Personnel includes: Compay Segundo (vocals, guitar); Hugo (vocals, guiro, maracas); Basilio (vocals, claves); Benito (guitar, background vocals); Benny (guitar); Inciarte, Haskell (clarinet, background vocals); Rosendo (bass clarinet); Salvador (upright bass); Trevor Morais (drums); Rangel (bongos, congas, percussion, bells, background vocals); Luis Dulzaides (bongos, maracas); Andres Tavera (bongos).
Engineers: Juan Ignacio Cuadrado, Oscar Herrador.
Recorded at El Cortijo Studios, Malaga, Spain. Includes liner notes by Pedro De La Hoz.
LAS FLORES DE LA VIDA was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album.
Personnel: Compay Segundo (vocals, harmonica, background vocals); Salvador (double bass); Trevor Morais (snare drum); Luis Dulzaides (bongos, maracas); Basilio (claves, background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Juan Iganacio Cuadrado.
Liner Note Author: Pedro de la Hoz.
Recording information: El Cortijo Studios, M laga.
Translator: Francesca Clarke.
Arranger: Compay Segundo.
Compay Segundo entered his 11th decade of life with the release of Las Flores de la Vida, a celebration of life and also a message for youth, not only to enjoy what they have but to be patient for what life may give in years to come. Alongside several traditional compositions, Segundo and his rich, evocative band perform five of his own originals (composed under his birth name, Francisco Repilado Mu¤oz). For fans of Buena Vista Social Club and its quickly growing discography of solo projects, Las Flores de la Vida has much of the exquisitely recorded, effortlessly swinging Cuban son they're looking for, though Segundo does mix things up a bit. For "Amor de Loca Juventud," the band dips into a finely tuned waltz, but also skewers the overly respectful Buena Vista atmosphere with some added vocals that transform the romantic trills of Spanish into a guttural evocation of lust. Among the traditional numbers, "Juramento" and "El Beso Discreto" from Miguel Matamoros, and "Guantanamera" are both treats to hear, Latin classics to which Segundo brings an added element of authority. His reliance on up to three clarinets also sets him apart from much modern music-making, and they're an interesting addition to his by-now familiar sound. ~ John Bush
Q (1/01, p.114) - 3 out of 5 stars - "...Deft musicianship and old-time charm....[with] enough good tunes and decorative touches to keep the listener tuned in..."
CMJ (2/26/01, p.29) - "...A scrumptious set....fans will not be disappointed and newcomers will be charmed and mesmerized..."