Various Artists

Divas Latinas [Delta]

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What this release from budget label LaserLight lacks in documentation it makes up for in content: with four tunes each by Celia Cruz, La Lupe, and Graciela, this serves as a fine introduction to women salseras for the novice listener, or as a wonderful "tapas" for the collector who likes a little variety without hitting the "program" button. No dates are provided, nor are musician credits other than that Graciela's appearance is with Machito and his Orchestra, but the producers chose classic stuff for this release. Highlights include Celia Cruz's marvelously expressive singing on the ballad "Esperaré," La Lupe's spirited and deservedly well-known "Mi Socio," and Graciela's acerbic "No Voy Más Contigo Al Cine." The latter is a salsa cousin of Otis and Carla's "Tramp," with a feisty Graciela and a hapless Machito trading off while the orchestra rocks behind them. As a release, not essential to anybody's collection, but certainly lots of fun to have.

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