Various Artists, ‘Fania Records 1964-1980: The Original Sound of Latin New York’ (Strut)

Founded by Dominican bandleader Johnny Pacheco and Italian-American lawyer Jerry Masucci, Fania brought together various strains of Afro-Caribbean music in 1960s-’70s New York (championing greats Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, and Héctor Lavoe). This dance-floor-ready two-CD set is notable for its looser, funkier take on salsa’s roots in mambo, soul, and boogaloo. The story told is analogous to Appalachian folk’s transformation into modern Nashville country.


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