Various New York Latin Hustle

Soul Jazz strikes again with their best collection of Nu Yorican tunes yet. New York Latin Hustle is a wide-ranging compilation of Latin music spanning from the ’60s to the ’80s that feels like a celebration. And it is — this comp explores the roots and branches of Cuban rhythms through the works of Puerto Rican and Dominican practitioners in NYC. The excellent liner notes trace the socio-economic context right back to the First World War. Emphasising the Afro-Latin crossover specific to New York, the song sequence will stack up a classic mambo next to a song like the Family Affair’s "I Had A Friend,” which hardly sounds Latin at all. But that’s exactly the point — taken track by track the musicianship takes grooves in a hundred different places, all of which are part of the Latin diaspora. The set leans on the vast Fania catalogue, and just like the post Coxsone Dodd Studio One archives that Soul Jazz are maximising, they do great work at digging up some unorthodox but highly satisfying choices like Seguida, Al Escobar and the Alexander Review. Soul Jazz weaves a compelling narrative to accompany this well curated, super-diverse selection spread over two discs, which bounces from bomba to disco to mambo to funk. Any comp that mixes Loose Jointz into Machito is all right by me. (Soul Jazz, www.souljazzrecords.co.uk) David Dacks (Soul Jazz)