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Romance: Boleros favoritos
A songbook of bolero
sheet music and lyrics
by Hal Leonard

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Spanish language music: Bolero


Bolero refers to a musical style that originated in 18th-century Spain, played at a moderately slow tempo and sung accompanied by castanets and guitars. Performances of this sentimental, romantic ballad are often emotional. The Latin American form of the bolero first appeared in Santiago, Cuba near the end of the 19th century. Its popularity spread throughout Latin America in the 1940s and 50s and experienced a strong revival in the 1990s. Unlike the Spanish variant, Cuban-style bolero has African rhythms at its base.


Buena Vista Social Club
is also a film on DVD.

Pedro Infante
Boleros de Oro

Buena Vista Social Club (Cuba)
CD Buena Vista Social Club [1997] LISTENBUY CD
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Pedro Infante
- "King of the Mexican Bolero" (Mexico):
CD Románticas de Pedro Infante [1996] • LISTENBUY CD • REVIEW: Jorge Negrete may have been Mexico's first cinematic ranchera hero, but perhaps because of his premature death in 1953, Pedro Infante surpassed him in the number of hit movies and recordings. And like that of Negrete, Infante's fantastic recording output has been constantly released in new compilations. This collection has most of his signature hits, including "Cien Años," a heartbreak tune about being abandoned, and "Paloma Querida," an old standard reinvented by Infante when he sings with cool detachment about love's inspiration. Infante was untrained, his approach was simple but emotive, yet he was talented enough to make unforgettable such other classics as Agustin Lara's "Mujer" and "Amor de Mis Amores," and the uplifting bolero "Amor a la Distancia." Infante died in a plane crash in 1957 but is immortalized in his movies and music. -- Review by Ramiro Burr

CD Boleros de oro [2001] • LISTENBUY CD | CD 60 Boleros de oro [1990] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Las Mañanitas [2001] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Serenata con Pedro Infante [2003] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Coleccion de oro [1999] • LISTENBUY CD
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Tania Libertad (Peru / Mexico)
CD Negro color [2004] • LISTEN BUY CD • REVIEW: Libertad's career began when she was a tot of 5. Perhaps this explains why her voice so often sounds like that of an older woman, more knowing and worldly wise than her young, lovely face might lead one to expect. She now resides in Mexico but was born in Peru, and this album explores the latter country's persistently resurgent, richly percussive African heritage. Although more pop-flavored and not so rough-and-ready as some other interpretations, her arrangements make ample use of the African-derived call-and-response vocals, squeezeboxes and percussion. But her touch remains deeply personal. She adds a fugitive taste of honey to a workers' lament and divines the nascent bitterness curled at the heart of an erotic ballad; a whiff of addictive consolation rises from a rural potion seller's sales pitch. Brazilian composer/poet Chico Buarque's "Funeral Del Labrador" is a heartbreaking ode to humble lives whose ceaseless labor ends in anonymous futility. -- Review by Christina Roden

CD Costa Negra [2002] • LISTEN
BUY CD | CD Tomate esta botella conmigo [1998] • LISTEN BUY CD
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Luis Miguel (Mexico)
CD Mis boleros favoritos [2002] • LISTEN
BUY CD | BOX SET Todos los romances [1998] • LISTENBUY CD
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Omara Portuondo (Cuba)
CD Flor de amor [2004] • LISTEN BUY CD | REVIEW: The septuagenarian Cuban singer Omara Portundo is the lone female crooner of the famed Buena Vista Social Club. But in the 1940s and '50s, she was the velvet voice of the jazz/bossa nova inspired genre known as filin. On her second solo CD, which translates as "Flower of Love," Portundo leads an assembly of Cuban and Brazilian musicians, featuring her Buena Vista bandmates, singer Ibrahim Ferrer and bassist Orlando Cachaito Lopez. The Congolese guitar whiz Papi Oviedo, plays the Cuban tres on "Amor de Mis Amores," "Habanera Ven," "Amorosa Guajira," and the title track. Portundo's poetic pipes sweeten these Latin ballads, from the afro anthemed "Tabu," to "Casa Color," a new song penned for her by Brazil's Carlinhos Brown. Sonically seasoned with strings, woodwinds, guitars, and background vocals, Portundo's "musical love letters" are postmarked with five decades of Afro-Cuban artistry. - Review by Eugene Holley, Jr.

CD Buena Vista Social Club Presents Omara Portuondo [2000] • LISTEN
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Mercedes Sosa (Argentina)
CD 30 años [1994] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Mercedes Sosa en Argentina [1994] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Gracias a la vida [1993] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Escondido en mi país [1996] • LISTEN
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Trio Los Panchos (New York, USA)
CD Recuerdos [1989] • LISTEN
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Pedro Vargas (Mexico)
CD Lo mejor de lo mejor [2001] • LISTENBUY CD

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Charlie Zaa (Columbia):
CD Un segundo sentimiento [1998] • LISTEN BUY CD | CD Sentimientos [1996] • LISTENBUY CD | CD Ciego de amor [2000] • LISTENBUY CD | CD De un solo sentimiento [2001] • LISTENBUY CD
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CD: 100 Boleros de amor • Various Artists • LISTEN BUY CD

CD: Lo mejor de lo mejor • Various artists • LISTEN BUY CD


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