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Ibrahim Ferrer

Brought out of retirement in 1996 for the CD Buena Vista Social Club, Cuban vocalist Ibrahim Ferrer gained newfound fame and recognition that landed him a world tour and two solo albums. Even with these accomplishments, he still had one lasting dream: to make a disc of boleros, a project he´d been working on at the time of his passing in August 2005. Although he never completed the sessions, he left behind some high-quality demos, and that made it possible for other musicians to finish the project. On Mi Sueño, Ferrer takes on some of the standards of the genre, such as ¨Perfidia,¨ ¨Quizás, Quizás, Quizás¨ (known stateside as ¨Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps¨ via Nat King Cole), and ¨Quiéreme Mucho,¨ paired with more obscure tunes. One of the best moments on the disc is ¨Copia Guajira,¨ a folk song in which Ferrer seems to have a lot of fun as he sings. The clarinet and trumpet fill in masterfully, giving the tune a late-night party feel. On ¨Quizás,¨ Ferrer duets with vocalist Omara Profundo, and the emotion they give the tune gives added poignancy to the sad words of unrequited love. The instrumentation is sparse in comparison to the lavish arrangements of his earlier CDs, which fits well with the fragility of his voice. Pianist Roberto Fonseca (who also served as musical director) is one of the most noted musicians on the disc, filling in with fine solos and riffs throughout. Mi Sueño is a fine swan song, and it also serves to remind us of the broad influence that Cuban music has had on contemporary music over the years.
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Ernest Barteldes

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