Nuevo LatinoVarious Artists, Nuevo Latino
[Putumayo, 2004]

This album is simply a fantastic collection of songs. Putumayo has done another wonderful job of taking artists of many different cultures and styles and creating a nice mix. If someone is interested in traveling all around the world on a very quick musical tour, this album is a great first step.

“Nuevo Latino” introduces new latin music from Latin America, Europe and the U.S. to combine the best of all worlds. It starts out with “Mulata” by Raul Paz, who is the nephew of the famous Cuban musician, Changito. Although he has been raised in the classical Cuban tradition, he adds a nice funky style that is getting more popular.

Next on the collection is the band Los de Abajo. They began in Mexico as a club band. As they’ve evolved they have been able to blend ska, reggae, salsa and cumbia into an individual sound all their own.

Argentinian Federico Aubele and his friends originally wanted to be the next Beatles. He wanted to be George Harrison and started playing the guitar. Although he became a great singer and uses tracks from other albums, he always comes back to the guitar. “Postales” has a dance beat that is smooth, sensuous, and very romantic.

Jarabe De Palo is from Spain; however, his style comes mostly from blues legends like Eric Clapton and others. In “El Lado Oscuro,” his style is soulful with that deep bass that feels so good!

Taking you to a far away beach is Los Mosquitos whose influences from Brazil and New York results in  a bossa nova, club style that is fun to dance to.

Kad Achouri is just getting recognition as an innovator. He comes from France and mixes chanson, jazz and hip-hop. Sung in French it is a style that shows great promise.

Sergeant Garcia is a French/Spanish singer that uses Cuban salsa and reggae to make very inspired music that sings about revolution. This track, “Mi Ultima Voluntad” uses Bob Marley’s “Forever Loving Jah” rhythm, which is a highlight for reggae fans.

Acida is a husband and wife team that hails from Argentina. They combine bossa nova, tango, bass, and jazz. “Presente Permenante” has a easy flowing smooth sound and would put anyone in the romantic mood that seems to flow from Argentina itself.

Javier Alvarez was found singing in a Spanish subway station and has a soulful, melodic style that makes it surprising he had to start somewhere underground. Thankfully he is now above ground and making great music.

Aterciopelados, “the velvety ones,” are a duo out of Columbia who has a fantastic electronica based style that is loaded with the bottom and shows they are ready to break out into the big time and possibly make the crossover into big time.

Last on the compilation is Kana, a French reggae band with a Spanish lead singer.

Again, this is a great compilation of upcoming latin music, if you are trying to learn about the different styles around the world or just want a fun party cd. Either way, I would definitely recommend it.