It was with great sadness that Real World Records learned of the death of Phil Ramone; and with great happiness the memories of his trip to Real World Studios in the summer of 1991.
We were delighted when the pioneering producer, famous for his work with artists such as Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Paul Simon and Ray Charles (to name but a few), took up our invitation to work with traditional Colombian artist Totó la Momposina.
Phil arrived at the 1991 Real World Recording Week and was plunged into a world of powerful, driving folk music from the Atlantic region of Colombia lead by the vivacious and charismatic singer Totó. This was not the conventional recording situation Phil would have been used to and yet in a matter of days he had brought his outstanding skills of production to three songs, on what would become the album ’La Candela Viva’. He understood immediately Totó’s significance as an artist: “Totó, in herself, is so strong spiritually and mentally. She gives you tremendous vibes of affection and love. Then you see a chemistry between the musicians: there is an intimacy that goes on in their eyes. Somehow something happens, seemingly unrehearsed, where a smile comes out of one of them and then the next, and a pattern develops. I suspect there is a great depth in what they’re communicating.”