The Concord label has been mining their Latin jazz catalog on a series of collections. Nearly all of the music was put out under their Concord Picante subsidiary. Since the beginning of the 1980s, many of the surviving all-time greats of Afro-Cuban jazz made at least a few recordings for Concord Picante. As of this writing, Concord's The Colors of Latin Jazz series has resulted in 11 different CDs, all featuring previously released material. While true collectors of the music will want the original full sets, Latin Jam! serves as a fine introduction to the idiom. The personnel listings are not given for this CD, which -- considering the jam-session feel to many of the selections -- is a rather unfortunate omission. However, the music is mostly beyond criticism, featuring many of the kings of Latin jazz, including Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Cal Tjader, and Poncho Sanchez. So an A for the music and a C for the packaging.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow