Saturday, January 10, 2015

Buena Vista Social Club

Confession, despite always loving this album, I’ve only just got around to watching the film. The music, the people, the circumstances, it is all just a wonderful gift of a movie.

The original Buena Vista Social Club was a popular location for musicians to meet and play during the 1940s. The club was closed by the regime and many of the musicians did menial jobs for decades. In the 90s, American guitarist Ry Cooder came to the area to work with musicians who in the end had visa problems and couldn't arrive at the location, so Cooder and world music producer Nick Gold changed their plans and decided to record an album of Cuban son music with local musicians. Great timing as a lot of the original legendary musicians were still alive, they recorded an album and the rest is history.

The film shows performances of the songs, interviews with the modest musicians in old, crumbling music halls; then they go to New York for performances at Carnegie Hall, where they stare around themselves with the eyes of amazed children.

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