Beny Moré

El Barbaro del Ritmo [Rev-Ola]

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It has often been said that Beny Moré is among the very finest vocal artists that Cuba has ever produced, and this if proven time and time again, not only in the reflections of modern day Cuban musicians, or the fidelity of his fans, but also in the perseverant interest in forming the "ultimate' Beny Moré collection. Rev-Ola's Beny Moré El Barbaro del Ritmo, subtitled "Monster Hits form the King of Mambo" managed to pack in 23 selections from El Barbaro's legendary career. The selections all showcase the singer's subtle, sensual interpretation, the silky accompaniment that became his signature trademark, and the consistently classic quality of music that has stood the test of time. The fidelity of these recordings is really incredible, considering the time period from which they came. Moré's rich, molasses tenor is rendered in all its original depth and color. However, with around 100 Moré collections on the market, where does this disc of "Monster Hits" fit in? Though it's a fine collection, it missed the boat on some of Moré's better-known material, omitting all the truly classic tunes that are played and replayed even today. The U.K. based Rev-Ola label will hopefully succeed in winning new fans for this master of sonero in the underexposed European market. For the already quite loyal U.S. and Latin American markets, "Monster Hits" may be one collection too many.

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