BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Omara Portuondo: Gracias (Harmonia Mundi)

 |   |  <1 min read

Omara Portuondo: Lo que me queda por viver
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Omara Portuondo: Gracias (Harmonia Mundi)

The great Cuban singer - who came to world attention via the Buena Vista Social Club a decade ago - is still going even though she is in her late 70, which may be some kind of testament to the life-affirming powers of Cuban rum or that country's health-care system.

As with the final album by her late BVSC colleague Ibrahim Ferrer (the gorgeous and heartbreaking Mi Sueno), Portoundo has gone back through her past for songs she always wanted to record and here she pulls out beautiful ballads, some playful pieces and many which are given a jazzy shuffle by the international musicians on hand. There are also gentle orchestrations on material such as the romantically reflective Lo que me queda por vivir.

As moving and uplifting as much of this music is, so too are the liner photos which show the young and always beautiful Portuondo at various stages of her career which took her from dancer to cabaret to international touring in the late 50s/early 60s and on to become one of the most distinguished and intimate vocalists of her era.

And in every photo she looks happy or is laughing. Her comment on Lo que me queda por vivir reiterates her philosophy: "This song represents to me what life has to give me, and as the song says it will be a smile".

How could you not invite this remarkable woman into your home? 

 

 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Pacific Curls: Te Kore (Ode)

Pacific Curls: Te Kore (Ode)

The previous album, Pacifi Celta, by this increasingly interesting trio of singer, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Kim Halliday, singer/percussionist Ora Barlow and fiddle player Sarah Beattie... > Read more

Badma Khanda Ensemble: Mongolian Music from Buryatia (Arc/Elite)

Badma Khanda Ensemble: Mongolian Music from Buryatia (Arc/Elite)

The European Arc label is doing God's work in this world by bringing to light music from Eastern Europe right across to the shores of the western Pacific. Already in its ever-expanding catalogue it... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Larry Wallis: Police Car (1977)

Larry Wallis: Police Car (1977)

The punk era tossed up -- threw up? -- some real oddities, few more unexpected than Wallis who was no spring chicken in the world of short haired rock'n'roll for angry 18-year olds. He'd been... > Read more

CHRISTOPHER GUEST, MICHAEL McKEAN AND HARRY SHEARER INTERVIEWED 2003: Tap into folk

CHRISTOPHER GUEST, MICHAEL McKEAN AND HARRY SHEARER INTERVIEWED 2003: Tap into folk

It was less a mighty wind which briefly blew through town than a brisk breeze in the form of actors Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean. The trio may not be glossy-page stars... > Read more