Buena Vista Social Club production overseer Ry Cooder lends his clout to another relatively unsung Cuban master: guitarist Maneul Galbán, the formidable string-bender for the '60s doo-wop group

Buena Vista Social Club production overseer Ry Cooder lends his clout to another relatively unsung Cuban master: guitarist Maneul Galbán, the formidable string-bender for the '60s doo-wop group Los Zafiros (and latter-day concert accompanist for Buena Vista's Ibrahim Ferrer). Unlike Cooder's previous Havana sessions, this one eschews son and bolero stylings, leaning toward an electric sound reminiscent of Santo & Johnny or even, at times, Esquivel. Backed by a superior band that includes drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Orlando "Cachaíto" López, and Cooder's son, Joachim, the two axemen spin sinuous circles around each other on this Latinized instrumental recital. Galbán is at his echo-laden best on oldies like Perez Prado's "Patricia" and the '50s ballad "Secret Love"; he shows off handsome keyboard chops as well. Cuban music and guitar aficionados should devour this splendid set.—CM