Fania All-Stars

Delicate and Jumpy

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Delicate and Jumpy is the most blatant attempt to commercialize the sound of the Latin supergroup Fania All Stars, although their traditional style ultimately prevails. The marketing angle is immediately exposed in the credited lineup: where other albums featured appropriate cameos by the likes of Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades, Delicate and Jumpy's guest star is Steve Winwood, who contributes guitar but not keyboards. Unlikely string arrangements make "I'll See You Again" reminiscent of Barry White's work with the Love Unlimited Orchestra, but similar production efforts fall flat on the ill-conceived covers of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Lullaby From Rosemary's Baby." Fortunately, a version of Tito Puente's "Picadillo" and spicy numbers like "Sabrosa" and "Fania All Stars' Cha Cha Cha" overpower the intrusive mainstream elements and refocus on the prowess of the Latin music superstars led by Johnny Pacheco. Purists who prefer Fania All Star efforts such as the excellent Tribute to Tito Rodriguez may scoff at some of Delicate and Jumpy's missteps, but the album contains enough impressive material and vivacious performances to satisfy diehard salsa fans as well as any curiosity seekers who may have been lured by the largely unsuccessful marketing strategy.

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