Various Artists

Mondo Latino [Ark 21]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson

As Latin compilations go, this is far from complete. Which isn't to say that it's not good -- how could anything with the wonderful Ruben Gonzalez and Jimmy Bosch be bad? -- but it just lacks a lot. Cuba's perhaps too heavily represented, while many of the traditions are missing. But by its very nature, with only 13 tracks that's bound to be the case. The best solution is not to think of it as a full Latin collection, but rather a bit of a grab bag. Los Van Van are one of Cuba's longest-running and most innovative bands; "La Titimania," sadly, doesn't find them flexing the muscle they can do at their best. However, percussionist Daniel Ponce leads a fiery ensemble on "No Comprendo," and Gonzalez's "Cumbanchero," with its familiar melody, becomes a dizzying delight as his piano kicks into a solo. Interestingly, the most exciting track isn't entirely Latino, but by American-born and based Jimmy Bosch, with the salsa of "Otra Oportunidad," his trombone playing in full effect. Enjoy the music that's here -- just understand its limitations.

blue highlight denotes track pick