Buena Vista Social Club Presents: Ibrahim Ferrer

c. Havana, Cuba, Date Unknown

Courtesy of World Circuit Records
The original Buena Vista Social Club was a legendary Havana venue that inspired a late ’90s resurgence in the popularity of traditional Cuban music. Though the members-only club closed by the end of the 1940s, its name has remained synonymous with the golden age of Havana.

Fifty years after the demise of the Social Club, producer Nick Gold of World Circuit Records and musician Ry Cooder hit upon the opportunity to record traditional songs with local musicians, many of whom had played at the club. Their tremendously popular 1997 album won a Grammy and brought the sounds of Old Havana into global mainstream culture.

Buena Vista Social Club is also the name of a 1999 documentary by Wim Wenders. The film, a box office hit, covers the origin of the ensemble, their first live performances, and the recording of group singer Ibrahim Ferrer’s first solo album. Ferrer (1927–2005) had grown up singing in the streets of Havana and as an adult performed with many local musicians in the classic venues. He was 69 years old when he recorded with Buena Vista Social Club and 72 when his solo album Buena Vista Social Club Presents: Ibrahim Ferrer led to his Latin Grammy for Best New Artist.

Two years after the release of Grammy Award winning, six million selling Buena Vista Social Club, many of the same musicians went back into the studio to record the debut album of Ibrahim Ferrer, one of the stars of the BVSC. With Ry Cooder and Nick Gold producing, the release went on to sell over one and half million copies world-wide and elevate Ibrahim to superstar status.
The album is a collection of eleven songs by the golden voice of Cuban music. Using the Buena Vista Social Club rhythm section and featuring the piano of Rubén González, this album takes the listener on a very different journey to that of any other Cuban record. It is an album of great subtlety and beauty, featuring an extraordinary stylistic range from the nostalgic 1950s American big band style, to stunning ballads with an unusual and opulent guitar accompaniment, as well as rich country-style songs.
– World Circuit Records

Nearly two decades after this album originally released, World Circuit got in touch with Dynamichrome to update this classic album’s cover on double vinyl. There are two versions: a straight colour reconstruction pass to get the overall tone of the photograph, then adjusted to match the original record’s colour scheme.

Original Photograph: Karl Haimel, courtesy of World Circuit Records
Digital Color Reconstruction: Dynamichrome, courtesy of World Circuit Records
Final Vinyl Record Sleeve Artwork: Dynamichrome, courtesy of World Circuit Records
… and the final result, straight from World Circuit.
For the very first time World Circuit are releasing the album on double vinyl. Mastered at Abbey Road the vinyl is pressed on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and housed in gate fold sleeve. The 2xLPs are presented alongside a beautiful 16 page booklet and download card.
This product was released for Record Store Day 2016, limited quantities available.

Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer is now on general release. You can purchase the record and many more from World Circuit.


Original Photograph | Karl Haimel
Source | Courtesy of World Circuit Records
Color Reconstruction | Dynamichrome
Words | Emily Kern, Jordan Lloyd

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