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CD Review: Grupo Fantasma

Sonidos Gold

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The Deal: Ten-piece Latin orchestra brings the noise and the funk on its fourth album.

The Good: Imagine Santana's backing band or hip-hop-free Ozomatli and you might get close to what Grupo Fantasma is trying to accomplish. It's funky, yet traditional, and once the groove gets going, you don't want it to stop. "Gimme Some," which features the sax of Maceo Parker, sounds like it could have come right off a Santana album. Others showcase the talents of the multi-member group, whether it's the slap-happy congas or various percussion instruments, the horn section or guitars. The band focus more on the groove and music, but the singing fits right in, even if the lyrics are simplistic. This is music to move to. The band's set at Bonnaroo had the masses off their asses – the instrumentation was amazingly tight, switching rhythms and jamming through the night.

The Bad: Nothing, unless it's bad to want to tap your feet and/or shake your ass.

The Verdict: It's difficult to capture the live energy that these guys put forth during a concert, but it's still not easy to stand still with this album on. Catch 'em live if you can!

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