Afro-Latin music is nothing new, mixing cultures from both sides of the Atlantic. But here it's given a new twist, taking pan-African musicians (from Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) together with their brothers from the Colombian coast for a fusion that seems perfectly natural and delightfully funky. Under the direction of Lucas Silva, the recordings, made in Colombia and Paris shows that a similar spirit unites all the participants. It kicks off from the word go with "No Habla Na'" which moves along on a thick, polyrhythmic groove led by singers Luis Towers and Viviano Torres. But it truly moves into gear with "Mama Africa," where soukous guitars ripple over the surface, and you can hear influences from as far away as South Africa. There are several big African names, like guitarists Rigo Star and Bembeya Jazz's Sekou Diabate, who add their own magic to the stew. But it's not about the names, this is utterly about the music, and it's fine stuff, put together with love and the kind of imagination that makes the most of both sides of this transatlantic equation and showing just how much common ground they share. It's just a series of highlights where the music never lets up, but tracks like "El Liso en Olaya" are more than a party; they make very real -- and upbeat -- connections that stay true to both continents in a common language.
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AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson