Andy Gill on albums: Nuyorican Soul - Nuyorican Soul Talkin' Loud 578 795 2

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The Independent Culture
The name, a conflation of New York and Puerto Rican, aptly sums up the approach of this latest project from Masters At Work duo Little Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez. With collaborators as varied as vibesman Roy Ayers, salsa percussionist Tito Puente, turntable scratcher DJ Jazzy Jeff, jazz guitarist George Benson and Salsoul Orchestra leader Vincent Montana, they've created a blend of jazz, soul, hip hop and salsa that attempts to modernise the eclectic jazz-fusion sound of the early Seventies by applying more modern house methods.

Originally released on six vinyl LPs last December, it's a smooth, stylish affair, despite stretching every slight idea to interminable length. It may not have the imagination of the best Seventies fusion (that of Miles and Weather Report), but the mix of ingredients is perfectly balanced for more leisurely indulgence n

Andy Gill