Ry Cooder must have had little idea about the friendly monster he was about to create a few years ago when he hopped on a plane to Cuba. All he knew was that, at the behest of British world music champion Nick Gold, and through circuitous circumstances, Cooder wound up recording a group of long-dormant and long-unheard greats from the Cuban son tradition. He knew that the resulting project, the Buena Vista Social Club, was one of the most meaningful encounters in his long, varied musical life. Before long, it was also an album and a phenom of global proportions.
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