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Various Artists - Nu Yorica!
Latin music is exerting an ever-expansive influence on contemporary music, as the work of Ozomatli, Jazzanova and Da Lata will attest.  Those interested in exploring the roots of Latin will do well to make this compilation your starting point.  Nu Yorica! examines the ground-breaking 1970s work that was produced as a result the interaction of blacks and Latins in New York.

Over the course of two expertly compiled discs, selections from major players Joe Bataan and the legendary Harlem River Drive coexist alongside work from the obscure Ricardo Marrero, Machito Orchestra and Ocho.   The quality of the music is truly astounding: hearing the collison of Latin funk and jazz on Cacaho's "La Trompeta Y La Flauta" and the polyrhythmic power "Anabacoa" from Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayorquino are ear-opening experiences.  This introduction to a new musical world makes the trite pop of Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez seem even more laughable. 

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the liner notes, which are simply the most exhaustive that I have ever found on a music release and alone justifies the purchase of Nu Yorica!  Going well beyond simple discographical information on the featured artists, the 40 page booklet summarizes the cultural development of 20th century New York that provides a crucial social context for the listening experience.  The research put into the notes reflects the genuine respect Soul Jazz has for the music, an appreciation that radiates loud and clear on this release.   Essential listening.  

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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Released 1996 on Soul Jazz

Selected Tracks
Harlem River Drive - Idle Hands
Joe Bataan - Latin Strut
Cachao - La Trompeta Y La Flauta

Ocho - Coco May May
Bobby Vince Paunetto - Little Rico
Cortijo Y Su Maquina Del Tiempo - Gumbo

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