John Armstrong presents Nuyorican Funk Experience

The Nascente label’s “Experience” compilations use a simple formula: get someone knowledgeable to put together 15-20 great tracks from any given genre, put them all on a CD, and sell them cheap.

It’s a method that’s worked time after time – Patrick Forge’s Brazilian Funk Experience and Quantic’s recent Tropical Funk Experience are both essential listening – and this latest installment is no different.

This time around the focus is on Nuyorica – the sound of New York’s Puerto Rican community, from the forties to the seventies. Big names like Celia Cruz and Eddie Palmieri sit alongside lesser-known artists like Orquestra Broadway and La Controversia, whose “Vision Divina” provides the album’s best moment.

All in all it’s a pretty good sampler for the Nuyorican sound, although it’s maybe not quite different enough to the various similar compilations doing the rounds in recent years (of which Soul Jazz’s “NU YORICA!” is probably the pick). But at 19 tracks, and only a couple of duds by my count, it’s as good a primer as you’re likely to find for a sound that somehow doesn’t get as much love and attention as the music deserves. Not bad for a fiver.

by Tom Crookston

Album: John Armstrong presents Nuyorican Funk Experience
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Nascente
Release: 28th March 2011

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