Fania All-Stars

Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa)

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With the salsa boom of the early '70s in full swing, and a rapidly swelling Latino American demographic, Leon Gast decided to film the beating heart of Nueva York's Puerto Rican community, their music. In 1972, that meant Fania. Unfortunately, the musical performances do not match the interesting premise of the film. In fact, considering the fantastic musicians involved, and the mediocrity of the performances captured on Nuestra Cosa, one might not believe that one is indeed listening to the Fania All-Stars. This is in part due to subpar sound quality, and also thanks to meandering arrangements that may have held interest in part because of the concert components that are lost on a soundtrack or film. There are gems to be appreciated. "Descarga Fania" features some very nice solos and the tightest groove of the entire record. "Lamente de un Guajiro" has the lush, slinky groove and sensitive interpretation that one expects from the Fania All-Stars. Many of the other tracks are obscured by verbal interactions that are confusing without decent fidelity or the visual cues present in the film. The result is a Spanish Harlem cacophony that enshrouds more than half the album. While the Fania All-Stars always feature brilliant performances, there are better places to appreciate them.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick