Eliades Ochoa

Estoy Como Nunca

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Eliades Ochoa's solo career has proved him to be the most adventurous of the soneros and musicians who made up the Buena Vista Social Club. With his trademark cowboy hat and boots, he's always traveled a rougher, more countrified path, whether on his debut or on his Tribute to the Cuarteto Patrio, a look back at his musical roots. This is a little different, still traditionally influenced but with more bounce and a little slicker, which is apparent from the opening title track, a three-chord piece that echoes "La Bamba," with Ochoa and Los Lobos' David Hidalgo trading guitar licks over a backing that's very sparse by Cuban standards, but which suits this music perfectly. Indeed, Ochoa's precise, clear, and bell-like guitar work is apparent throughout the album and, if possible, he's improved as a player, offering the unexpected on "Llora Mi Nena" or a rich solo accompaniment on the closing "Sus Ojos Se Cerraron." He continues to be prolific but, even more impressively, he continues to stretch himself and his talent in a way none of his colleagues have managed. A great record, even without the addition of Hidalgo and Raul Malo, who come across as the icing on an already delicious cake.

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