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

Manu Dibango: Afro-Soul Machine (Metro Select)

Manu Dibango: Afro-Soul Machine (Metro Select)

In the rush to embrace new artists out of various parts of Africa or distill the history down to reissues of little known acts and the cult of Fela, it probably isn't a surprise the great Manu... > Read more

Various; Tropicalia, A Brazilian Revolution in Sound (Soul Jazz) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Various; Tropicalia, A Brazilian Revolution in Sound (Soul Jazz) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Don't know about you, but all that cooler-than-thou, soft-voice badha-badha-doobee-doo stuff from Brazil (Bebe Gilberto et al) gets right up my nose. It seems to be favoured by... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Melbourne, Australia: Alt.shopping tips for those who don't shop, but buy

Melbourne, Australia: Alt.shopping tips for those who don't shop, but buy

People like me -- men mostly, I suspect -- don’t like shopping. We certainly buy things, but what some people call shopping seems to entail hours of looking with little to show for it.... > Read more

Dave Holland Octet: Pathways (Red Eye/Southbound)

Dave Holland Octet: Pathways (Red Eye/Southbound)

Bassist Dave Holland has always had a much deserved reputation for his big band line-ups for which he writes interesting charts and gets in some of the finest (and often up-coming) jazz players.... > Read more