The music of Cuba is primordial & poetic, & at once exotic & familiar. Farr has returned again & again to Cuba to research & experience firsthand Cuba's musical heritage. Part listener's guide, part memoir, this book is a musical journey through Cuba & its cultural outposts in the U.S. Farr interviews the masters of Cuban music, from Chucho Valdes & Eliades Ochoa to Los Munequitos de Matanzas & Papi Oviedo. He profiles such legends as Benny More & Arsenio Rodriguez. Also takes us on a historical journey through Cuba, locating the roots of the music in the country's confluence of religions, ethnicities, & cultures. The first exploration of Cuba's rich musical & mythological heritage & the extraordinary impact it has had on Amer. pop culture. Photos.
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Jory Farr is a journalist, author, and musician whose writings earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination in Criticism in 1990. His work has appeared in the New York Times and other national publications. He lives in Pasadena, California.From Publishers Weekly:
Farr's second book is a useful tool in demystifying the way music is and has been made in Cuba. He dives headlong into the purity of Cuban rhythm, as if to rid himself of the sleaze he uncovered in his previous book, Moguls and Madmen: The Pursuit of Power in Popular Music. Invoking Graham Greene at the outset, Farr thrusts the reader into the fabled wild streets of Havana and a series of encounters with legendary musicians such as Benny Mor‚ and Arsenio Rodr¡guez. But although his prose is comfortably clear, much of the terminology and many of the references will escape those who are not seriously into Cuban music-a glossary provided at the end offers only partial guidance. A satisfying underlying tension pulls between the first part, in which the island is made to seem like a paradise of authenticity, and the second, in which Cuban exiles pile on disparaging epithets about the cruelties of the Castro revolution. The unexplained contradictions between some of the accounts and the political context underline that the study of Cuban music can never be an exact science. A mainstream audience could probably use a little more handholding through Cuba's esoterica, but Farr's voice is reader-friendly and he's gained impressive access to many untold stories. Aficionados will find the book an insightful must-have.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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