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  • Friday, November 23, 2018
    Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán's Grammy-Winning "Mambo Sinuendo" Returns on Vinyl

    Mambo Sinuendo, Ry Cooder’s 2003 collaboration with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galbán, which won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album, has returned on vinyl for the first time in some fifteen years. The vinyl edition—pressed from lacquers cut by Abbey Road Studios on two 140-gram vinyl discs at Record Industry in the Netherlands with a custom etching on side D based on the original album art, and housed in an old-style, tip-on gatefold jacket—is out now and available at your local record shop and in the Nonesuch Store.

    "The guitarists Manuel Galbán and Ry Cooder sound as if they're having so much fun on Mambo Sinuendo that it's hard to believe the album took a year of hard work," wrote the New York Times's Jon Pareles. The album "creates a time-warped neverland where unhurried melodies hover above subtly swaying Cuban rhythms, as the two guitar masters trade slides and twangs with a droll sense of romance." "An exquisite album," Uncut exclaimed. "One of the musical highlights of the year."

    The album hearkens back to a point in the late 1950s when Cuban popular music began to hint at a fusion of American pop-jazz and the futuristic creations of modern Cuban composers (like Perez Prado). Borne along by the mid-century mambo and cha-cha-cha crazes, the hot sounds of mambo-jazz spread out into American popular culture—Perez Prado was Vegas-bound; Stan Kenton hit the road with his "Cuban Fire" orchestra; Henry Mancini scored Touch of Evil à la Prado; and Duane Eddy had a Top 10 hit with the mambo-esque "Theme from Peter Gunn."

    But nowhere can there be found a more perfect representation of this style than in the recordings of the Havana doo-wop quartet Los Zafiros. As Los Zafiros's guitarist and arranger, Manuel Galbán pioneered a tough, rocking guitar style that is considered by Cuban musicians to be unique in their music. Mambo Sinuendo reintroduced Manuel Galbán—pianist, organist, and guitarist extraordinaire.

    "Galbán and I felt that there was a sound that had not been explored," said Cooder, "a Cuban electric-guitar band that could reinterpret the atmosphere of the 1950s with beauty, agility, and simplicity. We decided on two electrics, two drum sets, congas and bass: a sexteto that could swing like a big band and penetrate the mysteries of the classic tunes. This music is powerful, lyrical, and funny—what more could you ask? Mambo Sinuendo is Cuban soul and high-performance twang."

    For Mambo Sinuendo, Cooder enlisted the bassist for all the Buena Vista Social Club sessions, Orlando "Cachaíto" López. The percussionists include longtime collaborator Jim Keltner; Cooder's son, Joachim Cooder, another Buena Vista veteran; and the conga master Miguel "Angá" Díaz.

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Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán's Grammy-Winning "Mambo Sinuendo" Returns on Vinyl

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on November 23, 2018 - 7:00am
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Friday, November 23, 2018 - 07:00
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Mambo Sinuendo, Ry Cooder’s 2003 Grammy Award–winning collaboration with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galbán, has returned on vinyl for the first time in some fifteen years. "Mambo Sinuendo creates a time-warped neverland where unhurried melodies hover above subtly swaying Cuban rhythms," says the New York Times, "as the two guitar masters trade slides and twangs with a droll sense of romance."

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Mambo Sinuendo, Ry Cooder’s 2003 collaboration with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galbán, which won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album, has returned on vinyl for the first time in some fifteen years. The vinyl edition—pressed from lacquers cut by Abbey Road Studios on two 140-gram vinyl discs at Record Industry in the Netherlands with a custom etching on side D based on the original album art, and housed in an old-style, tip-on gatefold jacket—is out now and available at your local record shop and in the Nonesuch Store.

"The guitarists Manuel Galbán and Ry Cooder sound as if they're having so much fun on Mambo Sinuendo that it's hard to believe the album took a year of hard work," wrote the New York Times's Jon Pareles. The album "creates a time-warped neverland where unhurried melodies hover above subtly swaying Cuban rhythms, as the two guitar masters trade slides and twangs with a droll sense of romance." "An exquisite album," Uncut exclaimed. "One of the musical highlights of the year."

The album hearkens back to a point in the late 1950s when Cuban popular music began to hint at a fusion of American pop-jazz and the futuristic creations of modern Cuban composers (like Perez Prado). Borne along by the mid-century mambo and cha-cha-cha crazes, the hot sounds of mambo-jazz spread out into American popular culture—Perez Prado was Vegas-bound; Stan Kenton hit the road with his "Cuban Fire" orchestra; Henry Mancini scored Touch of Evil à la Prado; and Duane Eddy had a Top 10 hit with the mambo-esque "Theme from Peter Gunn."

But nowhere can there be found a more perfect representation of this style than in the recordings of the Havana doo-wop quartet Los Zafiros. As Los Zafiros's guitarist and arranger, Manuel Galbán pioneered a tough, rocking guitar style that is considered by Cuban musicians to be unique in their music. Mambo Sinuendo reintroduced Manuel Galbán—pianist, organist, and guitarist extraordinaire.

"Galbán and I felt that there was a sound that had not been explored," said Cooder, "a Cuban electric-guitar band that could reinterpret the atmosphere of the 1950s with beauty, agility, and simplicity. We decided on two electrics, two drum sets, congas and bass: a sexteto that could swing like a big band and penetrate the mysteries of the classic tunes. This music is powerful, lyrical, and funny—what more could you ask? Mambo Sinuendo is Cuban soul and high-performance twang."

For Mambo Sinuendo, Cooder enlisted the bassist for all the Buena Vista Social Club sessions, Orlando "Cachaíto" López. The percussionists include longtime collaborator Jim Keltner; Cooder's son, Joachim Cooder, another Buena Vista veteran; and the conga master Miguel "Angá" Díaz.

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Ry Cooder & Manuel Galbán: "Mambo Sinuendo" w

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