COMPOSERS: Compay Segundo
PERFORMER: Compay Segundo, various artists
CATALOGUE NO: 0927-43228-2
COMPAY SECUNDO, surprisingly brings the duff album of the month, nothing but star guests from Cesaria Evora to Antonio Banderas. It’s called after the backing singer — fair enough, since that is Compay’s job and he is named for it. Trouble is that his job is also to blend, while his nonagenarian croaks now stick out.
The duet with Charles Aznavour is memorably awful on both sides. It’s best when he just growls, as in a bouncy number with Lou Bega. One that oughtn’t to work, with Khaled, comes off as a brilliant three-minute trip from Cuba to Algeria. Otherwise the gaff is blown by the final track, a light and pacy song from 1950 which shows that the musicians being sold as ‘authentic survivors’ were very different in their prime.