Looking to expand my music collection
February 22, 2008 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend some albums I'd like based on two of my favorite albums of all time: the Buena Vista Social Club & Manuel Galban & Ry Cooder's Mambo Sinuendo.

I stumbled across these albums over the past couple of years & just can't get enough. I also have (and love) Talking Timbuktu by Ali Farka Toure & Ry Cooder. So yeah, I love Ry Cooder - but I really like the African- and Cuban-inspired sounds of the albums. I'd be happy with mostly instrumental, but I am open to anything. Dear Mefites - please expand my musical horizons! Thanks!
posted by Alpenglow to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Proxima Estacion: Esperanza by Manu Chao

Nil Lara by Nil Lara
posted by tiburon at 7:14 AM on February 22, 2008

I was thinking about asking this very same question! I picked up and haven't finished listening to Chavez Ravine by Ry Cooder. So far so good.

I'll be hitting F5 here all day.
posted by strangememes at 7:23 AM on February 22, 2008

Best answer: If you like the Buena Vista Social Club, a great place to start is the solo albums by the various members of the BVSC.

If you're willing to dig back in time a bit, be sure to check out some of the legends of Cuban music - Maria Teresa Vera and Benny Moré, just to name a couple. There are scores of other classic musicians and band leaders. In fact, you might do well to buy a Cuban music compilation to see who you like.

As for a comparable to this Ry Cooder album, how about Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos (The Prosthetic Cubans)?
posted by schmoppa at 7:28 AM on February 22, 2008

Oh, a few songs on the Desperado soundtrack have the Mambo Sinuendo feel.

Also, completely different genre, but similarly awesome, Gipsy Kings. Disc 1 rocks my world.
posted by strangememes at 7:29 AM on February 22, 2008

I've had good luck using Pandora to find similar styles of music to what I like.
posted by white_devil at 7:44 AM on February 22, 2008

Best answer: Orchestra Baobab is a Senegalese band that mixes Afro-Cuban rhythms.

You may have done this already, but you may try picking up albums by the individual members of BVSC, like Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez (instrumental), Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, Barbarito Torres, and Cachaíto come to mind. Also, Cachaítos father, Cachao.

The Afro-Cuban All-Stars have a more straightforward sound than something Ry Cooder would do (not dissing Ry, as I love the albums you referenced, just distinguishing the sounds). Their musicianship is top-notch.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 7:55 AM on February 22, 2008

The box set Cuba: I Am Time is pretty great. It's not contemporary, but it's fabulous.
posted by OmieWise at 8:09 AM on February 22, 2008

If you like world-y stuff, a great place to discover new sounds is the Rough Guides collection. There are probably hundreds of Rough Guides for nearly any style of music you can imagine.
posted by yesno at 8:18 AM on February 22, 2008

Check out the rest of Ry Cooder's work he's worked in so many styles and collaborated with tons of different artists. I highly recommend Borderline and Chicken Skin Music and his collaboration with Ali Farka Toure is also worth checking out.
posted by brookeb at 8:29 AM on February 22, 2008

may Ernesto Nazareth
posted by allelopath at 9:13 AM on February 22, 2008

You need this album in your life: La Gran Fugo. Lots of singing, but it's damn good. Pretty much anything by Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe is just amazing, but that album it my favorite.
posted by milarepa at 9:23 AM on February 22, 2008

You might like Vieux Farka Touré, son of Ali.
posted by euphorb at 9:49 AM on February 22, 2008

I realize this is Brazilian, not Cuban, but the soundtrack from Next Stop Wonderland is an album I just don't get tired of, and I also really like the two albums you mentioned.

Also seconding Manu Chao and Pandora.
posted by killerinsideme at 9:58 AM on February 22, 2008

The Mighty Kings of Benga
posted by Lanark at 11:23 AM on February 22, 2008

Second Borderline, also with Ry, you might like Into The Purple Valley, it's truly lovely.
posted by mattoxic at 1:09 PM on February 22, 2008

I would definitely recommend checking out Amadou and Mariam's Dimanche à Bamako (which was, incidentally, produced by Manu Chao, who has been getting due mention in this thread). Cracking album.

I would strongly second the the recommendations for Orchestra Baobab and Vieux Farka Toure, and you might also like Super Rail Band de Bamako and Bembeya Jazz.

Oh, and getting back to the Caribbean (albeit via... London) Ska Cubano ("classic Jamaican ska meets Cuban mambo and son") might be worth a look.
posted by kxr at 1:59 PM on February 22, 2008

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