After the 1997 release of the Buena Vista Social Club movie and album, there was flurry of solo releases by members of the group. I'm sure the impetus behind this flurry was money, but the record company involved (Nonesuch) did us all a big favor by recording these great artists while they were still living. Legend has it that González hadn't owned a piano in over ten years when Ry Cooder found him and got him playing again. After hearing such fluid technique and deft touch, I'm thankful Cooder looked him up and got him in front of a piano. This whole album is a delight - you can tell González is having a blast, and even though he was an octogenarian when this was recorded, his performances are fantastic. Great, authentic takes on Afro-Cuban standards. There's nothing groundbreaking here and sometimes there's some sloppy playing, but I could care less. Truth be told, I prefer González's solo albums and his work with the Afro-Cuban All Stars to the Buena Vista Social Club stuff (although that fact won't keep me from digging out my BVSC DVD and re-watching that movie this afternoon).
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart
Tracks: It's all good stuff, I particularly like the descarga (jam) tunes: Chanchullo, La Lluvi, and Pa' Gozar. My least favorite tunes are Central Constancia and Isora Club, but they add a welcome bit of variety to the album, so I rarely skip them.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
Introducing Rubén González (1997)