Compiled by El Largo


1. Jose Alberto

"Dejate Querer" Ryko Latino

El Canario is back on a new label and with a fantastic new release. Check out the Spanish-feel palmas and guitar on this track.


2. Hector Tricoche

"Laura No Esta" Rodven /PolyGram Latino

A surprisingly funky arrangement on this number featuring the slick Puerto Rican singer.


3. Punto y Aparte

"Te Puedes Ir De Fiesta" CDT Records

A wicked cover of Giraldo Piloto's "Aun Asi." The rich production of this retitled version makes it a much safer bet than the Klimax original.


4. Elvis Crespo

"Pintame" Sony

Crespo's new merengue CD has a very familiar ring to it, but is still a sure fire floor-filler.


5. Orishas

"A Lo Cubano" Chrysalis /EMI

At last some good latin hip-hop. Orishas are 4 Cuban rappers who recorded this with a French production team and guest percussionist Anga Diaz (ex-Irakere). A must buy for anyone interested in this kind of crossover.


6. Fruko y sus Tesos

"Igualita Que Tu" Discos Fuentes

An excellent choice for those who like a retro salsa sound with a Colombian edge.


7. Mikey Perfecto

"Su Cintura" RMM

With DLG going pop, the door is open for others to give the salsa-reggae style a try. Although Perfecto can't match Huey's sublime vocals, his ragga outbursts are storming.


8. Adalberto Alvarez y su Son

"Y No Me Da La Cuenta" Havana Caliente /Atlantic

A return to form for Alvarez who has tightened up his act since the grim '97 release "Magistral."  The new album has fresher arrangements, catchier riffs and even the occasional rap-like break: purists be warned.


9. Manikkomio

"Lokko Enamorado" Sonolux /24K /Sony

"Comiendo jabon que rico!" More mad merengue from this funny farm group. A more consistent disc than last year's debut release.


10. Los Van Van

"Sandunguera" (Live) Mundo Libre Musica

An excellent live version of the Cuban legends' flagship anthem.


11. P18

"Escuchen Mi Conga" Tabata Tour /Virgin

Experimental fusions of hip-hop, house and latin from Cuba. Some kicking tracks among the assortment.


12. Tito Puente, Jr.

"Azucar"  (Norty Cotto Mix) Compose Tropico

Best track on this new Puente Jr. latin-house CD thanks to the presence of  Cotto at the mixing controls.


13. Sello LA

"No Se Como Llegar a Ti" MP /Sony

In your face Cuban timba: aggressive piano riffs, screaming 'metales' and a heavy bass. Vocals not always 100%.


14. Latinos En La Casa

"Pa Puya" Discos Fuentes

There are some full-on "merengue breakhop" cuts on this Colombian release for fans of Fulanito, Proyecto Uno, Sandy and Papo, Liberados etc..


15. Ricky Castro y su Banda Soberbia

"Mujer Soberbia" Elvin Productions /Discomania

If high speed merengue with minimal lyrics is your thang,  then Castro and Soberbia won't disappoint. Unfortunately, there are no reggae breaks like on the 1997 track "El Bononon."





Other Releases of Interest:

Nettai Jazz Gakudan (Tropical Jazz Big Band)

"My Favorite" Victor

This is the third release from former Orquesta de la Luz leader Carlos Kanno's current Japanese latin group. The album concept is built around latin-jazz covers of an array of

'favorites' but there is also a great original track by trombonist Hideaki Nakaji, "Ruinas."


Adalberto Alvarez y Maria Jose Santiago

"FlamencoSon" Circular Moves

 As the title suggests, famous songs of Spain's most famous flamenco singer of recent decades, El Camaron de la Isla, have been given a Cuban-son feel by maestro Adalberto Alvarez in this tribute album.


Papo Vazquez

"At The Point" Ubiquity

Also inspired by Camaron is the track "Amor Gitano" written by trombonist Vazquez of  Fort Apache Band fame. His new latin jazz release features a line-up including Andy Gonzalez on bass, Richie Flores on congas and Chico O'Farrill's son, Arturo on keys, plus jazzer Michael Brecker guesting on tenor sax.


Eddie Palmieri and Friends

"Live" RMM

If you missed Palmieri's recent gigs then why not pick up this live recording from 1996? All the proceeds from this CD will be given to the Bronx Lebanon Hospital. Among the names playing with Palmieri  are trumpeter Juancito Torres and trombonists Juan Pablo Torres and Jimmy Bosch.


Caravana Cuba

"Late Night Sessions"  Dreamer Music

Jimmy Bosch also blows on this assortment of tunes taking in various traditional forms: guajira, son, rumba and even bata. Most of the musicians featured on the recordings are Cubans from both sides of the sugarcane divide such as

Francisco Aguabella, Perico Hernandez, Chucho Valdes, Maraca Valle, Anga Diaz and Carlos del Puerto, Jr. The album tries to bridge the two communities in the memory of Cuban broadcaster Emilio Vandenedes.


Back to Playlist index

Back to Home