Personalities | Ry Cooder | Seventies | Jazz & Blues
(Guitar, mandolin, vocals, b. 1947)
Cooder is one of America’s most versatile musicians, equally at home with blues, rock, jazz and various ethnic musics. In the mid-1960s he played guitar with Taj Mahal (in the Rising Sons) and Jackie DeShannon, then did studio work with Paul Revere & the Raiders. Especially gifted as a slide guitarist, he has filled that role on sessions with the Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, Little Feat, Randy Newman and other artists.
Cooder has also performed on and/or composed a large number of film scores, including Performance (1970), Paris, Texas (1984), Streets Of Fire (1984), Cocktail (1988) and Steel Magnolias (1989). On his first album, made in 1970, Cooder interpreted classic blues and folk songs as re-envisioned by arranger Van Dyke Parks. Since that time he has delved into jazz, Hawaiian music, Tex-Mex, Indian sitar music and other styles. Cooder gained particular acclaim for the 1997 album Buena Vista Social Club, made with various legendary Cuban musicians, and the subsequent documentary film of the same title.
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