Discs

Rating: NNNow 93, Compay Segundo who was 20 years the senior of fellow Buena Vista star Manuel "Puntillita" Licea.


Rating: NN

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.

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