Track of the Week: Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club

This week’s track of the week is Chan Chan by the Buena Vista Social Club, from their eponymous album. While released in 1997, I don’t think I found the album until 2004 or so. I’m going to try to post a few more tracks from the greater jazz genre over the next couple of weeks.

This album, as a whole, is fantastic. It’s pensive, interesting and full of great guitar sounds and ad hoc harmonizations. Chan Chan specifically has the greatest Spanish guitar riff I’ve ever heard (do you call it Cuban guitar since they’re from Havana?). The singing, with the casual harmonization, is great. I’ve wondered how the vocals were recorded, in order to give them that spacious in a room sound. They’re haunting and warm, and on top of the guitar and muted trumpet they make the  song a classic.

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