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Mujer De Cabaret

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Puerto Plata's 'Mujer de Cabaret' will take you back to the golden age of Dominican guitar music. The sones, boleros and merengues on this album are a testament to a time gone but not forgotten, of serenades, carousing and revelry. Puerto Plata's sweet, nostalgic voice is accompanied on the requinto by two of the Dominican Republic's finest virtuosos, Edilio Paredes and Frank Mendez, who each contribute their unique style to the tracks they accompany.

Review

Here's a find: contemporary recordings of veteran Dominican Republic musicians performing old-school sons, boleros, and merengues on acoustic instruments and slaying them. This is no soft and cuddly acoustic session padded out with gauzy production. For the most part this set deliver hard driving dance music, recorded very simply to convey the immediacy and virtuosity of musicians we've been overlooking for far too long.

Speaking broadly, son originated in eastern Cuba when a generous dose of African rhythm and drumming was introduced to the popular Havana sound of the day. Son went everywhere, fathering new musical genres in Central and West Africa, and paving the way for mambo, salsa, timba, and more. Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic nurtured its own son tradition, one intertwined with local bolero, guaracha, and early merengue. In the first half of the 20th century, these sounds intermingled in Santiago's La Joya district, a decadent, dangerous milieu in short, a perfect breeding ground for red hot local music. Since the fall of the dictator Trujilo in 1961, merengue and bachata have emerged as the DR's predominant music styles. But the old soneros have played on, and based on the recordings on this CD, they preserve one of the most impressive guitar styles in the Caribbean.

The star of this CD is actually a singer, Puerto Plata, a veteran of the old La Joya scene. José Manuel Cobles a.k.a. Puerto Plata sings in a husky tenor, capable both of great tenderness and also bravado. He performs here with two separate groups, each sporting an extraordinary lead guitarist. The dry, staccato snap of Edilo Paredes digging into his gut strings with lightning speed and razor precision is this CD's greatest revelation. Paredes' stylish riffing is the thread that binds the first six tracks here, and it is never short of bracing. Parades is beloved and prolific traditional guitarist in the DR. For this session, he revisits his roots with passion and verve.

Paredes protégé Frank Mendez takes the lead guitar for the second group (tracks 7-11). He begins gently with a trenchant bolero 'Santiago,' but soon shows himself Paredes' equal, notably on a ripping merengue, 'Los Piratas,' actually a commentary on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Kudos to producers Benjamin de Menil and David Wayne for shining a spotlight on these neglected treasures of the Caribbean stage.
-Banning Eyre (Afropop) --Afropop.org

Born José Manuel Cobles, Puerto Plata is an 84-year-old sonero who's a virtual encyclopedia of the acoustic guitar traditions of the Dominican Republic. He's known as a master of the son genre; however, as the tunes on this disc demonstrate, he's a master of a lot more than just that kind of music. For instance, opener 'Amarro con Fé' is a lively guaracha about a man who escapes the clutches of a woman who tries to hold him with witchcraft. The lovely 'Santiago' also the name of Puerto Plata's hometown, is a bolero. 'Los Piratas' a merengue, is an original tune dealing with the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and features a fiery guitar solo by Frank Mendez. This music is an extraordinary listening experience, in terms of the proficient acoustic guitar work and Puerto Plata's marvelous vocals.
Philip Van Vleck (Billboard) --Billboard
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: April 1, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: VIRTUAL LABEL GROUP
  • ASIN: B000W8FY7O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,212 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Guillermo Rocha on February 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Astounding and remarkable music and musician

A friend of mine sent me a review that NPR made about "Puerto Plata" and as soon as I heard the whole piece I rushed to Amazon and bought the CD. Is truly astounding music, out of this world, and well performed. The recording is flawless and crystal clear. This music represents a "lost" era when "bachata" was socially forbidden and this music was disdained and abhorred as music from the "cabarets" (houses of prostitution). Bachatas were outlawed by Trujillo (the infamous dictator of Dominican Republic) for more than 30 years and musicians like "Puerto Plata" lived in the fringes of the law. What is also amazing is the tale of "Puerto Plata's" life in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Santiago, Dominican Republic (La Jolla) and its "red light" district. To top that off "Puerto Plata" is becoming recognized and famous at the age of 84, waiting more than 60 years to expose his art.
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Awesome guitar work. Great music too. I was not that familiar with this style of music, but I always appreciate good musicians. Some of the songs might seem repetitive to newbies like me, but this is really good stuff.
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Not much I can say but,simply wonderful. Old style Dominican music that makes me want to be there drinking a Guavaberry at the beach.
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There's no Plata (Silver) in here, everything in here is Oro (Gold),

What a great cd, full of amazing guitar work, soulfull singing and wonderfull stories, play once and I dare not to play it at least 2 to 3 times in a row, it's very hard not to do it

Thank God for cd format, because if this was a LP (remember them) by know I would have to buy a new Puerto Plata due to all the use I got from the first one
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I had heard clips of this CD on NPR before I purchased it. The story of Puerto Plata, his music and the era in which he sings is very charming. It's a CD I listen to almost everyday, and I plan on buying more music from this artist. He is a classic musician, his style of music is wonderful, romantic and I might be brushing up on my spanish so I can understand the lyrics to his songs.
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