Cuba occupies a place of undisputed fascination in the American psyche. Despite its proximity to America, this island nation remains a mystery to most Americans. Few Americans have traveled to Havana, and still fewer have traveled deeper into this isolated country. Chris Messner, a photographer, is one of the few Americans who have been able to travel extensively throughout this island. In his book, Cuba Open from the Inside, Messner documents the character of Cuba's people, its rich history, and the vast culture of the country. As Cuba's leaders age and the possibility of travel to Cuba increases, this book acts as an exceptional resource for would be travelers. Through multiple journeys, Messner has covered more than 4,000 miles on the back roads of Cuba. Through his words, he provides a snapshot of this island nation and documents the Cuba of today - the 1950s time-capsule country 90 miles from the US coast.
This single-disc Oscar Peterson collection, Oscar Peterson Plays the Best of the Great American Songbooks, culls tracks from throughout the pianist's career. Primarily, the focus here is on Peterson's takes on standard songs by such composers as Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, and others. Included are songs like "That Old Black Magic," "Blue Moon," "A Fine Romance," and more.