Los Van Van

Con La Salsa Formell

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From Celia Cruz to former Irakere members Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera, many of Cuba's musical greats fled to the U.S. in order to get out from under the iron boot of Fidel Castro's Stalinist regime. But however repressive life in Cuba was under Castro, the island continued to provide its share of gifted artists. Formed in Cuba in 1970, Los Van Van remained impressively consistent well into the 1990s. There isn't a dull moment on this CD, and high-energy offerings like "Que Pista," "La Havana Si" and "Se Muere La Tia" underscore the fact that this band seldom lets its dedicated following down. Though most of the songs are straight-ahead salsa, "Que Palo Es Ese" falls more into the Latin pop category and is a fine example of Los Van Van's willingness to experiment and draw on American pop, dance music and funk. Highly recommended.

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