Album review

Ibrahim Ferrer - Buenos Hermanos

Producer Ry Cooder reckons the second solo album from the septuagenarian Buena Vista Social Club star is "the Thriller of Latin music". Ferrer has not so far been seen dangling babies over balconies. But under Cooder's expert tutelage, he's made a beautiful record that expands the horizons of Cuban music. His voice may have thinned with age but he compensates with a ripe confidence and an outrageous improvisational ability that puts him up there alongside such legendary names as Beny Moré. Recorded in Havana, the Cuban musicians play with their usual unobtrusive brilliance while the accordion of Flaco Jiminez, the trumpet of Jon Hassell and the gospel voices of the Blind Boys Of Alabama add unusual non-Cuban flavourings. An aural delight that proves Buena Vista was far more than some quaint fluke.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...