Cuba's Omara Portuondo has been singing for a long time, and it shows. Her phrasing is among the most subtle and evocative in the business, conveying deep emotion through infintesimal changes in inflection. This dynamic range is no surprise for a singer who's been performing since the 1940s. The Cuban diva worked with a slew of bands through the decades. Her career appeared to be gracefully winding down in the early 1990s when Ry Cooder heard her and persauded her to be a guest vocalist with the Buena Vista Social Club. An active release schedule followed in the wake of that appearance, and the world outside Cuba got another chance to discover (or rediscover) this classic vocalist.