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Mambo Sinuendo

75 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 28, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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. Thus 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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 28, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00007H1Y2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on January 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Has any musician, dead or alive, appeared in a wider variety of musical settings than Ry Cooder? None comes to mind. The amazing thing about his cross-culturalism is how effectively he picks up the basic vibe of the music he's exploring while still putting his own stamp on the proceedings, all the while maintaining a deep (yet not slavish) respect as he playfully deconstructs and reassembles it.
His latest, Mambo Sinuendo, a dual project with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galabán, strikes me as the finest Cooder record to date. I've listened to this remarkable album many times, and each listen has revealed something new: Cooder's tuba-like sound on "Bodas de Oro"; the nimble acoustic bass of Orlando "Cachaíto" Lopez, always establishing the perfect rhythmic underpinning; the deep swing melded to relaxed yet intense interaction that suffuses the whole record; the tricky rhythmic shifts that relocate a piece from Latin America to the American Southwest to Hawaii. It's because Cooder has (seemingly effortlessly) acquired such a broad and deep musical vocabulary that he's able to musically jet, as it were, from country to country with such ease.
Highlights for me include a very tender reading of the chestnut "Secret Love," the Al Caiola-meets-Sonny Chillingworth vibe of "Drume Negrita," "Los Twangueros," with Ry making his recorded debut on vibes (!) and sounding, if I may say so, like an inebriated south of the border denizen in hat and sneakers, the old Pérez Prado number, "Patricia," given an affectionately funky reading and coming across, strangely, at once hoary and impossibly modern, "Caballo Viejo," a cumbia-like piece featuring some very tasty farfisa-organ-sounding guitar and killer drum work by the dual drum team of Jim Keltner and Joachim Cooder.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By R. Klein on February 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Being a longtime fan of Ry Cooder, I know that any project that he emerges with will be well worth the wait and result in something special. From the beginning project with 1997's Grammy winning "Buena Vista Social Club" project, the world has come to know the richness of Cuba's almost forgotten music. Each musician has come to record a solo project from these sessions.
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 hawaiin 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 an instrumental affair.
This is a lovely set of peaceful music, that is great to listen to again and again. Ry Cooder has been on vacation in Cuba, making some of the finest music of his career, and he has taken us all along with him. I enjoyed this project, as the guitars sound so dreamy and seductive. Throughout this set of songs I have felt so relaxed and taken in by this great music. When the last notes drift into silence, it's like realising that vacation is over and it's time to go back to the grind.
I have my personal faves on this recording. "Patricia" is a joy.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By William Merrill VINE VOICE on January 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Often when Western musicians pair up with "world music" artists, the results sound like the Western person is almost completely submerged within the musical identity of the "world" person. That happened with Henry Kaiser & David Lindley's Norway & Madagascar albums, and with various things Michael Brook has done. Not here. Ry Cooder's rootsy guitar is just as much a character in this music as Manuel Galaban and the different Cuban musicians he worked with on Mambo Sinuendo. The tunes all have a Latin flavor, but filtered through various American mid-20th Century styles. I was reminded of Esquivel as well as some of the Los Lobos side projects like the Latin Playboys and Los Super Seven. The album is a real pleasure to listen to. I probably would have enjoyed it even more if there were a few more cuts with vocals. The female background vocals on the chorus of the title track are real cool.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Milo on September 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Is Ry Cooder still an unknown icon in America? If you have eclectic tastes in music then you could buy everything he has ever recorded and never get bored. Not only is he a talented guitarist and composer, but he is arguably one of the world's greatest archivists, retrieving and bringing to life a wealth of rare and wonderful music that might never have seen the light of day without his TLC. This album is so low key that I was not impressed with the first, second or even third listening. Then something clicked and I have to say I am hooked. There is a wonderful dark discordancy to the music on this CD. A bit like ultra-lounge meets Hawaiian. At times it even gets a little tacky in that 50's chrome and plastic way, but I like that. Typical nice quality playback, a little more forward than a lot of his stuff which often has a recessed quality perhaps due to simple and natural recording techniques.I've never had a recording creep up on me quite this way, which makes it even more endearing. I recommend it, but with the caveat you give it time to seep in.
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