Label Nonesuch LP 573095-1
Mastered at Abbey Road Studios and pressed at Record Industry Old-style tip-on gatefold jacket
2003 Grammy Award Winning Album On Double LP!
Mambo Sinuendo, Ry Cooder’s collaboration with Cuban guitar legend Manuel Galbán, hearkens back to a point in the late 1950s when Cuban popular music began to hint at a fusion of American pop-jazz and the futuristic creations of modern Cuban composers (like Perez Prado). Borne along by the mid-century mambo and cha-cha-cha crazes, the hot sounds of mambo-jazz spread out into American popular culture-Perez Prado was Vegas-bound; Stan Kenton hit the road with his “Cuban Fire” orchestra; Henry Mancini scored Touch of Evil à la Prado; and Duane Eddy had a Top 10 hit with the mambo-esque “Theme from Peter Gunn.”
But nowhere can there be found a more perfect representation of this style than in the recordings of the Havana doo-wop quartet Los Zafiros, still after decades, the most popular Cuban vocal group of all time. As Los Zafiros’s guitarist and arranger, Manuel Galbán pioneered a tough, rocking guitar style that is considered by Cuban musicians to be unique in their music. Mambo Sinuendo reintroduces Manuel Galbán-pianist, organist, and guitarist extraordinaire.
Says Cooder, “Galbán and I felt that there was a sound that had not been explored-a Cuban electric-guitar band that could reinterpret the atmosphere of the 1950s with beauty, agility, and simplicity. We decided on two electrics, two drum sets, congas and bass: a sexteto that could swing like a big band and penetrate the mysteries of the classic tunes. This music is powerful, lyrical, and funny-what more could you ask? Mambo Sinuendo is Cuban soul and high-performance twang.”
For Mambo Sinuendo, Cooder has enlisted the bassist for all the Buena Vista Social Club sessions, Orlando “Cachaíto” López. The percussionists include longtime collaborator Jim Keltner; Cooder’s son, Joachim Cooder, another Buena Vista veteran; and the conga master Miguel “Angá” Díaz.
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