Various Artists, 'La Habana Era Una Fiesta' (Vampisoul)

6
La Habana Era Una Fiesta
Critical Mass
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Label: Vampisoul

by Mike Powell

This 36-track exploration spans 20 years, and feels like it -- exuberant and celebratory, full of flute toodles, razzy horns, percussive cha-cha-cha, and hysterically romantic vocals. It's tough to absorb as a full compilation (unless the infancy of Cuban pop is your specialty), but given that the U.S. narrative of Cuban music is "...then there was Buena Vista Social Club," Vampisoul's work here is worthy.

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