Rolling Stone (4/17/03, p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Cuban music at its most mellow and tunefully accessible..."
Uncut (3/03, p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A beautiful record that expands the horizons of Cuban music....An aural delight that proves BUENA VISTA was far more than some quaint fluke..."
The Wire (6/03, p.78) - "...BUENOS HERMANOS takes formal liberties with vintage Cuban music, and the results are nearly always an improvement..."
Mojo (Publisher) (4/03, pp.90-1) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Even at 75, his pipes are in excellent fettle....You get to hear some real singing, emotion to tear at your heart, the sort that won't leave a dry eye in the house....A classic from top to tail..."
Personnel includes: Ibrahim Ferrer (vocals); Manuel Galban (electric guitar, organ); Ry Cooder (electric guitar); Lemay Olano, Rogelio Martinez (violin); Roberto Herrera (viola); Arley Zaldivar (cello); Flaco Jimenez (accordion); Javier Zalba, Pantaleon Sanchez (alto saxohone); Antonio Jimenez, Carlos Oviedo (tenor saxophone); Ventura Gutierrez (baritone saxophone); Jon Hassell, Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabel (trumpet); Chucho Valdes, Roberto Fonseca (piano); Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez (bass); Joachim Cooder (drums); Amadito Valdes (timbales); Miguel "Anga" Diaz (bongos, congas, clave); Jim Keltner, Joachim Cooder (percussion); Pepe Maza, Alberto " Virgilio" Valdes, Juliette Commagere, Carla Commagere (background vocals); The Blind Boys Of Alabama.
Recorded at Egrem Studios, Havana, Cuba.
BUENOS HERMANOS won the 2004 Grammy Award for Traditional Tropical Latin Album.
Personnel: Ibrahim Ferrer (vocals); Clarence Fountain, Joe Williams (vocals); Manuel Galbán (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, organ); Ry Cooder (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mario Fernandez, Gerardo García, Ariel Sarduy, Silvio Duquesne, Ana Julia Badia, Rogelio Martinez, Jr., Hugo Cruz (violin); Robert Herrera, José G. Marón, Marta Amelia Salgado, Ricardo Fernandez, Enrique Navarro (viola); Alejandro Rodriguez , Arelis Zaldivar, Roy Avila (cello); Flaco Jiménez (accordion); Pantaleón Sánchez, Modero Mekanisi, Javier Zalba (alto saxophone); Rafael "Jimmy" Jenks, Antonio Jimenez , Gil Bernal, Alfred Thompson (tenor saxophone); Ventura Gutierrez (baritone saxophone); Luis Alemañy, Jon Hassell , Manuel "El Guajiro" Mirabal, Alejandro Pichardo (trumpet); Chucho Valdés, Roberto Fonseca (piano); Jim Keltner, Joachim Cooder (drums); Miguel "Angá" Diaz (congas, bongos, claves); Demetrio Muniz, Bernardo Choven Garcia (congas); Isél Martínez (bongos); Amadito Valdés (timbales).
Audio Mixer: Jerry Boys.
Recording information: EGREM Studios, Havana, Cuba; Sound City Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sunset Studios.
Photographer: Christian Jaspars.
Ibrahim Ferrer's first project in four years once again found him in the studio with producer/guitarist Ry Cooder. The result is BUENOS HERMANOS, yet another trip into the world of traditional Cuban music, sparked by the success of the Buena Vista Social Club. Cooder rides herd on a collection that's an irresistible collage of bottom-heavy congas and bongos, plunking bajo, call-and-response vocals, and horn arrangements that bob and weave throughout. Ferrer's rich vocal style slips in perfectly, whether he's bouncing along in the spry "Boquinene" or ripping up the sizzling son "Hay Que Entrale a Palos a Ese."
Ferrer's skill as a balladeer comes through readily as he caresses each word in the lush bolero "Mil Congojas," buoyed by the guitars of Cooder and Los Zafiros member Manuel Galban. Equally impressive are guest appearances by Flaco Jimenez, whose squeezebox is the perfect complement to Ferrer's croon, and the Blind Boys of Alabama, whose uplifting harmonies on "Perfume de Gardenias" transcend any language barriers. Even "Oye El Consejo," a metaphorical song dealing with Cuban society's complex attitude towards race, provides a chance to shake your hips while making you think.