Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Los Zafiros - Y Sabes Bien

Los Zafiros were an extremely popular Cuban vocal group for a brief time during the 1960s. The group's sound is a unique fusion of popular American influences (most obviously doo-wop) and styles more commonly associated with Latin America (son, mambo, rumba, samba). The results sound like nothing else. Their heartbreaking story is the subject of the documentary Los Zafiros: Music From the Edge of Time, a film that can really only hint at the larger political and social forces behind the group's rise and fall.

"Y Sabes Bien" is a fantastic song. Honestly, I'm not a big of a fan of doo-wop, but I find Los Zafiros' vocal harmonies utterly captivating, and the underlying rhythms make the music compelling for me in a way that doo-wop has never been. That and Manuel Galbán is an absolute genius on the fretboard. Oh yeah, and this video is amazing.

Los Zafiros first came on my radar after I picked up Ry Cooder and Manuel Galbán's fantastic 2003 collaboration Mambo Sinuendo. Many of Los Zafiros' biggest hits are collected on the 1999 Nonesuch compilation, Bossa Cubana. I highly recommend both albums.


rickdog said...

You have a great music blog here! I've added you to my mp3blog list and custom search, check it out.

I've collected over 5,000 mp3blog links, accessible from the alpha menu at page top. You can open frames on these blogs to view them directly on my site, and you can also view the feeds in a frame.

You can search your blog and all the others in my custom google search:

Rickdog's MP3blog search

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

I'm glad to find someone who likes Los Zafiros! I discovered this music group from a compilation cd of Devendra Banhart's influences, he being from Latin America. My current favorite is "La Luna en tu Mirada". I have the cd Bossa Cubana, and it's a shame America knows little about them.