Various Artists

Danza Latina

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Most Latin compilations focus on a particular genre -- be it Mexican banda, Argentinian tango or Dominican merengue. Danza Latina, however, offers a potpourri of Latin styles, the theme being that all of them are danceable. The artists on this diverse CD (most of whom are excellent) come from Spain, Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Peru, and the result is an eclectic CD that's anything but one-dimensional. Salsa is prominent, some exuberant examples being Cuban songstress Xiomara Laugart's "He Vuelto Para Andar" and Lalo Rodriguez's "Yo No Soy Pilon De Machacar." And the listener is also treated to everything from Puerto Rican singer/soap heroine Jailene's pop-merengue tune "Ciega" to Peruvian singer Patricia Saravia's Brazilian-influenced "Me He De Guardari" and Gitanos y Morenos' 1981 classic "Gato Perez" (a salsa number that brings to mind Ruben Blades & Willie Colon's "Pedro Navaja" but with Spanish influence). Manaure's "Todo Palo No Se Pica" is a fine example of Colombian vallenato, an accordion-driven style that has more in common with Brazilian forro and Mexican ranchero than Colombia's best known genre, cumbia. For those who like their Latin compilations unpredictable, Danza Latina would be a wise choice.

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