Cafe Cantante: 10 PM is part of a four-disc idea devoted to the evening -- and the night. By 10:00, once dinner is over, the dancing begins, both literally and metaphorically, with moves to incite passion and spur seduction. And so you have pieces like "Osain," which wears its jazzy Afro-Cuban roots on its sleeve and makes your feet feel like they'll never stop, or the May-December romance of "La Flor y La Hoja Seca" from Jovenes Clasicos del Son. The music's from all over Latin America, but whether it's the bossa of Vanessa Bugamny or Cuban R&B from Yusa, it's guaranteed to satisfy. It's an idea that works, largely because of the sequencing, where the mood shifts are gradual, from simmer to boil (not forgetting recipes for food and cocktails in the booklet). This is far more than a collection of hits -- many of the titles are little-known, although Chico César's "Mama Africa" is a famous exception -- which means it's about the music, rather than the recognition. And the music is superb.
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AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson