Picks and Pans Review: Nuyorican Soul
After years of being the maligned bastard child of pop, dance music is finally getting its due. And just in time to reap the benefits of the groove's new appreciation is an ambitious collection called Nuyorican Soul.
The brainchild of producers "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez, Nuyorican Soul harkens back to the 1970s glory days of labels like Sal-soul and Philadelphia International by joyfully combining disco, house, Latin jazz, salsa and R&B. Onboard are some of the best practitioners of all those genres, including George Benson, who adds his distinctive fretwork and scatting to the jazzy "You Can Do It (Baby)." There are also Roy Ayers, Tito Puente and the current queen of salsa, India, who tears into the disco standard "Runaway." Brimming with great tunes, stellar playing and an infectious attitude, Nuyorican Soul is a tribute to the timeless power of rhythm—and proof that it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. (Giant Step/Blue Thumb)