DJ Rumor

Fania Live 01: The Meat Market

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Emusica acquired the priceless Fania catalog in 2005, and began reissuing records by the dozen soon after. Initially though, it seemed they wanted to keep the whole thing a secret -- there was little promotion, and most of the people who would be interested in these reissues had no idea they were around. The situation was remedied slightly over the next two years, and helped more significantly by this mix album, perfect for introducing neophytes to some of the most swinging Latin material ever recorded. Fania Live 01, a mix album of studio tracks created by the little-known DJ Rumor, is just what's needed by those who weren't of age in the '70s to find out what the fuss is about. The emphasis here is on Fania's crossover material, groovy chestnuts of boogaloo, Latin soul, and funk from the prime time of the late '60s to mid-'70s. Eddie Palmieri's "Ay Que Rico," Ray Barretto's "The Soul Drummers," and Mongo Santamaria's "You Need Help" aren't necessarily the songs that Latin fans know and treasure, but dance fans definitely will. A few oddities about this compilation though: there's not much variation among artists (Barretto appears three times and his name is spelled wrong), and there's virtually no salsa present (although Fania is the biggest salsa label of all time). It's a compilation perfect for rare-groove and funk fanatics, but slightly skewed as a portrait of what Fania was all about.

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