrante if you let it live its own life without comparison, El Kilo exists upon the exact same principles: progression, progression, progression...life is evolution & growth, the sooner we acknowledge it, the better we'll understand each other as artists & as human beings. Paz, Amor y Música...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Orishas Best: Hip-Hop Cuban Style
    My knowledge of Hip-Hop is far from a scholarly and my passion for it has always been specific to certain people. Whether it was Public Enemy and early Ice-T toward the beginning, Lauryn Hill with and without The Fugees, or Eminem and Outkast in more recent times, my ears always stay with people who enrich the style and had something significant to say.
    This is not to say that there have not been many others like them, which I simply lack enough knowledge of, nor the fact that I can absolutely expect and dig great grooves and some serious Funk. Now, you can add Orishas to my list of stunning Rap/Hip-Hop, and I strongly urge that you add them to your list. These guys combine powerful words and an impressive breadth of musical influences to create a sound that has achieved a new peak with El Kilo, their third album.
    A little bio about these guys: they are Cuban, residing in France, and atrio since their second album, Emigrante, which was criticized by some or the absence of Flaco-Pro -original member who departed after their debut, A Lo Cubano. Yet I don't expect anyone to miss their fourth member after listening to El Kilo.
    If you, like me, appreciate the richness of R&B and Soul references that Outkast's Andre and Big Boi brought to their music -to the point of creating such distinct new sound- you will find a similar and deep pleasure with the Orishas' generous inclusion of Latin rhythms.
    Please be clear, this is no sampling of the Miami Sound machine or Ricky Martin Disney-approach to Salsa. What you will find is plenty of great "old school" Rumba, Son and Guajira, reminiscent of the glorious Buena Vista Social Club recordings.
    The rapping and singing are also astounding, sensual and smooth at times, and nothing less than chant-like in others, the Orishas rock and sway with the best of them.
    Great cuts abound. Particularly, the amazing "Naci Orishas," "Distinto," "El Kilo," and "Stress," all of which are amazing examples of their rapping/singing skills and of the remarkable band backing them up, specially the horns, bass and percussion.
    The rest of the songs don't fall far behind, for example "Amor Al Arte" and "Al Que Le Guste," plus -at least in the Spain CD edition as track #15- you get the powerful chant and message of Zone Internationale, featuring the French rapper Rohff.
    All in all, these are some the best sounds to groove to all year long, and a certain inclusion on my "best of 05" music list.
    Hip-Hop not only has been here to stay, for long enough to have everyone notice, but it can; be stopped to speak new languages.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Orishas come through again!!!
    3 albums & these guys have not yet disappointed me ONCE!!! "El Kilo" is a great album! Each one of their albums is different, yet they manage to maintain their sound consistant, distinct & at the same time fresh! Once again I am taken away by Roldan's voice, it's so reminiscent of that ol' school Cuban sound....I LOVE IT!!! My favorite tracks on the album are "Naci Orishas", "Distinto", "Kilo", "Bombo", "Al Que le Guste", "Amor Al Arte", "Tumbando y Dando", "Vacuna"....I could just keep on going, because EVERY song on this album is good...the entire album is FIYAH!!! I highly recommend "El Kilo"!!!! :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great recording...
    I was waiting anxiously for this release and it seemed like the release date got pushed back.I was in Spain in early March and picked up a copy.While I drove from town to town in my rented car I listened to this CD several times.My favorite track is the title track.Great background vocals.That's a big departure for Orishas.The two rappers are contributing a lot more in actually singing.The whole album is very melodic.The instrumentation is also much more robust than the two previous albums.I rate it up there with "A lo Cubano" and better the "Emigrante".By the way the copy I picked up at FNAC in Spain doesn't have the last track with Pitbull.I guess it wasn't ready for the early European release date.Enjoy this album.Every time I hear it now I think of the vast expanses of farmland I drove through in Spain and the small towns I passed and stayed at.

    4-0 out of 5 stars All The Energy From A Lo Cubano
    I have to agree with others here that Orishas have never quite compensated for the loss of Flaco Pro, but they've definitely made a great step in that direction with El Kilo.I'd like to avoid hyperbole, but they're the best latin rappers I know of, because of the intelligence of their lyrics and the skill and diversity of their musicianship.And there's so much energy on El Kilo!Naci Orishas (the first track) is the perfect example, with percussion that is reminiscent of A Lo Cubano, but still totally fresh.The same goes for Bombo, which is my favorite so far (after listening to the album 3 times). ... Read more


    5. Introducing...Ruben Gonzalez
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B000005J55
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3692
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Cuban pianist Rubén González has lived through this century's greatest musical windstorms, from the emergence of son to salsa to Latin Jazz and more. Born in 1919, González also retired from playing professionally years before this, his debut CD, was even recorded. He reemerged in 1996 when World Circuit stopped in Cuba to record for several days. He ended up making a thrilling debut. This impromptu CD was cut in a day, and its limber vibe shines for all its uptempo looseness. González plays a rainbow of Cuban rhythms and prods his percussionists and lone trumpeter to great depths of conversation and great heights of flash. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (72)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Music to the ears!!!!
    In more ways than one, this CD gets to you. As a Cuban, is music that brings you back to your roots. Ruben plays very smoothly and with a lot of feeling. It is incredible that he retains such ability at his age. Of course, he is a great artist, and to him this music is his life. He can play it in his sleep. He is refreshing and warm. His rendition of "melodia del rio" is so romantic that I kept playing it over and over. It was so relaxing and warm. This CD is a must to any collection of Cuban music. What a human interest story Ruben represents! He did not own a piano anymore and had not played for a while. He was all but forgotten. He has come alive again and a lot of us feel very proud of him and this music. To him, playing piano was like riding a bicycle. He did not forget!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful
    I hate to "ride the wave" of popular trends, but in the case of the musicians affiliated with the Buena Vista Social Club, the praise and adulation is fully deserved. I rented the film a few weeks ago and was blown away by the marvelous performances of these legends. I work in a CD store and I put this Ruben Gonzalez disc on our PA system at work the other day. In a span of about two hours I had at least a dozen people either ask me who the artist was or examine the CD case sitting on the counter. I've never seen such a wide variety of music fans show that kind of appreciation for one artist. Ruben Gonzalez isn't just some geriatric has-been who people are showing sympathy for due to his age -- the man would still be considered a stunning musician if he were 30! (he's 81, by the way). His command of the piano is breathtaking. Ry Cooder was right in his liner notes...Ruben sounds like a cross between Thelonious Monk and Felix the Cat. The music is sumptuous and Ruben's hands glide across the keyboard with utter grace. Whether or not you like Cuban music, it's impossible to resist the songs on this disc. I can't recommend it strongly enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Farewell to Ruben Gonzalez
    On Monday, December 8, 2003, Ruben Gonzalez died at the unregretful age of 84. Farewell to an unbelievably charismatic and talented musician! His death is the sad realistic reminder that as great musicians like him grow old and die, so does a priceless era of music that will never be emulated.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sadly no longer with us...
    Ruben Gonzalez no longer is with us. He passed away yesterday. At least he lived a life worth living! He was one of the best Latin pianists ever, one of those (like a friend said) that you just don't find any more. He combined technique and charm in a way that few have been able to. Fortunately for the rest of the world, Ry Cooder discovered him, along with Ibrahim Ferrer and a host of other Cuban geniuses of Latin music with his Buena Vista Social Club initiative. After that album, this "Introductory" recording presented Ruben Gonzalez's work to the world in a more focused way. You are bound to respect this gentleman once you take a listen to this album. Ruben Gonzalez: descansa en paz!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Past Re-Introducing Itself to the Ever-Emerging Present
    Ry Cooder once described Ruben Gonzalez as, "A Cuban cross between Thelonius Monk and Felix the Cat." Ruben Gonzalez is no Thelonius Monk...and I cannot really say if he is Felix the Cat...but he is definitely an extremely rare piece of jazz history...an "endangered species" of sorts in comparison to today's lacklustre jazz scene. Thanks to the re-emergence of mostly forgotten Cuban musicians in the late 90's through such vehicles as the Afro-Cuban All-Stars and the Buena Vista Social Club, the world...or at least a portion of it...has had the opportunity to experience a truly unique skill and sound that once flourished. This description of Ruben Gonzalez's music cannot do him justice. When you listen to him either pounding out or softly lifting notes off the piano keys, feelings of excitement, nostalgia, appreciation, comfort, and reflection can all rise to the surface. His skill is difficult to match; his love of music nearly impossible to emulate. Ruben Gonzalez "is" the music he creates and plays...a living example of the musical past re-introducing itself to the ever-emerging present. ... Read more


    6. A Toda Cuba Le Gusta
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000005J54
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1760
    Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A rousing ensemble recording, A Todo Cuba Le Gusta features a band made up largely of Cuban music elders. As a reflection of their collective experience playing multiple percussion instruments and brightly lit trumpets, the Afro-Cuban All Stars churn with high drama, even while playing music that's paced with extravagant patience. The time signatures overlay and run against each other in a casual trot while the trumpets blare with fat fullness. Add to that the impassioned group vocals and you've got a hard-to-beat Cuban traditional music session. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (42)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the world's most danceable music!
    I bought this album because the group is coming to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore in March of 2000. I'm a telemarketer and wanted to know what they sounded like so I could pitch them. I've also been to Cuba and really enjoyed the music there. The verdict: This is a fabulous album and I've been raving about it and about the group to my patrons ever since. I predict that people will be dancing in the aisles at the Meyerhoff! It is impossible to sit still while listening to it; even my totally nonmusical sister was dancing to it. (I'm still in shock about that!) I've also just seen the Buena Vista Social Club film about Ry Cooder's trip to Cuba to pull that group together. I was very pleased to see some of the same people are also members of the Afro-Cuban All Stars: the great pianist Ruben Gonzalez, and 90+ year old vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer (who looks 70, if a day.) I can't wait to see them in person. Anyone who likes world music will love this CD. I guarantee it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Cuban is thrilled w/this Cuban album. Read my review
    This album is a work of art. It is only rivaled by its companion albums, "Buena Vista Social Club", and "Introducing Ruben Gonzalez". I would strongly recommend buying all three and listening to them in succession, although each is excellent in its own right. "Afro-Cuban All-Stars" is a collection of old standards, mostly from the Cuba of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Although to many (including this Cuban-american) that Cuba is gone, what with the political scene such as it is now under Castro, the music IS ALIVE, as this album definitely proves. Lush, big band sounds, impeccable singing by such greats as Ibrahim Ferrer and Manuel Puntillita Licea, combine to paint a vivid musical picture that practically includes the tropical aroma of the island itself. The first track, "Amor Verdadero", is a "son" that tells an unforgettable story of a man and his relationship with his mother which sustained him during a traumatic life. "Habana del Este" has a beautifully nostalgic, melancholy feel to it that reminds one of simpler, more romantic times of yesteryear. Yet tracks like, "Pio Mentiroso" leave one with a desire to jump up and dance, shyness be damned. Take it from this Cuban, this is the album to get, whatever your culture, whatever your taste. You'll love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars MUST HAVE!
    You cannot even claim to have a collection without THIS! Brilliant! Beyond brilliant!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Food for your Soul !
    This definitely is an album that is full of life! If you love music this indeed needs to be in your collection of albums. You can hear the warmth of Cuba in the sounds and rhythms of the tracks.

    If you aren't having the brightest of days it will lift you out of any kind of 'blue' mood you might be in.

    Buyt it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended only if you're in one of these two categories...
    Honestly, I can think only of two groups of people who will enjoy this recording, and if you're in either group, I urge you to order it immediately if not sooner.

    If you're one of those totally or mostly unfamiliar with Cuban jazz, you'll love this. It's a celebration of life, full of good humor and vigor. The excitement of the music is bound to get to you, and you'll wonder why you've never given it a chance before.

    On the other hand, you might be quite familiar with this sound, with the vocals of veterans such as Ibrahim Ferrer, Pio Leyva, Manuel 'Puntillita Licea, Raul Planas, Jose Antonio 'Maceo' Rodriguez, and Felix Valoy, and with the full sound of trumpets, teombones, enhanced by sax, flute, and piano. If so, you'll find this the best you've heard, and will insist on its being in your collection.

    If you're in neither group, well, what can I say? ... Read more


    7. A Lo Cubano
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004YWYO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4151
    Average Customer Review: 4.97 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    While North American rap drowns in its own clichés, international artists are invigorating the genre with their own musical traditions. The Orishas, a Cuban group based in France, use Afro-Cuban religion to summon the spirit of hip-hop. Named for gods of Santeria, they came together in 1998 when members Yotuel and Ruzzo hooked up with Roldan and Flaco-Pro (a veteran of Sergeant Garcia) through a cultural exchange program between French and Cuban rappers. Collaborating with French hip-hop producer Miko Niko, they bring the attitude of Havana streets to the rest of the world, appealing to the Buena Vista Social Club crowd as well as the hip-hop heads. On their debut, A lo Cubano, the song "537 C.U.B.A." (their remake of Compay Segundo's "Chan Chan") gives new meaning to the term "old school." And the sound of sacred Santeria beats and traditional son weaving through sharp-edged lyrical attacks with groove-heavy bass and drum tracks on tunes like "Represent," "Atención," and "Atrevido" make for a cool joyride through the back streets of Havana. --Jesse "Chuy" Varela ... Read more

    Reviews (33)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Orishas's take Latin HIP-HOP scene by storm.
    In Afro-Cuban beliefs the ORISHAS are the emissaries of Olodumare or God almighty. The 9 Orishas rule over the forces of nature and the endeavors of humanity. In this case these ORISHAS are only 4 and their powers have been felt in Europe especially France, Italy, Spain and Holland. This CD is indisputably the best combination of rap/sonero sound/and salsa blend ever put together. The Orishas are Cuba's answer to now extremly well known Fugees originally from Haiti. Fortunate for the Orishas they do NOT resided within their native land of Cuba. It is due to their freedom that they are able to express themselves in the way in which they do. The tentalising rapping flows and back beats along with their salsa scats and choruses will make any latino dance their but off. This their second production will forever leave a unbelievable mark on the history of Cuban music and what it has evolved into in the new Millenium. On a more personal note, I have been a DJ for over 12 years and have worked in local radio station here in Miami. I listen to 90% anglo music, this CD blew me away. Thank you ORISHAS!

    Mike

    5-0 out of 5 stars amazing dance music
    I LOVE this CD. Dancing to housework has become a regular sight in my house since A Lo Cubano came to town. If you're not a fan of hip hop but you like salsa and can appreciate hard hitting beats, check this spanish language CD out. EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT INTO SALSA but you like hip hop and love dancing, check it out. Even if you don't know Spanish, it'll make you want to learn! The band is fantastic. Did you ever think you'd hear rapping to "the Buena Vista Social Club"? You will now. It's awesome. How much do I love this band? I had downloaded all the songs on the net and STILL bought the CD. It would make a great gift for a hip hop fan wanting to branch out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
    THIS IS TRUE HIP HOP. THIS ALBUM IS INCREDIBLE. VERY INNOVATIVE. I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY WHAT THESE GUYS CAN DO.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Orishas celebrate Cuba with beautiful mix of sounds, beats
    This is a masterpiece. The Orishas have mastered the technique of the hiphop idiom while melding the best of Cuban musical traditions to make a unique and unforgettable CD. Rejecting the racist and violent character of much of US hiphop, these guys celebrate their communities, their families, their beliefs, and most importantly, their love for their homeland. Nurtured and celebrated in Cuba, they still had to go to France to cut this CD and access a world audience. Yet another reason to demand an end to the embargo...

    5-0 out of 5 stars orishas - lo maximo
    this is the real thing from the young cuban music scene - a must for anyone who likes music that represents the complexity of history - cultural, political, and social - while still being quality entertainment. ... Read more


    8. Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000J7IL
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1949
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 1999

    Picking up where Buena Vista Social Club left off, BVSC Presents Ibrahim Ferrer soothes with the hushed romanticism of Cuba's yesteryear while boasting the talents of one of its greatest singers, Ibrahim Ferrer. Again there's an all-star lineup of musicians led by pianist Rubén González and singer Omara Portuondo creating music at the renowned Egrem studios, whose live room brings the slow lucidity and intense vigor of the Cuban classics to life. --Karen K. Hugg ... Read more

    Reviews (95)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Boleros, son & nostalgia
    From the beginning of the delicious 'son' titled "Bruca Maniguá" it's impossible not to be dragged into an album that's like a trip through yesterday's Cuba, courtesy of Ibrahim Ferrer and Buena Vista Social Club.

    The album is a very successful and contagious combination of 'sones' (happy and rhythm filled pieces) and 'boleros' (the name for Latinamerican ballads). The two most successful samples for each, in my opinion, are "Mami Me Gustó" and "Aquellos Ojos Verdes." The first one, a 'son' composed decades ago by Arsenio Rodríguez, same composer of two more tracks in the album, includes a very upbeat piano solo by Rubén González, followed by a divine solo played by Papí Oviedo on the 'tres' (a three-string instrument from the Caribbean). "... Ojos Verdes" instead, a classic but ageless 'bolero', can bring the most tender memories of an age long gone, where seranading the loved one was the norm, rather than the exception.

    When you're done with the CD nostalgia mixes up with happiness, for the fact that Ry Cooder (producer) was able to discover Ibrahim Ferrer's exceptional musical talent. It's so ironic to think that former this Beny More bandmember ("Que bueno baila usted") actually made his record debut hereby, a man born in 1927, but with a sense of romance and rhythm that defies age and any stereotype.

    Final Note: Luckily enough for listeners who don't speak or understand Spanish, the English translation of the lyrics is included.

    ====================

    Desde el momento en que se inicia el sabroso son "Bruca Maniguá" uno se adentra durante el album entero en un exquisito paseo por la musica de la Cuba de antaño, cortesía del cantante Ibrahím Ferrer y Buena Vista Social Club. Desde las estrofas iniciales al sabroso coro "Yenyere Bruca Maniguá", la canción hace irresistible el deseo de seguirla sea con el pie o con la cadera.

    Complementando los sones están "Marieta" pieza que posee el mismo don de la canción inicial, levantando a todo el mundo de su asiento con las vibrantes notas que se le meten a uno por el cuerpo. Sumamente especial resulta el solo de guitarra de Eliades Ochoa; y "Mami Me Gustó", son Montuno compuesto por Arsenio Rodríguez (el mismo compositor de "Bruca Maniguá") tiene un solo de piano de proporciones difíciles de describir sin quedarse corto, interpretado por Rubén González, seguido de un divino solo de tres (instrumento de tres cuerdas) de Papí Oviedo.

    En cuanto a los boleros, están "Silencio" con Omara Portuondo, quien ya tiene su propio álbum de la serie Buena Vista... Una pieza de increible belleza, con un conjunto de cuerdas acompañando a la pareja cantante de una forma que simplemente va a dejar sin aliento y seguramente podrá arrancarle más de una lágrima a uno; y "Aquellos ojos verdes", una canción clásica, que toda persona que haya crecido en Latinoamérica en algún momento ha escuchado. A algunos podría recordarles a la abuela, pero a otros quizás pueda servirles para dedicarle una serenata a la persona amada.

    Cuando uno ya está listo para catalogar este álbum como un clásico de una vez, suena la poderosa pieza "Que bueno baila usted", legendario son de Benny Moré, de cuya banda Ibrahim Ferrer formó parte...

    Cerrando con broche de oro, suena el delicioso bolero "Cómo fue", para dejarlo a uno con una mezcla de nostalgia con alegría por el descubrimiento musical que hizo Ry Cooder al grabar a este excepcional cantante, nacido en Santiago de Cuba en 1927... ¡Quién se iba a imaginar un debut a esa edad! ... gracias a Dios no se perdió sin ser grabada su melodiosa voz y su talento al frente de una banda.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very poorly mastered
    I am Cuban, and I know cuban music well. Ibrahim is not at his best in this CD. The musicians sound terrible. My high school band sounded better than this. The track "Aquellos Ojos Verdes" (a very old tune) leaves you with a belly ache. Especially when you remember how it used to sound when played by the bands of old.

    There are a couple of redeeming tracks, though. Those that were originally part of the "Buena Vista Social Club" tour and didn't fit into that CD. One of these is "Cienfuegos Tiene su Guaguanco." Or "Que Bueno Baila Usted" where the tune is "borrowed" from the great Beny Moré.

    Oh, yeah almost forgot. You'll hear a lot more of Ry Cooder's Hawaiian tunes (which I consider almost an insult to cuban music) in this one.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Such a shame Ry Cooder felt he had to
    Stunning vocals by Ibrahim mingled with aweful, fumbling guitar by Ry Cooder. What was Ray thinking, especially on track 2? I agree with some of the other reviews on the "hawaiian" feel to Ry's playing... Thankfully, his input isn't apparent on all tracks, although this album is not as polished as the original buena vista. I'm dying to bring this CD with me on my next visit to Cuba and ask the local Cubans what they think. Incidentally, it is worth mentioning that it isn't too difficult to find musicians of equal caliber playing all around Cuba, pretty much any night of the week. If you love the music and are from any other country than America, go there for the ultimate musical experience.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Such a shame Ray Cooder felt he had to
    Stunning vocals by Ibrahim mingled with aweful, fumbling guitar by Ray Cooder. What was Ray thinking, especially on track 2? Thankfully, his input is limited. I'm dying to bring this CD with me on my next visit to Cuba and ask the local Cubans what they think.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Boleros, son & nostalgia
    From the beginning of the delicious 'son' titled "Bruca Maniguá" it's impossible not to be dragged into an album that's like a trip through yesterday's Cuba, courtesy of Ibrahim Ferrer and Buena Vista Social Club.

    The album is a very successful and contagious combination of 'sones' (happy and rhythm filled pieces) and 'boleros' (the name for Latinamerican ballads). The two most successful samples for each, in my opinion, are "Mami Me Gustó" and "Aquellos Ojos Verdes." The first one, a 'son' composed decades ago by Arsenio Rodríguez, same composer of two more tracks in the album, includes a very upbeat piano solo by Rubén González, followed by a divine solo played by Papí Oviedo on the 'tres' (a three-string instrument from the Caribbean). "... Ojos Verdes" instead, a classic but ageless 'bolero', can bring the most tender memories of an age long gone, where seranading the loved one was the norm, rather than the exception.

    When you're done with the CD nostalgia mixes up with happiness, for the fact that Ry Cooder (producer) was able to discover Ibrahim Ferrer's exceptional musical talent. It's so ironic to think that this former Beny More bandmember ("Que bueno baila usted") actually made his record debut hereby, a man born in 1927, but with a sense of romance and rhythm that defies age and any stereotype.

    As for the comments some reviewers make, criticizing Ry Cooder's slide guitar playing, I don't agree with them, but then again, it's largely a matter of personal preference.

    Final Note: Luckily enough for listeners who don't speak or understand Spanish, the English translation of the lyrics is included. ... Read more


    9. Islands [Putumayo]
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000003EK1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 8221
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Why is it that island cultures so often create the most magical, deeply individual sounds? Is it because they are usually miles away from corrupting outside influences? Perhaps it is due to the fact that they are forced to create music from their own inner resources. The powerful voices of Jamaican reggae, Cuban rumba, and Puerto Rican salsa have been joined on the world stage by Cape Verdean morna and Hawaiian slack-key guitar, and the hits just keep on coming. The tunes on this set are not terribly revealing about their place of origin, but plenty of likable grooves turn up, primarily dance-oriented party fodder. It's like a casual tourist's piña colada-fueled vacation fantasy: a very pretty and colorful interlude that doesn't have much to do with real life in either place. It's perfect for lazy summer days and nights, ethnic banquets, and tropical-themed celebrations. --Christina Roden ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Authentic Island Music
    I love the international sounds of this CD! I normally like Calypso style music, and this is not that style; but it is unique and really quite good! It sounds like something I would hear traveling to exotic lands! A new sound for me, and after listening a few times, i've grown to really like it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Memories of my honeymoon.
    After getting married, my husband whisked me off to the Island of St. Thomas. What an adventure. The people were so freindly (how can you be depressed when the weather is so perfect) and the food was decadent and gourmet. We intented to stay a week and ended up living to tell about a hurricane. At least you could say the biggest storms in our marriage happened on our honeymoon. After returning I searched for music to remind me of our fun filled days on the sun soaked sands. This music takes me back to where I want to be. If you haven't been to the Islands you will want to get some plane tickets, make some relevant excuse and get out of the cold. Take this CD with you on a car trip for a fun relaxing carefree trip.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sit in the sun, sip a Mai Tai...Aah!
    It doesn't get much better than this. I love this album in the hot, hot summer. And it's great for chasing away the "no sun ever, winter blues" in Pittsburgh. This music makes me feel, happy and sexy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Instant vacation
    This is a fine representation of island music and another home run for the folks at Putumayo! Put this on and I guarantee it will definitely help the winter doldrums. If you've been to the islands, you know what I mean, it will take you back. This is the real deal, not Jimmy Buffett ideal, (don't get me wrong , he's great although getting a bit commercialized) this is what you need for hosting an island themed party. Everyone loves it because it's so different. Exotic, but not over the top; It dosen't matter if you don't understand the lyrics, the music moves you at a more basic level that transcends language.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Island Escape!
    I heard this at my favorite coffee shop (The Coffee shop in Thornton Park - Orlando, FL) and had to have it. This is a great mix of island music that will transport you to the islands. Reminds me of days spent island hopping! After 'discovering' this Putumayo blend, I have ordered Calypso and other cd's. They are wonderfully relaxing to listen to while trapped at work dreaming of an island adventure! Great for the body and soul! ... Read more


    10. Desde Siempre
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007TFHOI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3497
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Love, in all its swoon-inducing shapes and sizes, anchors Desde Siempre, an affecting collection of ballads from Puerto Rican heartthrob Chayanne. The material here dates all the way back to 1988, but it's not a best-of collection, per se. Indeed, Desde Siempre is more a sweet love letter to fans. Lilting gems "Un Siglo Sin Ti," "Atado a Tu Amor" and the glittering "El Centro de Mi Corazon" were definite hits, but this savvy assemblage gives an added sense of heft to Chayanne's seemingly lightweight repertoire. He has a knack for selecting great pop songs written by first-rate composers, most notably Franco de Vita and Estefano. Chayanne is hardly a vocal powerhouse, but his phrasing benefits from the subtle shading and nuances he uses to make up for his limitations. New track "Contra Vientos y Mareas" fits in snugly with the established hits and is likely to become another of the album’s many chart-toppers. --Joey Guerra ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Oldies but Goodies!!!!!!!!!
    Simplemente the best, he's unique in his own way...Ilove the new song and the pictures are amazing...I totally recommended this charming CD if you are planning to Dooo something with that someone special!!!!! ... Read more


    11. Caribbean Island Steel Drum Fa
    list price: $5.49
    our price: $5.49
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    Asin: B000001VD1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 20302
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is real music
    This CD was definetly worth every penny. If you enjoy all kinds of great music, you'll really like this. The sound quality is really good, and it sounds exactly like steel drums are supposed to. I really liked this CD. It's really good music by really good musicians. I recommend this to you if you like good music.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
    Sounds like something recorded in someone's garage. No accompanyment. Very disappointed in this one.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not much music for a CD
    This CD only has a play time of 22:55. Nowhere on the case, in the liner notes, nor on the disc itself is there an indication of how short the music selections are. There are 9 songs on the disc, so by doing the math, average song time is 2 1/2 minutes. Come on, this is ridiculous!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Steel Drums Galore!
    When I first ordered this CD I was expecting the usual percussion and drumbeats that generally accompany the steel drum. I soon realized that the title was literal. If you like steel drum solos, then this CD is for you. Though it's not what I originally expected, the musicians are very good. ... Read more


    12. Buena Vista Social Club Presents: Manuel Guajiro Mirabal
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006SSNCI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 26946
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    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

    Recommended Similar Titles


    Buena Vista Social Club

    BVSC Presents Omara Portuondo

    BVSC Presents Ibrahim Ferrer

    Introducing Ruben Gonzalez

    Mambo Sinuendo

    Cachaito

    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hot Latin Big Band
    This album burns from start to finish. It is a straight up party album--- if you're looking for romantic make-out music, try another Buena Vista member. This record is loud and hot and made for dancing. Imagine a sweaty ballroom in a Havana casino in the 40's and this is the band that would be playing there. All of the musicians are excellent. The band has the traditional three trumpet, dual percussion, tres, bass and sonero line-up and there is not a weak member of the group. The vocalists are uniformly outstanding. Most of the album was recorded live in one take, and it definitely has the spontaneous, joyous feel of a live recording. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "debut solo for Manuel Guajiro Mirabal"
    Nonesuch Records and Warner Music present "Buena Vista Social Club Presents - Manuel Guaijro Mirabal", in his solo debut album featuring the music of Arsenia Rodgriguez performedby Manuel "Guaijro" Mirabal and a very selective group of Buena Vista Social Club musicians...recorded at Havana's Egrem Studios with that electricity of "Live Performances"...this is an album you would stay up late at night for, sipping a glass or two of your favorite...entire album is performed in a playful setting.

    Composer Rodgriguez sends our way "CANTA MONTERO", "EL RELOJ DE PASTORA", "EL RINCON CALIENTE", "ME BOTE DE GUANO", "MI CORAZON NO TIENE QUIEN LO LLORE", "PARA BAILAR EL MONTUNO", "TENGO QUE OLVIDARTE", creativity and innovation sends a modern salsa conjunto that will keep your head spinning...craving more of the same much like "Mambo Kings"..."DEUDA", composed by Luis Marquetti in 1945..."CHICHARRONERO", composer Louis "Lili" Martinez Grinan blends piano solo and brass to this rhythmic tune..."NO VUELVO A MORON LAS TRES MARIAS APJURRUNENME MUJERE MEDLEY", composers Otilio Del Portal and Arsenia Rodriguez favor us with a 5 minute medley of Cuba's finest offerings..."DOMBE DOMBE", beautiful opening trumpet solo, with haunting counter-melodies arranged and performed by Ruben Gonzalez, just the way it was back in the '40s...gotta love it!

    Total Time: 46:36 on 11 Tracks ~ Nonesuch Records 79810 ~ (1/04/2005)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Gem From A Buena Vista Social Club Veteran
    I owned all the albums of Buena Vista Social Club veterans and this one I waited with great anticipation. And I'm proud to say that I am not disappointed. All the selections in this album are superb and Guajiro Mirabal's playing of the trumpet is simply superb, most specially, if you are aware that he is more than 70 years old. Trumpet sound can be very annoying because of its inherent loudness but in the hands(or mouth) of Guajiro Mirabal, it is simply intoxicating. I played the album any time of the day and it never failed to amaze me. You can listen to it in any kind of mood you are. Morning. Late afternoon. Late night.

    I highly recommend this album, along with all the albums of Buena Vista Social club members. Let's enjoy this music. This is the kind of music that you will not get tired listening at. Why? Because they are made by real musicians. All the sounds you hear are coming from real instruments all recorded live in the studio. If you are tired of listening to "manufactured" music, this kind of music will surely give you an entirely different experience. ... Read more


    13. I Am the Upsetter: The Story of Lee "Scratch" Perry: Golden Years
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $34.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00082ZSIE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 12129
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    14. Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004SVHO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4397
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    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 ... Read more

    Reviews (28)

    4-0 out of 5 stars From the heart....
    I'm not deep into Cuban music, and haven't heard of Omara Portuondo before, but I find this a beautiful and treasurable CD. She sings from the heart of a love that hurts, and in a number of styles including a couple I'm not familiar with: guajiro, bolero, mambo, habanera, etc. I especially enjoyed "Veinte Anos" with the trombone and bass dialogue as introduction. And I certainly wasn't expecting her version of Gershwin's "El hombre que you ame". The familiar "Siempre en Mi Corazon" was another favorite. Yet, I enjoyed each and every one of the other numbers. She has a dramatically expressive voice and can carry one with her emotion. If, as one reviewer indicates, her voice isn't what it once was, it still is, to me, one of the great voices one can hear.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 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 different (sometimes even Jazz-like). I think at least half of the songs on this album are my favorite songs now. In case you just watched the movie but don't have the soundtrack, you should be aware that the version of "Veinte Anos" is very different from the version on the Buena Vista Social Club album (the movie soundtrack). It's much slower and has - except for the lyrics and tristess - not much in common with the "original". Beautiful music!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Builds on a great foundation
    Since I was first introduced to the jewels of Cuba's past, I have craved more and more of this wonderful music. Omara's solo CD does not dissapoint, her voice is beautiful and the orchestrations are superb. Detractors of Ry Cooder's slide guitar will be happy to know that it is absent from this release.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
    I don't think I need to write much about this one. It's simply superb as other projects by Bueno Vista Social Club. If you are a fun of Cesaria Evora, this is another voice you will fall in love with.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you Have a BVSC Album, This is a Must Have
    I feel this is a much better listening experience if you listen to any of the other Buena Vista Social Club albums on a regular basis. I admit, it's not my favorite...the overall tempo is slower than the soundtrack or either of Ibrahim's albums. However, it easily earns 5 stars...even on a 4 star scale. I just so happen to prefer the quicker time of the other albums. This album has a deeper more emotional tone. Maybe because the focus is placed on a woman unlike the other BVSC releases...I'm only speculating as I don't understand the lyrics.

    I personally can't imagine having this album only, so be sure to take advantage of Amazon and the Marketplace's selection of Afro-Cuban music. ... Read more


    15. Caribbean Steeldrums: 20 Most Popular Melodies
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000FDO1
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10727
    Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A relaxing escape to the Caribbean
    This is a great cd if you love steel drums! I always relax and imagine I am on vacation either lounging in the sun with a fruity drink or dancing to the rhythm when I listen to this music. The variation of songs is fantastic-a great cd overall.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant escape
    This disc is a lot of fun, and a bit of a lark. Is it serious music? No -- but you're not buying it for seriousness! It's maybe a bit more background music than I'd like, but it certainly whisks you away and sets a fun mood. The song selection is a hoot -- everything from what you'd expect to covers of the Gypsy Kings. The musicianship is top-notch, and the one-man-band approach doesn't provide much spark, but it's also not a detriment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars CARRIBEAN STEEL DRUMS:20 MOST POPULAR MELODIES
    Do you want to relax and just take your mind off things,then just listen to this CD, It will just blow you away,GUARANTEED--you will get addicted,you won't regret it,just make sure you have a good STEREO,Otherwise you won't hear those reverberating sounds of those steel drums--this CD Deserves TEN STARS PLUS----

    5-0 out of 5 stars Carribean Cd
    I would like to take this opportunity to say that this cd is a very good, well written and performed cd. I would recomend this cd to everyone. You feel like you are in the Carribean. I have been to alot of the carribean islands and this cd brings the carribean right in to your home. The carribean offers alot of different feelings. There is romance in the air and lots of fun. I made the mistake to not buy this cd in the carribean when I was there last week, but when i bought this cd earlier this week i felt like i was back in the carribean. It brings all of the moods that the carribean offers. In conclusion, I recomend this cd to everyone! ... Read more


    16. Ay Candela
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Y8AWE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4853
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    Amazon.com

    Happy, bright, sparkling, brilliant: in all honesty, there simply aren't enough colorful adjectives to accurately describe the palpable, inherent joy in the music of Cuban master Ibrahim Ferrer. All the shades of the rainbow--and more--are showcased beautifully on Ay, Candela, a vivid, varried collection of classic tracks. The assembled songs span the 1960s, '70s, and early '80s, but they sound as fresh and vibrant as anything recorded in the last few years. Ferrer is a master of delivery, and he works wonderfully alongside the expert musicians and background vocalists. It makes for some great moments, particularly during the joyous "Mi Tonada Montuna," "Manana Me Voy Pa' Sibanicu" and the title track. Ferrer's best moment, however, comes during the stirring "Una Fuerza Immensa," a lush, captivating bolero that conjures images of swaying palm trees and slow-dancing couples. It's a standout amid an album of outstanding consistency. --Joey Guerra ... Read more


    17. French Caribbean
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008XESB
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 9462
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A fine sampler of Franco-Caribbean musical styles
    A nice, smooth set of modern pop songs drawn from the French-speaking islands of Guadeloupe, Haiti and Martinique, lingering on the more tuneful and diverse end of the Caribbean musical spectrum. For someone like myself, who quickly tired of the manic, monotonous landslide of "soca" and "zouk" records during the 1980s, this disc came as a pleasant surprise. It's very listenable and engaging, a nice selection for someone looking for some accessible, poppish world music. ... Read more


    18. Steel Drum Party
    list price: $7.98
    our price: $7.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00002CF4M
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 18050
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Music to plan your cruise by
    I'm on my second copy of this cd... it is still my favorite of any steelpan cd I have. It strikes just the right balance between fun and relaxing, and it makes the time between cruises go by much faster. :-) ... Read more


    19. Very Best of Toots & the Maytals [Polygram]
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $13.98
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    Asin: B00004STPW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5731
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Toots Hibbert is often compared to Otis Redding, and since Hibbert was greatly influenced by classic American R&B as well as the music of his own Baptist church, that comparison is certainly apt. But while he owes a debt to the intense, high-octane vocal approach of Redding, there is also a great deal of similarity between Toots and the great James Brown. In many ways and at roughly the same time, Hibbert did for Jamaican soul what Brown did for its American cousin--he made it funky and nasty! One listen to the chunky guitar riffs underneath and Hibbert's repetitive vocal chants on top of 1968's "Do the Reggay" and this much is clear: while the energy of ska remains, the deep groove has become supreme ruler. This awesome collection goes back to an early Prince Buster-produced single from 1964 and follows the Maytals--and with them, the history of Jamaican pop--from sweet-harmonizing, horn-driven ska to steadfast rock steady to archetypical roots reggae. And don't forget that Hibbert wrote 18 of these 19 jewels himself (there's one Redding cover here), showing himself to be highly effective with both topical tunes and cheerful rave-ups. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love this CD!
    I couldn't wait to listen to the CD when I got home. I had to listen to it. Hearing the samples was enough to make me want to buy it. And listening to it completely had me dancing and shouting. This CD is a good investment if you are an avid collector and listener of reggae music. Artists such as Sister Nancy sample the baseline from him. Toots is great to listen and dance to.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Godfather of Reggae
    Bob Marley may be the king but Toots was the originator. He was one of the first musicians to use the word Reggae to describe this popular Jamaican musical style. My only complaint with this compilation is that it omits the song, "Premature" from the LP, Reggae Got Soul. It's a great tune and one of his biggest international hits. Otherwise, this CD is a keeper.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Reggae.
    This is real reggae music. Every track is jamming, and there are 19 tracks clocking in at 68 minutes on this album. I bought this because I loved "Monkey Man" off of a compilation CD. It took me three listens to the whole CD to like and appreciate all of the songs. I'm not a reggae fan, but I enjoy anything with harmony and/or melody. I play this CD anywhere, and anytime. I think "Never Get Weary" is my favorite track right now. My least favorite track is "Dreams to Remember" because I like Otis' more, but it's still kicking. Toots puts his all in his music. Give this CD a listen to see if you concur.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I know that other guy has that one album and thats it
    because if you bought Toots - LIVE,

    you'd realize what you're missing by sitting at home listening to that disc, instead of standing in the audience dancing until you are drenched in sweat, and have to drag yourself away from the music to buy another Red Stripe.

    Toots makes great music... but there is nothing... NOTHING like seeing and hearing the guy in the flesh. He is a jamaican reggae version of James Brown... and he just makes you want to party and dance. Buy the live album (the white one with black writing... avoid the live in london double disc)... it captures a tiny bit of the energy he creates when he performs.

    buy the studio discs at your own risk. He releases a lot of them with old material. The old guy has to make money you know? I Love im.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 10/10 That's His Number!
    Of course, mention reggae music to nearly every human on the planet and the first name out of their mouths is Bob Marley. But if there's gotta be a #2 slot, then let it go to Frederick "Toots" Hibbert. He's the very embodiment of the word "journeyman". Influenced as much by classic sixties soul as by the bluebeat of his native land, Toots scored a series of funky, soulful, genuinely skanking hits in Jamaica and overseas. Total fans looking for a detailed and loving anthology are directed to TIME TOUGH, a double CD retrospective released in 1997 that touched on all the right bases. Those looking for a more concentrated dosage can line up here without guilt. If you regularly play the heck out of your Bob Marley LEGEND disc, then you'll equally play the heck out of this one, too. All the coolest cuts are here: "Bam Bam" (which was sampled and covered by Chaka Demus & Pliers), "54-46 That's My Number", "Reggae Got Soul" (where Kingston, Jamaica meets up with Atlanta, Georgia!), "Funky Kingston" and his remarkable remake of Otis Redding's "Dreams To Remember" (which, you may recall, was used as the music bed for a series of Club Med TV spots). The ultimate marriage of roots, rock, reggae on a disc that'll quickly become a fave! "54-46" may have been his number, but 10/10 is the number you can assign this set! Recommended! ... Read more


    20. Heart of the Congos
    list price: $20.98
    our price: $18.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000005L86
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 14062
    Average Customer Review: 4.97 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (38)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest
    Heart of the Congos, in my mind, is the greatest reggae album ever. The more I've listened to it, the more I'm inclined to call it one of the best albums of all-time, regardless of genre. When I first heard this album, it didn't sound like reggae. Too many people see Bob Marley as all there is to reggae (not to come down on Marley, because I do love his music) and the Congos sound is something very different. Lee Perry produces up a storm on this album. The songs are extremely dense, and new things pop up each time you listen to it. The atmosphere is loaded with African percussion and Lee Perry's trademark, echo-y sound, and really goes a long way to making you feel as if you're Jamaica or Africa (depending on which song you're listening to). If you buy this album, it's likely that you wont think too much of it on your initial listen (most of this is because of it's radical differences from the more Marley-style reggae). Don't let your first impression form your opinion of the album, though, because it truly is an intricately crafted masterpiece. Oh, and by the way, stay away from The Congos later material... it gets some critical acclaim, but it sounds absolutely nothing like their first (and best) album. Lots of 80s style cheese.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
    No reggae collector shall be called "serious" if they don't have this particular recording in his/her collection. Lee Scratch Perry's work on this album ranks with his best ever sonic concoctions. To say the least, no one has ever produced such audible delights with the spartan conditions of his Black Ark studio. The songs live up to the best of the venerable roots tradition, and the interplay between the sweet falsetto of Cedric Mynton and the lush harmonies of Roydel Johnson gives an outlandish quality to numbers like "Fisherman", out-and-out a definite reggae classic. The organic character of the backing tracks, complemented by Perry's proto-dub inflections gives the final touch to a record no reggae collection can be without.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the ultimate
    There are not enough good things to say about this profoundly serious, HEAVY HEAVY record. The production is perfect - the vocals are otherworldly, the arrangements are brilliant - Perry's masterpiece. The Congos walked it like they talked it - they were serious committed rastas - Cedric even made Perry locks up - and this record is the testament of serious religious commitment. The album highlight is certainly Ark of the Covenant, but there are not even any average tracks. Absolutely stratospheric. The best twenty bucks I have ever spent, the highlight of my record collection.

    DO NOT, however, "save money" on some crap recording made from a tape or old vinyl - buy THIS VERSION - this blood and fire reissue. As always, Blood and Fire did a phenomenal remastering job - I wish they could get the rights to Culture's back catalog.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In-FREAKING-credible!!!!! A must have for ANYONE!
    Dear Amazon reader: I'm sure you've seen many albums that receive 5 star averages, but when you look at the individual reviews, there are always those people who give an album 1 or 2 stars for whatever "reasons" (haters abound). Notice, though, that as of this posting, this album has gotten 5 stars from EVERYONE, minus a few 4 star ratings scattered about. That should say it all - 'Heart of the Congos' is divine...like Desmond Dekker said - "beautiful and dangerous".

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent album
    the congo's have a very unique and excellent sound in their
    "Heart of the Congos". Definitely recommend this album for a different and awesome experience. ... Read more


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