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Album Review

Ish Ledesma is a talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist, with scores of dance, pop and R&B hits to his credit from the '70s onward. Although best known for the sexy disco of Foxy's "Get Off" (a number one R&B hit in 1978), OXO's early MTV favorite "Whirly Girl," and Company B's "Fascinated," Ledesma has had a long and varied recording career working in many different genres of music including disco, rap, jazz, pop, and Latin. Miami Dance Classics combines all of the above into a two-disc package split into two parts. The first disc contains new recordings of a number of Ledesma's hits with OXO, Foxy, Company B, and others, all featuring members of the original groups. The outer packaging doesn't identify these tracks as newly recorded remakes, which will inevitably deceive some buyers into thinking they're getting original hit recordings. The second disc, according to Ledesma's liner notes, was included at his insistence as a condition of the project and contains new and unreleased recordings. "These are the songs I am most proud of," he writes, with good reason — they show Ledesma still creating high quality, commercial pop music in a variety of idioms. "That's Why I'm Gonna Stay in NYC" effectively combines acoustic singer/songwriter music with rap, "La Mentira y la Verdad" takes a detour into romantic piano balladry, and "Fly Me to the Moon" is a dance-oriented interpretation of an old pop standard. Most of the other cuts are full-scale productions of straight-up Latin dance numbers sung in Español. A cross-licensed package of Ledesma's original chart hits would be welcome, but Miami Dance Classics isn't it. It is, however, worthwhile primarily for the second disc.

Ishology, Ish
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