By John Murph | Published May 2020
When Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club galvanized the global music scene in 1996, it established Ibrahim Ferrer as one of Cuba’s breakout elder stars. In the States, his spotlight previously had been denied because of the country’s relations with Cuba. But with Cooder’s help, the singer released Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer in 1999, solidifying his eminence as a torchbearer of pre-revolution idioms. Buenos Hermanos, his follow-up, dazzled in more surprising ways. In addition to showcasing Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés on a few cuts, the 2003 album recruited some eyebrow-raising special guests. Even when The Blind Boys of Alabama harmonize behind Ferrer on the danzón “Perfume De Gardenias,” nothing sounds out of place. This reissued, remixed version of the album ups the ante with four additional tunes, the strongest being Cristina Saladrigas’ “Ojos Malvados.”
Buenos Hermanos: Boquiñeñe; Música Cubana; Boliviana; Me Voy Pa Sibanicú; Buenos Hermanos; Mil Congojas; Ojos Malvados; Guaguancó Callejero; Hay Que Entrarle A Palos A Ése; Perfume De Gardenias; Como El Arrullo De Palma; Mujer; No Tiene Telaraña; Ven Conmigo Guajira; Naufragio; Fuiste Cruel; Oye El Consejo. (60:16)
Personnel: Ibrahim Ferrer, Jimmy Carter, Carla Commagere, Juliette Commagere, Joey Williams, Alberto Valdés, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Dennis Manuel, Eric “Ricky” McKinnie, José Antonio Rodríguez, vocals; Angá Díaz, Bernardo Garcia, Amadito Valdés, percussion; Orlando “Cachaíto” López, bass; Luis Alemañy, Jon Hassell, Alejandro Pichardo, trumpet; Roy Avila, Gladys Lo, cello; Gil Bernal, Alfred Thompson, tenor saxophone; Joachim Cooder, Jim Keltner, drums; Ry Cooder, acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Roberto Fonseca, Chucho Valdés, piano; Manuel Galbán, vocals, guitar, keyboards; Roberto Herrera, Marta Salgado, viola; Flaco Jiménez, accordion; Modero Mekanisi, Javier Zalba; alto saxophone; Demetrio Muniz, congas, vocals; Mario Villalta, cornet.