Various Artists

Dance Hits Salsa, Vol. 1

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Salsa music, among other things, is meant for dancing, so perhaps it's a bit a redundant to name an album Dance Hits Salsa. Regardless of nomenclature, however, Protel Records, who bought the rights to Fania in early 2006, has still turned out a pretty decent compilation. After the acquisition, the Miami-based Protel stated that they wanted to begin reissuing the Fania catalog. Though the tracks included aren't always the most famous of the artists' repertoire, they're still fairy representative of what each musician provided as well as of the genre itself. La Sonora Ponceña's "Te Vas de Mi" has great piano fills between its brass lines, Willie Colón and Ismael Miranda's "Cartas Marcadas" rolls along quickly, and Orquestra Harlow's "Viva Caracas" takes a jazzier approach, even going so far to reference "Salt Peanuts" (Dizzy Gillespie was so integral to Latin jazz, anyway) in the hook. Even if the songs themselves aren't familiar, the rhythms, fills, and emotion they invoke are, all of which means that it's nearly impossible to not get up and move when Dance Hits Salsa, Vol. 1 starts playing.

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