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Ozomatli

Street Signs (Concord Jazz)

Ozomatli kicks off its latest multicultural party with "Believe," an energetic track that takes flight with the soaring sound of the Prague Symphony, a flurry of Arab percussion courtesy of sintir (a bass/lute hybrid) player Hassan Hakmoun, and a sizzling wah-wah guitar line from Raul Pacheco that would fit neatly into any Seventies blaxploitation soundtrack. The song indicates the band's willingness to expand its already eclectic fusion beyond funk, Latin, ska, rock, Afro-Cuban jazz, and hip-hop into new territory. Other standout tunes include "Cuando Canto," which starts as a Veracruz-style jarocha and is slowly transformed into a chuggin' Saturday-night R&B lowrider jam; and "Dejame en Paz," a merengue that devolves into punk rock frenzy. -- j. poet

 
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