Gilles Peterson

Fania DJ Series: Gilles Peterson

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Give Gilles Peterson a license to dig over two hours of his favorite cuts from the Fania catalog, and no Latin fan would dare ask for more. His volume in the continuing series of crate-digging compilations by varying DJs -- utilizing the strong and deep Fania catalog (which also includes the heavy-hitters Tico, Alegre and Cotique) -- is nearly the best ever heard from the Fania vault, although unsurprisingly it's not the place to go for the label hits from Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Willie Colón, or others. (In fact, Colón doesn't lead any tracks here, and isn't even missed.) What's in evidence is over two dozen of the rarest and most driving tracks from the catalog, with only an occasional label classic present when it has to be (Ray Barretto's "Acid" being the best example). As could be expected, Peterson's emphasis is on "the heavy stuff and dancers," which is perfect for most Fania fans, since the embarrassment of riches during the mid-2000s means that a lot of the best Fania material has already seen the light of day multiple times; dwelling on some of the rarities -- from Noro Morales, Vladimir & His Orchestra, Cortijo, and others -- is a great place to go from there.

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