Puerto Plata: Mujer de Cabaret.

Puerto Plata
Mujer de Cabaret

The Dominican musician Puerto Plata (makes him sound like a vacation resort but it’s only a nickname; his mother knew him as José Manuel Cobles) is 84. He’s been playing the guitar since he was 20, sometimes working as a wooer-for-hire outside the windows of other men’s sweethearts in exchange for payment. On Mujer de Cabaret he plays the music he’s been playing for the past 60 years, bolero, son, ranchera, guaracha, merengue, all of it acoustic, the son and bolero not like the Cuban music familiar to Buena Vista fans but brisker, tangier, rougher, more earthy. It’s music for the street corner, not for the mellow nightclub. He’s more fun than Ibrahim Ferrer, even if he’s not as famous.

RATING 7 / 10