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Mr Lucky
Music Reviews



We count 24 titles in our Beny Moré collection and we've seen several other discs in the stores. The problem is that his catalogue must be in the public domain because there are so many repeats on different labels. The best place to start is with the two Very Best of Beny Moré CDs on RCA's Tropical Series (RCA 74321-26029-2 and 74321-26238-2), reviewed previously in MrLucky. The song selection is well balanced and the tracks were mastered from first-generation Cuban sources.

morecdsAnother strong collection on the RCA Tropical Series is Mata Siguaraya. All the songs were recorded in Mexico and feature the orchestras of Perez Prado, Rafael de Paz and Chucho Rodriguez. The highlight is the catchy Yiri Yiri Bon, not on the previously mentioned Very Best of Beny Moré CDs.

Also good are the collections on Spain's Caney label. Baila Mi Son (Caney  CCD506) features exclusively uptempo dance numbers while El Barbaro de la Melodia (Caney CCD 801) focuses on Boleros.

Tumbao's El Barbaro del Ritmo (TCD 010) is a collection of tracks with Perez Prado, recorded in the late 1940s. There are signs of Prado's wackiness but there's nothing camp about the music.

Historians and completists will want Conjunto Matamoros with Beny Moré (Tumbao TCD 020). These early recordings with one of Cuba's most important and influential trios are fine, but to be honest, this CD tends to stay in place on our shelf.

Finally, the sound stinks but Benny  Moré en Vivo (DiscMedi DM 056CD) is a rare chance to see the master live.

N.B. If you're looking for Moré on a database, it's helpful to know that almost all domestic releases spell is name as "Beny" while imports, even from Cuba, occasionally spell it "Benny". And you'd pronounce his last name as "more-eh" with the stress on the second syllable.






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