Magazine article New Internationalist

Chavez Ravine

Magazine article New Internationalist

Chavez Ravine

Article excerpt

Chávez Ravine

by Ry Cooder (Nonesuch 7559 798 772 CD)

A UFO is hovering over the Los Angeles Latino enclave known as Chávez Ravine. Its occupant, something called the Space Vato, has a radio. He's picking up conjunto, jazz, corrido, LiI Julian Herrera's hit 'Lonely Lonely Night', but also news bulletins. McCarthyism is in the air and the visitor has heard that the city's developers have plans for the Ravine's land - not for housing, but for a stadium to house the Dodgers baseball club.

This album, Cooder's first outside the Cuban Buena Vista related projects sounds crazy, but it works well. Cooder is a guitarist whose work is rooted in a descriptive Americana that finds its exuberance elsewhere in Latin music. With a tight band that includes East LA legends such as Don Tosti, Little Willie G and LaIo Guerrero, Cooder guides his team through his real - and imagined - landscape. …

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