Eliades Ochoa - Estoy Como Nunca
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Eliades Ochoa
Estoy Como Nunca
Higher Octave World (www.higheroctave.com)

Weaned on the Cuban trova (ballad) and son, Eliades Ochoa taught himself on his parents' tres while they worked the fields, stepping out as an eleven-year-old street singer. Unfazed by two recent Grammy nominations, Ochoa's expressive lyrical intensity and the ringing precision of his signature guitar just keep improving, energizing traditional genres long sidelined at home, until the Buena Vista Social Club (with Ochoa's critical contribution) brought Cuba's vibrant folk legacy to enthusiastic world audiences. Ochoa enjoys adroit backing by Los Lobos guitarist David Hidalgo and fellow Santiago native Anibal Ávila, whose blistering trumpet burnishes two Compay Segundo classics ("Pena"; "Llora Mi Nena"), an affecting bolero ("Con Dolor en el Alma"), and "No Me Preguntes Tanto" (composed and sung by guest Raul Malo, of Mavericks fame). Ochoa's reflective solo guitar injects Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona's memorable "Siboney" and tango legend Carlos Gardel's "Sus Ojos Se Cerraron" with a sublime romanticism. From its joyous opening phrase, Estoy Como Nunca (I Feel Better Than Ever) proffers a superb musical affirmation by one of Cuba's most original voices. - Michael Stone

Available from cdroots.com

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