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Ry Cooder

July 27, 2011 | Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times
Gil Bernal, a tenor saxophonist who during his long career played a variety of styles with artists such as Spike Jones, Lionel Hampton and Ry Cooder , has died. He was 80. Bernal died of congestive heart failure July 17 at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, his family said. Adept at playing pop, jazz or blues, Bernal sang and played with Hampton's big band and had memorable sax parts on such 1950s songs as Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" and the Robins' "Smokey Joe's Cafe.
Musician Ry Cooder, who was once fined by the U.S. government for traveling to Cuba without permission to collaborate with the acclaimed musicians known as the Buena Vista Social Club, is back in Cuba recording music. And this time, thanks to last-minute intervention from top Clinton administration officials, he's legal. Cooder, a singer, guitarist and songwriter, who with his Cuban colleagues won a Grammy Award in 1998, received U.S.
It's not easy being a Ry Cooder fan. The payoffs are great, given that he's one of the most soulful and distinctive guitarists on Earth, having absorbed the warmth and nuance of nearly every American music form, along with those of several other cultures for good measure. But as bountiful a rain as a Cooder concert is, fans are more accustomed to drought. He rarely tours, and when he does, it typically is in Europe or Japan.
May 1, 2005 | Lynell George, Times Staff Writer
It's one of those grim afternoons when the whole of L.A. seems to have simply up and vanished; disappeared behind a dirty, gray scrim of smog and haze. You could have sworn you saw it just a moment ago. So where did it all get to so fast? On days like this, Ry Cooder would just as soon tuck himself away anyway, conjure up something else to fit in the absence. His hideaway-cum-laboratory is an old relic of a studio -- Sound City -- slipped into a nondescript cul-de-sac in Panorama City.
March 8, 1992
In his profile of Little Village ("Hey, Let's Start a Band," Feb. 23), Chris Willman is correct to remind us and Ry Cooder that he was in the Rising Sons. But the Jesse in the band wasn't Davis. It was Jesse Lee Kincaid, along with Gary Marker and Kevin Kelley. As the A&R person who signed them to Columbia Records, I thought their fusion of blues, folk and rock was unique. BILLY JAMES Echo Park
July 10, 1999
Re Agustin Gurza's Riffs column on Ry Cooder and the Buena Vista Social Club ("Buena Vista Seems Blinded by Son," Calendar Weekend, July 1): As one born outside of Latin culture, I lack a reference point, as do many people of other cultures, for the sounds that make Latin music unique. Ry Cooder has introduced those sounds to me and so many who would never have heard them. You have disappointed me and may have turned people away from a major proponent that, I believe, can help to free Cuba: a wonderful documentary film, "Buena Vista Social Club."
December 7, 1996
Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Mare Winningham, Chuck Negron, Syd Straw, Van Dyke Parks and the Hamilton High School Gospel Choir will perform at the Ash Grove in Santa Monica on Sunday in a benefit for the Violence Policy Center, which aims to combat firearm violence by holding firearms and related products to the same health and safety standards imposed on other consumer products. The 6:30 p.m. auction, reception and dinner, as well as the 8:30 p.m.
August 31, 1997 | Steve Hochman
One of L.A.'s most intriguing new acts has been put on hold, at least temporarily, while the two front members head East to attend college. Speakeasy, in which Ry Cooder and his percussionist son Joachim back singing sisters Juliette and Carla Commagere, made a strong demo tape of dreamy pop songs (including a rippling Afro-Anglo version of the folk song "She Moved Through the Fair") with producer Alan Elliot.
November 27, 1994 | Don Snowden
Calendar's pop staff surveys 40 of the nation's most popular or critically acclaimed albums : . ALI FARKA TOURE WITH RY COODER, "Talking Timbuktu." Rykodisc. The African guitarist, with sympathetic support from Cooder and other guests, crafts a folksy, almost meditative sound that sometimes hints at the African roots of the blues. Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good, recommended) and four stars (excellent). A rating of five stars is reserved for reissues or retrospectives.
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