Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Producer/guitarist Ry Cooder says about Ibrahim Ferrer's second solo album: "You had Ibrahim's appearance from nowhere on Buena Vista Social Club. Then his first solo record put him there as a great singer. But Buenos Hermanos takes him where nobody else has gone." Ferrer's first release since 1999's gold-certified debut Buena Vista Social Club presents Ibrahim Ferrer is full of surprises. Buenos Hermanos not only features the romantic boleros for which Ferrer is best known but also all manner of rhythmically explosive material performed by a remarkable band that includes Manuel Galban on guitar and organ; percussionists Anga Diaz, Jim Keltner, and Joachim Cooder; bassist extraordinaire Cachaito Lopez; special guests such as Grammy-winner Chucho Valdes on piano, the Blind Boys of Alabama; and such long-time Cooder associates as accordionist Flaco Jiminez and trumpeter Jon Hassell.
At 77, Ibrahim Ferrer has lost none of his cheeky charm. Buenos Hermanos
lives beautifully up to its title--"Good Brothers"--with those Cuban stalwarts Cachaito Lopez and Chucho Valdes joined by that genius of the electric guitar, Manuel Galban, and with the Blind Boys of Alabama enriching the basic mix. Moreover, Ry Cooder, who originally coaxed Buena Vista Social Club into life, here acts as midwife once again. This CD, he says, was "the last chance in the world today to work with such a voice." Well, Ferrer's voice no longer has the ringing exhilaration we heard on his solo album, Ibrahim Ferrer
. His effects are more muted now, more laid back, but they still cover a kaleidoscopic range of tone and color. He delivers his boleros with lovely swing, and he radiates the genuineness of a premarketing age. It's easy to believe that most of these tracks were one-takes: the whole thing has wonderful freshness. --Michael Church
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