Baila! A Latin Dance Party (Putumayo PUT 251-2, 2006)
Musical surprises are always welcome, but never underestimate the value of an album that simply delivers musically on the stated intentions of its title. Types of Latin dance music are plentiful, and the many
presented here likewise cover abundant ground.
Not are only both classic and contemporary styles on display (despite nothing here being older than the 1990s), but artists based in locales as un-Latin as France, Belgium and Sweden get some licks in. So in addition to folks you know will deliver (Africando, Ricardo Lemvo, Spanish Harlem Orchestra), there are discoveries. Or surprises, if you prefer.
Raúl Paz is one such, his “Mua Mua Mua” combining dubby elctronics with restrained punch. Gabriel Rios’ “Bones Bugalu” is also potent, a humorous but respectful look at Santeria ritual. Modern sounds get the last word with the one-two punch of Yerba Buena and Brooklyn Funk Essentials tearing it up on their respective concluding tracks, but this collection covers the bases so well that Latin music fans across the board will gleefully break a sweat to it.
Another great Latin-themed release from Putumayo.