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Chávez Ravine - A Record By Ry Cooder

Chavez Ravine A Record By Ry Cooder
best of 2005Chávez Ravine - A Record By Ry Cooder
(CD) Nonesuch/WEA, 2005-06-14

Tracklisting :
01. Poor Man's Shangri-La
02. Onda Callejera
03. Don't Call Me Red
04. Corrido De Boxeo
05. Muy Fifi
06. Los Chucos Suaves
07. Chinito Chinito
08. 3 Cool Cats
09. El U.F.O. Cayo
10. It'S Just Work For Me
11. In My Town
12. Ejercito Militar
13. Barrio Viejo
14. 3rd Base, Dodger Stadium
15. Soy Luz Y Sombra

Press Release :
Ry Cooder’s Chávez Ravine—a post-World War II-era American narrative of “cool cats,” radios, UFO sightings, J. Edgar Hoover, red scares, and baseball—will be released by Nonesuch/Perro Verde Records on June 7. The record is a tribute to the long-gone Los Angeles Latino enclave known as Chávez Ravine. Using real and imagined historical characters, Cooder and friends created an album that recollects various aspects of the poor but vibrant hillside Chicano community, which was bulldozed by developers in the 1950s in the interest of “progress;” Dodgers Stadium ultimately was built on the site. Cooder says, “Here is some music for a place you don’t know, up a road you don’t go. Chávez Ravine, where the sidewalk ends.”

Drawing from the various musical strains of Los Angeles, including conjunto, corrido, R&B, Latin pop, and jazz, Cooder and friends conjure the ghosts of Chávez Ravine and Los Angeles at mid-century. On this fifteen-track album, sung in Spanish and English, Cooder is joined by East L.A. legends like Chicano music patriarch Lalo Guerrero, Pachuco boogie king Don Tosti, Thee Midniters front man Little Willie G., and Ersi Arvizu, of The Sisters and El Chicano.

A Los Angeles native, Cooder has been working in Cuba since 1998, producing The Buena Vista Social Club, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ferrer’s Buenos Hermanos, and Mambo Sinuendo—all Grammy winners. Three years in the making, Chávez Ravine marks his musical homecoming.

“Los Angeles was paved over, malled up, high-rised, and urban-renewed, as fortunes were made, power was concentrated, and everything got faster and bigger,” comments Cooder. ”But there is a lot I miss now. The texture of certain older neighborhoods, like Bunker Hill, a rural feel in urban places, like Chávez Ravine and the timbre of life there, and just peace and quiet,” he says.


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