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Chavez Ravine

Chavez Ravine

13 Jun 2005

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 29 May 2005
  • Release Date: 29 May 2005
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Copyright: 2005 Nonesuch Records, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:09:25
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001F387Q0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,289 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on 22 Jun 2005
Format: Audio CD
I will begin by declaring my enormous respect and love for Cooder's music. Ever since Chicken Skin Music -ironically, another beauty honoring the Mexican influence on American music- Cooder has been one of the "saints of my devotion," as my father used to say.
In Chavez Ravine, an album he's been working on for about three years, Cooder researched the disappearance of an area of Los Angeles, and long-standing Mexican community, that was erased to make way for what would become Dodgers Stadium.
The album that has resulted from his interest is, then, a political statement about the legacy of Joe McCarty, an elegy about old neighborhoods paved over by a twisted sense of progress, and an amazing group of songs showing the deep gift of Mexican-American music.
With the same cool touch and deep affection that Cooder already demonstrated for Malian music (Talkin' Timbuktu) and Cuban grooves (Mambo Sinuendo and Buena Vista Social Club), Ry gathered a host of incredible Mexican-American musicians from the Fifties, to invoke the spirit of this story.
Ersi Arbizu, Lalo Guerrero, Don Tosti and Little Willie G. -all great performers, most of which may be unknowns to most of us- take turns singing songs that conjure up the longings, loves and betrayals from the Chavez Ravine odyssey.
Now, let's be clear, do not think this is ethnographic research for the Smithsonian archives or a dry document of music gone by.
This album grooves ("Poor Man's Shangri-La" or "Onda Callejera") and gets down ("Muy Fifi" and "3 Cool Cats") as well as it will move you with some slow burners ("It's Just Work For Me") and beautiful ballads ("In My Town," "3rd Base, Dodgers Stadium" and "Soy Luz Y Sombra").
In conclusion, this is some of the most soulful music you may come across this year.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Kirkpatrick on 20 July 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for a nice safe pop album, then avoid this like the plague.Cooders style has never been mainstream, and his new album an eclectic hybrid mix of different styles held together by a narative about an area of LA bulldozed in the name of progress.Cooders style has never been safe, but it has always been authentic, in a world where any idiot with a hit album is hailed as a "genius" he just might be the real deal.His new album is both angry and nostalgic, it is a difficult listen but worthwhile, it is a work by an artist that cares about his craft, it is totally unique.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aaa-Alex on 17 July 2005
Format: Audio CD
There aren't any great party numbers on this lovely CD, nothing to kick out the jams to, and I miss that. Ry Cooder may never again give us more great rocking numbers like those from 20-odd years ago, sadly. But this is still a lovely album, and at its best has a warmth of acoustic to match and even better Buena Vista Social Club. There are several real beauties on here, music to drift away to. Chavez Ravine comes on like a soundtrack, although there is no movie (bet there's a documentary to follow). More rewarding than any of Ry's actual soundtrack CDs; not quite up there with his best work; uneven but great in places. Get it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By MisterKeith VINE VOICE on 28 Dec 2005
Format: Audio CD
I make no claim to be a Ry Cooder fan. I don't know much about him or his work. I bought this album having read an interview with Mr Cooder somewhere, and I thought it sounded vaguely interesting.
"Vaguely interesting" does not do this justice. This could easily have been an historical document that I'd listen to once, nod, stroke my beard, and put away, never to be heard again.
That ain't gonna be happening.
This is a living, breathing record, full of soul, vitality, and great tunes. I put it on, listened, then it put it straight back on again. Hell, if it can make me get up and dance around my living room, it's doing something right.
The Buena Vista Social Club was awesome - this is Cooder using regional music in a vastly different way, and it works perfectly.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. A. S. Martins on 24 Jun 2005
Format: Audio CD
I am biased, I think Ry is the modern genious of music. everything he does, he does with passion, love, and superb knowledge and humility. he learns, he contributes, and then he shares the result. i recommend all his music, but this one is special. it is exciting, it is curious and playful. it is musically gorgeous, and it has soul. a wonderful soul filled with life. it is a lush feast for those who love music. enjoy it, and pass the word on, with love. M
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alan Gent on 7 Oct 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ry Cooder has always had a love of "tex mex" style music and on this album he recounts the story of how hispanics were moved out of their homes to make way for the new Dodgers baseball stadium. This is a classic Cooder album embodying all that is great about the man, beautiful lyrics and great instrumentals, both commercial and mexicali. The most under rated album of the year (probably)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. V. Cherian on 5 Mar 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Mention 'concept album' and rock'n roll and you'd be forgiven for running a mile. Being a Cooder fan, there was no way I'd not buy it, especially as I like the cojunto texmex sound (Flaco Jimenez etc), but I admit I was apprehensive. And you know what, right from the first track (Poor man's Shangri-La)Ry and co , put me right at ease. As concepts go, this sought to illuminate a place and an era and the music that emanated from it, before a whole community was cleared away by greedy property developers (a breed that has growm in rapacity since then). Ry reminds you of a simple fact that too often is forgotten sometimes- in musical terms, a place can often create the genre. All great music was local once. Amazingly Ry was able to colloborate with many of the musicians that were once on the scene, 50 years ago, when Chavez Ravine was cleared away to make way for a stadium! And by the way, its all great fun to listen to, and immensely enjoyable and variable too! So get over your 'concept album' prejudice right now. I did, and I want to testify!
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