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Nuyorican Soul

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Album Review

All-star albums are usually dodgy affairs, but the over-arching talents — and, more importantly, production experience — of Masters at Work's Kenny Dope and Little Louie Vega keep Nuyorican Soul from being overburdened with cooks. Roy Ayers, George Benson, and Jazzy Jeff contribute prominently to four tracks, and vocalists Jocelyn Brown and India (Vega's wife) are heard as well, but over half of the album is comprised of instrumental tracks — several which include Tito Puente on vibes and timbales, flutist Dave Valentin, trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda, organist/arranger Hilton Ruiz, and trombonist Steve Turre. In keeping with Masters at Work's heritage, most of the album is Latin in feel and jazzy in composition, but with ever-present synths and piano runs that belie their heavy dance heritage. Not that it's a crowded field, but Nuyorican Soul is one of the best all-star dance albums ever recorded.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in New York, NY

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Better known as the dance production team Masters at Work, Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and Lil' Louis Vega became NuYorican Soul for an EP in 1996 and an eponymous full-length one year later. Much like Guru's jazz-rap fusion project Jazzmatazz, NuYorican Soul united jazz legends with newer talents in a celebration of jazz, R&B, and dance, with most tracks...
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Nuyorican Soul, Nuyorican Soul
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