Star-Bulletin Features



"Latin Groove"

Various artists

Review by Gary C.W. Chun

"Latin Groove" is another fine sampler of world music, this time concentrating on Afro-Cuban-Latin music livened up with funk, hip-hop and dance grooves.

With L.A. barrio groovemasters Ozomatli coming to town Tuesday, it seems only fair that one of their songs is included in this satisfying collection: "Cumbia de los Muertos," from their first album.

Other urban bands such as San Francisco's Los Mocosos and New York's Si*Se also make strong contributions through the Latin boogaloo of "Soy Callejo" and "Bizcocho Amargo," respectively.

But what puts "Latin Groove" above other compilations are the songs from España bands overseas. Cuban band El Conjunto Massalia hits the good groove with a satisfying update of "Chan Chan," made popular through the "Buena Vista Social Club" movie and CD. A Latin reggae brew called "Sensemaya" from Carlos De Nicaragua & Familia is another highlight.

In the reggae vein, the dubby "Linda Manigua" by Sidestepper features Andrea Echeverri of Los Aterciopelados, whose group follows this track with the funk-kay Cuban son rhythms of "El Estuche."

There are a couple of tracks featuring European deejays fusing dance club with salsa rhythms, but only the genre-busting "Latin Flavour" by Funkanzazenji successfully blends hip-hop with Afro-Cuban grooves.

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