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Sun-Sentinal: Carnegie Hall Album Documents Buena Vista's "Virtuosity ... A Pleasure to Hear"; Perfect 10 from PopMatters

  • Friday, October 31, 2008
    Sun-Sentinal: Carnegie Hall Album Documents Buena Vista's "Virtuosity ... A Pleasure to Hear"; Perfect 10 from PopMatters

    Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall earns a perfect 10 from PopMatters. Reviewer Thomas Hauner sees the group's 1998 performance at Carnegie Hall and this month's World Circuit / Nonesuch release of the concert recording as a prime example of the Jeffersonian call for "the exchange of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture," and the positive impact it can have.

    Haunder describes the songs on the original studio album as "polyrhythmic melting pots, rich harmonies, and pastoral Cuban melodies all encompassed by a tacit authenticity" and says the concert recording "staunchly carries with it the brand characteristics that launched this cultural exchange."

    The review points to a number of the stand-out performances, including Rubén González's "exquisite" piano playing, explaining: "One intangible quality of Gonzalez¹s playing, which resonates all over the album, is a fundamental vulnerability. It personifies the piano, giving it warmth and feeling, so within Carnegie Hall's space his audible emotions seize the space."

    And far from becoming a piece of "cultural propaganda" a concert by Cuban musicians in the US might have become, the concert and its recording showcase "a merging and sharing of cultures and ideas, America and Cuba representative in doing and producing positively together and all in the name of humanity."

    Haunder concludes: "Most importantly, in a time of fleeting American hegemony and presidential elections, one can¹t help but recognize the timeliness of a Buena Vista Social Club reprise and the ascent of a fresh foreign policy platform."

    Read the complete 10-star review at popmatters.com.

    ---

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinal's pop music writer Sean Piccoli says:

    Anyone who saw Buena Vista Social Club, a 1999 documentary about musicians that time nearly forgot had a glimpse of this remarkable band's live set. Now, finally, a full-length concert album has come out. And where the documentary focused on the musicians' improbable comeback, this two-disc recording is all music. Carnegie Hall proves just how brilliant this ensemble was, especially considering the relatively short time the players spent together.

    He insists that the group and this performance are much more than even the remarkable story of their resurgence, saying that the recent release "doesn't get by on symbolism or sentiment. [Ry] Cooder once called his bandmates 'masters of access' for their ability to call forth the sounds and the music inside their heads. The Carnegie Hall concert is a document of that virtuosity, and a pleasure to hear."

    To read the full review, visit sun-sentinel.com.

    ---

    Writer Ernest Barteldes, reviewing the record for Beyond Race, says: "Few imagined the impact of the release of the original Buena Vista Social
    Club album (which Rolling Stone included on the 500 All-Time Best Albums in history) over a decade ago ..." Now, the album that captured the band's Carnegie Hall performance "sounds like a grand party celebrating music that was almost forgotten over the years ... a great record, which documents the music of these legendary musicians." Read more at beyondrace.com.

on October 31, 2008 - 4:29pm
Excerpt: 

Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall earns a perfect 10 from PopMatters, which describes the songs on the original studio album as "polyrhythmic melting pots, rich harmonies, and pastoral Cuban melodies all encompassed by a tacit authenticity" and says the concert recording "staunchly carries with it the brand characteristics that launched this cultural exchange." The Sun-Sentinal says it "proves just how brilliant this ensemble was ... The Carnegie Hall concert is a document of that virtuosity, and a pleasure to hear."

Copy: 

Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall earns a perfect 10 from PopMatters. Reviewer Thomas Hauner sees the group's 1998 performance at Carnegie Hall and this month's World Circuit / Nonesuch release of the concert recording as a prime example of the Jeffersonian call for "the exchange of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture," and the positive impact it can have.

Haunder describes the songs on the original studio album as "polyrhythmic melting pots, rich harmonies, and pastoral Cuban melodies all encompassed by a tacit authenticity" and says the concert recording "staunchly carries with it the brand characteristics that launched this cultural exchange."

The review points to a number of the stand-out performances, including Rubén González's "exquisite" piano playing, explaining: "One intangible quality of Gonzalez¹s playing, which resonates all over the album, is a fundamental vulnerability. It personifies the piano, giving it warmth and feeling, so within Carnegie Hall's space his audible emotions seize the space."

And far from becoming a piece of "cultural propaganda" a concert by Cuban musicians in the US might have become, the concert and its recording showcase "a merging and sharing of cultures and ideas, America and Cuba representative in doing and producing positively together and all in the name of humanity."

Haunder concludes: "Most importantly, in a time of fleeting American hegemony and presidential elections, one can¹t help but recognize the timeliness of a Buena Vista Social Club reprise and the ascent of a fresh foreign policy platform."

Read the complete 10-star review at popmatters.com.

---

The South Florida Sun-Sentinal's pop music writer Sean Piccoli says:

Anyone who saw Buena Vista Social Club, a 1999 documentary about musicians that time nearly forgot had a glimpse of this remarkable band's live set. Now, finally, a full-length concert album has come out. And where the documentary focused on the musicians' improbable comeback, this two-disc recording is all music. Carnegie Hall proves just how brilliant this ensemble was, especially considering the relatively short time the players spent together.

He insists that the group and this performance are much more than even the remarkable story of their resurgence, saying that the recent release "doesn't get by on symbolism or sentiment. [Ry] Cooder once called his bandmates 'masters of access' for their ability to call forth the sounds and the music inside their heads. The Carnegie Hall concert is a document of that virtuosity, and a pleasure to hear."

To read the full review, visit sun-sentinel.com.

---

Writer Ernest Barteldes, reviewing the record for Beyond Race, says: "Few imagined the impact of the release of the original Buena Vista Social
Club album (which Rolling Stone included on the 500 All-Time Best Albums in history) over a decade ago ..." Now, the album that captured the band's Carnegie Hall performance "sounds like a grand party celebrating music that was almost forgotten over the years ... a great record, which documents the music of these legendary musicians." Read more at beyondrace.com.

Publish date: 
Friday, October 31, 2008 - 11:30
Article Type: 
featuredimage: 
Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall (CD) [cover]

Comments

Does Buena Vista Social Club come with a lyric sheet?

The original, 1997 studio album Buena Vista Social Club does include lyrics and translations. Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall does not; rather, the booklet features 30 some pages of photos, notes, and recollections from members of the group from the historic event.

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