Fatal Mambo


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A French band singing French-language versions of the Cuban salsa style may seem like something of a gimmick, but Fatal Mambo substantially pulls it off. The eight-piece group is without peer in achieving maximum punch with economical arrangements, and bandleader J.F. "Oscar" Hammel's drive helps keep the fun and experimentation in place. But a Gallic version of Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime" feels like a throwaway compared to the generally top-notch material here, as does the reggae stretch "La Volonte." Still, there's enough great music back in salsa territory to satisfy anyone in any kind of a party mood. This is definitely a band to keep track of.

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