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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just one song, "Once I had a secret love " is a masterpiece. The rest is filler.Published 5 months ago by Larry Wolford
Love this music...takes me to South Beach watching the lovely Cuban dancers! You won't be able to sit still!Published 7 months ago by Linda Adkins-scolaro
How anyone can give this album less than four or five stars amazes me. Some reviewers seem to have listened to the album with a preconceived notion of what latin music should be,... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Cynthia Glenn
love the sound and the beat it is very unique and I do not know what else I can say about itPublished 22 months ago by Patricia A. Palazzola
Love this music, Love the album, love everything about it. Pure genuis and great collaborative efforts between the two musicians. Read morePublished on April 26, 2012 by Robert Poe
Never listened to this type of music before and never even heard of Ry Cooder until I heard. Duerme Negrita on an internet radio station. I was totally blown away. What a sound!!! Read morePublished on February 6, 2012 by Amazon Customer