Various Artists

Stars of the Buena Vista 21st Century: When Life Begins...

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Besides the fact that it allowed so many great musicians to record again near the end of their lives, another unexpected benefit of The Buena Vista Social Club's worldwide success was that several labels jumped on the bandwagon and began reissuing important material. This 11-track collection on the British label Tumi Cuban includes songs by several of the movie's stars (Compay Segundo, Ibrahím Ferrer, Rubén Gonzalez) that few Cuban fans have heard (though most were recorded during the '90s). The quality of the material is close to that of the original Buena Vista Social Club recordings, and as can be expected, the most popular artists contribute the highlights: "Te Apartas de Mi" by Compay Segundo, "La Chica del Granizado" by Ibrahím Ferrer, and "Fabiando" by Rubén González. Still, there is plenty of great music from more obscure figures; the stately piano of Enriqueta Almanza makes "Bajo un Palmar" by Pío Leyva and Omara Portuondo the best track on the collection. Every artist included was seen in the Buena Vista Social Club film, though several (Raúl Planas, Teresa Garcia Caturla, Félix Baloy) are better known as members of the Afro-Cuban All Stars.

blue highlight denotes track pick