Omara Portuondo


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Part of Escondida's Cuban Essentials series of compilations, Sentimiento rounds up 15 generally excellent Omara Portuondo songs of varying styles, most of them previously compiled on Roots of Buena Vista: La Novia del Filin. The songs were published anywhere from the early '70s to 1996, but this is timeless music -- so timeless, in fact, that these songs could date back to any decade. Granted, there's a lot of Portuondo music out there, most of it perfectly fine if not amazing, but with the exception of her early-2000s recordings for World Circuit (Buena Vista Social Club Presents, Flor de Amor -- both very much recommended), a lot of her releases are of questionable availability, a great many of them long gone out of print circa this collection's 2005 release. This unfortunate fact alone makes Sentimiento -- along with the aforementioned (though much tougher to find) Roots of Buena Vista collection -- a cornerstone of Portuondo's canon and thus a great starting point. Besides, it's well packaged with multilingual liner notes and a few photos, not to mention the fun, colorful cover art. The other volumes in this Cuban Essentials series are worth seeking out also if you're enamored with these Buena Vista singers.

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