Rating: NNNow 93, Compay Segundo who was 20 years the senior of fellow Buena Vista star Manuel "Puntillita" Licea.
Now 93, Compay Segundo who was 20 years the senior of fellow Buena Vista star Manuel “Puntillita” Licea when the latter died on December 4 is probably the oldest artist still recording, and he’s making the most of his unlikely comeback, cutting full-tilt. Las Flores De La Vida, unfortunately, is not his finest work. His string-bending technique is almost entirely obliterated by the clarinet parts stiffly played by classical musicians who have no feeling for Compay’s laid-back, rootsy style. Even more troublesome are the accompanying vocalists intent on drowning out our man at every turn. A duet with one-hit wonder Lou Bega reeks of focus groups, which gives an indication of the kind of marketing miscalculation at work here.