Buenos Hermanos

COMPOSERS: Ibrahim Ferrer
LABELS: World Circuit
CATALOGUE NO: WCD 065

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Still it rolls. IBRAHIM FERRER’s skills are about the best preserved of the ancient Cuban monuments on the Buena Vista Social Club bandwagon, and he sings at his virtuoso and lyrical best on the latest release. The content is a little more contemporary and upbeat than before, the variety of form and pace much as usual.

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Unfortunately, it has been put into that current world-music cliché format, a guest album, perhaps a sign that the wagon’s wheels are getting stuck. Good guests they are, just too many, and they dilute Ferrer’s artistry. A number with the Blind Boys of Alabama as backing singers and sax solos from Gil Bernal will get airplay, but the effect is distinctly synthetic. For something truly original from Cuba via the West, listen to another later-life debutante.