Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rubén González - Introducing Rubén González (1997)


From mid-'90s to the early '00s, I had a fascination with Afro-Cuban music, which I particularly enjoyed listening to while smoking a cigar, imagining I was on the Havana coast. Of course, many Americans were discovering Afro-Cuban music at that time through the film "Buena Vista Social Club." Rubén González was part of that film and group. I'm glad I grabbed this CD today because I haven't listened to any of this genre in quite a while. I love the authenticity of this music. I can't be sure, but I believe I saw González with the Buena Vista Social Club at Houston's Jones Hall in February 2000. He recorded this, his first solo CD, when he was 77 years old. He passed away in 2003.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: I think I would understand the music more if I understood the lyrics, but my Spanish is limited. Musically, I like Cumbanchero, Mandinga, and Tumbao. Much of the music sounds the same to my gringo ear. González is a master of sequencing motives in his solos, almost to the point where he doesn't stop until he runs out of keyboard. But that's his thing and he knows how to work it.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None I can think of. Any Afro-Cuban music reminds me of my friend Richard who introduced me to it and of another friend, Jim, who listened to a lot of it with me while we smoked cigars.

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