Magazine article New Internationalist

Omara & Chucho

Magazine article New Internationalist

Omara & Chucho

Article excerpt

MUSIC

Omara & Chucho

by Ornara Portuondo and Chucho Valdés [World Village 479062 CD/ download)

The voice is strong, warm and expressive with rich tones and swells that own the song. But it's also quavery in places, fragility shining through. It's this vulnerability that makes Ornara & Chucho so attractive. 'Noche Cubana', an acapei la of not much more than a minute in length, has had a longlived popularity in Cuba. It feels as if the great Ornara Portuondo is singing her life.

Portuondo needs no introduction: one of Cuba's great voices, the velvetvoiced diva finally reached a sizeable international audience via the Buena Vista Social Club. Chucho Valdés is a bandleader, pianist and composer who also occupies a significant place in Cuba's musical history. This is not the first time that the two have recorded together - Desafios, their heartbreak album from 2000 is still a marvel. …

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