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Compay Segundo
Published August 1, 2005

Quijote Tropical
Malanga Films

When Cuban son legend Compay Segundo died, in his late nineties, in 2003, one of the last vestiges of a musical tradition that predated the Castro revolution by decades was laid to rest. Guitarist extraordinaire Segundo had enjoyed a late-life popularity boost for his contributions to the Buena Vista Social Club project, but as this in-depth documentary makes clear, his innovations, dating back to the ’20s, were appreciated by his countrymen and fellow musicians well before any Americans “discovered him.” Generous dollops of vintage and more recent live footage highlight this well-produced, evenly based bio, intercut with testimonials and anecdotes by those who knew and/or were influenced by the master. Also part of this series is an equally calienté program on another late Cuban legend, Beny Moré.