Vibrant latin nostalgia
By Jessie Hui
Alma de America is an album of rumba, mambo, calypso, samba and bossa nova tracks, compiled by French DJs Daniela Romano and Laurent Balandras, who have also released the Cafe de Flore series.
Latin music became popular in the west during the 1950s. On this album, you can find both original hits sung in their native language, as well as some adapted and sung in English by international stars of the day.
Some of the more familiar songs include Tico Tico No Fuba by Perez Prado (Cuba's King of Mambo), Carioca by Fred Astaire, Harry Belafonte's Coconut Woman, and Sway by Rosemary Clooney (George Clooney's aunt) and Perez Prado.
Latin tunes have played an important part in Wong Kar-wai's movies and on this album you'll find Caetano Veloso's Cucurrucucu Paloma (Happy Together), and Perfidia by Nat King Cole (In the Mood for Love and 2046).
Even if you're not familiar with Latin music, you'll find yourself tapping your feet to the rhythm.