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Omara Portuondo - gloriously cool and slinky on Magia Negro

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Thursday December 18, 2014

From The Guardian

2014 albums we missed: Omara Portuondo – Magia Negro review

Cuba’s greatest diva returns to her roots. Omara Portuondo is best known for the crucial role she played in the Buena Vista Social Club, but she had established her reputation long before a lucky meeting with Ry Cooder brought her even greater success. She started working with her sister, mixing Cuban and American jazz styles in the celebrated Cuarteto Las D’Aida, and recorded her first solo set, Magia Negro, in the late 1950s. Now, at the age of 84, she has decided to re-visit those songs in a record that provides a boisterous reminder of the sounds of pre-revolutionary Havana. The songs include a spirited Spanish-language treatment of That Old Black Magic, along with selections from Gershwin and Ellington, and though her engagingly enthusiastic singing is, at times, a little patchy, she includes a gloriously cool and slinky Latin jazz treatment of Bésame Mucho.

For full review click here