It is a good sounding CD, and I am only aware of one version. There are some "solo" albums from some of the members...at least one produced by Ry Cooder.
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There is the original, which is terrific. Then there are at least to solo albums I recomend, one by Omara Portuondo and one by Ibrahim Ferrer. Now they've come out with a live version which is supposed to be great. By the way, if you like this type of music try the latest from Susana Baca, a peruvian singer. She is fantastic and the sound is A+.
There are four CD's that I am aware of (we have the first three). Plus there was a sampler CD put out by Barnes & Noble "Women of Song" that contains two singles from the latest solo CD. So, I guess that makes five CD's kind of. All are great, but the recording of the first release -w- Ry Cooder playing is the most unusual recording. It sounds like it was recorded in a small club, while in reality it was recorded in a rather large single room in an ancient recording studio without the use of isolation booths (like the studio version of "Layla"). See the documentary if you get the chance.
In addition to the above alumni of BVSC, Eliades Ochoa, guitarist, and Compay Segundo, vocals and congas, also have albums out. Almost everyone wants in on the act, and why not? I believe pianist Ruben Gonzalez now has a second CD out. Haven't heard it, but his first solo CD "Introducing..." is beautiful.
The Buena Vista guys & gals were originally presented as the AFRO CUBANO ALL STARS. The first CD came out in 1997 ... entitled "A Toda Cuba Le Gusta" (1997) and the second CD came out last year entitled "Distinto Diferente" (2000) ... both on the Nonesuch label. A Toda Cuba Le Gusta is still my favorite of the 10 or so Buena Vista like CD's out there. Try to see them live.
Just saw them live in Boston. Very entertaining, especially for a group of septu and octogenarians! or is it novagenerian? Anyway, there's also a film (now on video) by the same title of BVSC, Spanish with subtitles. It is a great film because it shares the lives and history of the music and Cuban culture.
the bvsc video actually has a wery decent soundtrack - this would be good to see/hear on a nice h-t set-up. ewe can really hear the venue where the recordings take place - like where ruben gonzales is in that huge old mansion (palace?) playing the piano, while the students are taking ballet class... cool movie, fantastic music!
If you like this music...others worth seking out are "Estrellas de Areito", which has some of the most famous Cuban musicians (including legendary violinist Jorrin) in an all-star band (Areito's answer to the Fania All Stars salsa band); for fans of Ruben Gonzalez, you should seek out the recordings of Bebo Valdez (e.g., "Bebo Rides Again") and his son Chucho Valdez (e.g., his "Inolvidable" CD with singer Omara Portuondo, who if I recall sings in one or more of the Buena Vista CD's). Chucho Valdez was of course the leader and pianist of the Cuban jazz group Irakekere, which at its heyday included Paquito D'Rivera and Arturo Sandoval. Irakere records are also worth seeking out, though some of their music is a bit "difficult". Another renowned Cuban pianist was Joseito (Cheito) Gonzalez, leader of Orquesta Rumba Habana. If you REALLY like this sort of music, I recommend the 4 CD box set from Tumi called The Legends of Cuban Music, in which Chucho, Joseito, and Omara all appear, and which has a great booklet explaining the different types of "classic" Cuban music.
I downloaded a copy from HDtracks and am disappointed in the sound quality. It seems rather flat and somewhat reminiscent of recordings made in the 1950s.
Everyone seems to like to rave about it and I just don’t get it. The music seems interesting but it would be more interesting If it sounded better.
sounds better on my Grado SR-80 phones but still not great.
Maybe it’s just another poorly mastered CD.
Magneplanar MG-IIIa speakers, Adcom GFP-555 preamp, Adcom GFA-535 amp, yamaha cd player, PS Audio D-Link III DAC.
I downloaded a copy from HDtracks and am disappointed in the sound quality. It seems rather flat ... Maybe it’s just another poorly mastered CD.This is confusing. Are you referring to the download or to the CD?
It definitely does not have a typical studio recording sound. On my system it has a very live sound. I am streaming cd quality from a node 2i with an Emm Labs DAC. I can place all of the musicians and vocalists on the stage (left right and front back). I haven’t heard the HD Tracks version. Don’t know if there is a difference. There is also a good bit of room sound and natural reverb in the recording. So for me it is not as forward as a typical studio recording but it has a very appealing sound to me. My guess from the sound is that it was recorded live with everyone in the same room rather than isolated. But it could be some other thing or the way my system presents it. The music is incredible either way!!