At The Salon Of Dreams/Live At L'Olympia [DVD] 
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- Compay Segundo live at Olympia in Paris
- The Afro-Cuban All Stars at the Salon of Dreams
For "Company Segundo", guitarist and singer of Cuba's sensuous and rhythmic son music, now in the 90s, the discription "unique artist" is fully justified, as his sublime performance on Ry Cooder's 1997 Grammy Award-winning "Buena Vista Social Club" testifies. This Concert, filmed at the legendary Olympia in Paris, features an all-star line up of fellow Buena Vista contributors such as Omara Portuondo and Benito Suarez.
Director: Patrick Savey
The Afro-Cuban All Stars as seen on The South Bank Show
Hanvanna, Cuba, during the 1940s and 50s, was one of the most vibrant, thriving and cosmopolitan cities in the Americas, and the dance music capital of the world. Following the Cuban Revolution, and subsequent US embargo, the country and its musicians survived in isolation until 1996 when the young Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos González gathered together some of the greatest Cuban musicians of the last fity years, to create "The Afro-Cuban All Stars". The "golden age" of Cuban music came out of retirement, to huge international acclaim.
Contributors include: Juan Marcos González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Pio Leyva
Produced & Directed by Tony Knox
Studio/Label: Warner Music Vision
Laufzeit/Running Time: ca. 106 Min.
Bild/Picture Format: 4:3 PAL
Ton/Sound Format: Linear PCM Stereo
Sprache/Language: English, Spanish
Untertitel/Subtitle: English, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol
Ländercode/Regional Code: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
With no apparent let up in the fascination for all things musically Cuban, Afro-Cuban Legends is a rather uneven but ultimately fascinating examination of the phenomenon. The first half, a 1998 South Bank Show documentary about the Afro-Cuban All Stars is wonderful, telling the story of young band leader Juan de Marcos Gonzáles and his efforts to reunite some of the stars of the golden age of Cuban music. The film works as much as travelogue as music documentary, painting a poignant portrait of a grand old city in decline--quite the opposite story of the musicians involved. Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González and Pio Leyva are all elderly artists who, having assumed that their moment had past, are clearly enjoying a second time in the sun. The story of their revival is both moving and inspiring (one of the best moments comes as Ferrer and González drive round Havana in an open topped car, raging about the US and its bully-boy tactics) and achieves that rare feat--a documentary that holds the interest whether or not the viewer is an aficionado of the music. The second half, a live concert recording of Company Segundo, is not quite so vital. A rather shaky television recording, the music lacks the spark and vitality of the Afro-Cuban All Stars and is strictly second division Cuban material.
On the DVD: Chapter selection, a range of subtitles and a Web link are all that is on offer by the way of extras. Given that both programmes were made for television, the picture quality is not big budget standard. The South Bank Show is, however, beautifully shot and the DVD format makes the most of the impressive settings, both natural and architectural. The sound quality is crisp and clear, perfect for the series of musical performances. The Company Segundo segment suffers from the original's lack of production values, although the sound track is equally vibrant. --Phil Udell
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a big fan of these artists and having just returned from Cuba was willing to pay for any footage I could get hold of.
The first part of the disc is a wonderful documentary that explores the musicians and the background to the Afro-Cuban All Stars CDs. Much of the information is similar to the documentary BVSC film but I could watch this sort of thing over and over again as the protagonists are as enchanting as their music and the faded glory of Havana is still a magical backdrop.
The live performance by Compay Segundo and friends is a mellow set. I would have preferred 5.1 surround sound but I am just grateful to be able to see this, the main artist now having sadly passed away. It is well worth seeing if you are a fan and the two dancers liven up the audience and provide a little more visual stimulation.
In summary: a must for all fans of cuban music and highly recommended for anyone who wants to feel the vitality of the island through some of it's legendary musicians.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
more tan an hour is major showbiz savvy.
And the dance duo--SILVIO and ELISA-- were beyond extraordinary. This was the music and song and dance of
SANTIAGO, CUBA. THIS MUSIC WAS MORE OF SPAIN with a coupon of Afro-Cuban. Fun and enlightening.o
These musicians put up with hardships that most Americans can't even imagine and still produced incredible music.