V/A Gettin’ Soulful CD review [Vampisoul]

Music Reviews
V/A Gettin' Soulful CD review [Vampisoul]
Apr 18, 2004, 17:56


Thanks largely to the efforts of key crate diggers in the U.S. and Europe, the Latin soul of the 60s and 70s is enjoying some much-needed reassessment. By dropping floor-filling tracks by greats like Joe Bataan, Mongo Santamaria, or the Fania All-Stars into their already riotous mixes of funky blackness, these hip selectors have rescued vintage Latin jams from thrift-store oblivion—recasting the genre as a rowdy, distinctive tributary within the soul-jazz continuum. This slam-packed, 21-track sampler of Madrid label Vampisoul's recent output features mucho caliente` cuts by artists like the above (Bataan's wild “Chick-A-Boom” is from a newly recorded album). It's also a fine primer on the varied strains of the Latin diaspora, taking in the Boogaloo of Manhattan's El Barrio (Johnnie Colon, Pete Rodriguez), East L.A. pachuco soul (Village Callers), Mexican soul-rock (the Sly-styled Cossa Nostra), early New Orleans funk-soul (Eddie Bo and the Soul Finders), New York salsa (legendary conguero Candido), even demented, South American organ groovers (Sexteto Electronico Moderno). Also here are off-the-hook dance floor movers by artists more closely identified with the Afro-Cuban jazz scene: Cachao, Sabu, Cal Tjader (title tune of his suave Solar Heat LP). Like many such comps from this period, Gettin' Soulful does bear the token disco dud (Eastside Connection's “You're So Right to Me”), but it's still a big party waiting to happen to your CD player. Anyone smitten with U.K. label Harmless' superb roundups of similar material (Broasted or Fried; Brown Sugar) will want this. [Vampisoul]

-Peter Aaron

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