Ibrahim Ferrer

Mi Sueño

Ibrahim Ferrer’s dream of recording an entire album of boleros—slow, romantic ballads of unrequited love—almost didn’t happen. Weeks from finishing Mi Sueño (“My Dream”), Ferrer died at the age of 78. To our good fortune, the record was completed posthumously, with some of the songs using high-quality vocal demos instead of polished final versions. The end result is an album that is at once timeless and improvisatory. Roberto Fonseca’s piano wanders into more standard jazz territory and even finds a few classical subtleties, bringing out the heartbreak in these lamentations. This is an album suited for dancing beneath the moonlight on heat-drenched summer evenings. When Ferrer sings contentedly on the album’s final track, “my free spirit is perfumed with happiness,” we can’t help but believe him.