Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: Puerto Rico

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Part of the seemingly endless catalog of danceable world music from Putumayo, this compilation focuses exclusively on music from Puerto Rico. Due to licensing restrictions, Putumayo was unable to secure songs from some of the most legendary artists (El Gran Combo, Willie Colon, etc.), but nonetheless, a few notables do show up. It starts with a piano tour de force from Eddie Palmieri, then moves through both contemporary forms such as trombonist Jimmy Bosch (from New Jersey) and his new group (featuring a cameo on piano by Chucho Valdes, no less), and traditional music from the highlands, primarily the jibaro music from Andres Jimenez. The album attempts to cover as many forms as possible, including the straight tropical, the bombe, the plena, the jibaro, as well as mixes of such. It does well at this, and the album is definitely danceable. For a brief look at what's happened in the past and happening in the present of Puerto Rican music (besides Ricky Martin), look into this album.

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