Ozomatli

Live at the Fillmore

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Although they won a Grammy for their previous studio album, 2004's Street Signs, the ten-piece multicultural music collective known as Ozomatli have always been first and foremost a live act, and experiencing the group's explosive, energetic stage show, which mixes salsa, punk, reggae, funk, hip-hop, and touches of jazz into a barrio gumbo block party with leftist leanings, is like watching a renegade Gypsy street circus come to life, complete with massive percussion and massed horns. At last, perhaps to honor their tenth anniversary, Ozomatli have released a ten-track live set recorded at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco in late 2004, along with an accompanying DVD of the concert that adds additional songs plus backstage footage and interviews. The CD features versions of the undeniably funky "Saturday Night," the lovely "Believe," and the poignant "(Who Discovered) America?," all from Street Signs, as well as earlier Ozomatli gems like the racing, jittery "Como Ves," but it is the visual representation of the show on the DVD that really shows the full force of this incredible group, which has built a new template for what an American band can be in the 21st century. Passionate, diverse, fiercely independent, and ardently political, Ozomatli have an ace in the hole: they're one of the best dance bands in recent memory.

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