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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

THE FANIA ALL STARS

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published September 13, 2005

Que Pasa? The Best Of Fania All-Stars
Columbia/ Legacy

Calling this album The Best of Fania All-Stars is a half-truth. It would have been more honest to title it The Best Of The Columbia Years: 1976-79. The band's earlier live albums, which make up only a small part of the group's output, were mostly inconsistent. Although not every track here is a gem, this compilation is welcomed for making available 13 of those four albums' highlights. These sessions' attempts at mixing salsa with crossover pop styles such as fusion jazz and R&B dance music were controversial at the time. Considering the more recent success of Latino pop, this music could now be considered ahead of its time.