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Ozomatli - Live at the Fillmore Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 August 2005


album: Live At The Fillmore
format: 16-bit stereo CD + DVD
label: Concord
release year: 2005
performance: 8
sound: 7
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

Image This live Ozomatli work sounds like a completely different CD from cut to cut. If you don’t like a particular song, just wait three minutes or so and something you dig will likely come along next. The multifaceted Ozomatli is labeled as Latin music, but Latin is just one of its many flavors. These ears also hear rock, jazz, ska, rap and Indian music, so you might call Ozomatli the band with a million faces.

Much like Los Lobos before it, Ozomatli utilizes its Latin heritage as a musical foundation. But while Los Lobos has stuck more closely to their ethnic roots, Ozomatli stirs up the pot with horns, which jazz things up, and wheels of steel, along with MC Jabu, who adds rap spicing to its layered sound. This mix and match approach creates a kaleidoscopic party atmosphere.

Ozomatli is known for its political activism, but unless you haven’t
completely forgotten your high school Spanish, you may miss out on its outspoken politics. “(Who Discovered) America,” however, features lyrics in English and a clear message about the trials and tribulations of immigrant life. However, this outfit performs even its most serious works with such enthusiasm that listeners are induced to party hearty, even though they may not exactly know what they’re partying about.

This package also includes a DVD of the show. It’s worth noting that the CD is not an identical twin to its DVD bookend. The DVD includes “Street Songs,” “Elevation: Coming Up Part 2,” “Esa Morena” and “Love and Hope,” which are not on the audio disc. It’s good fun to watch the band wade out into the audience for the DVD’s celebratory conclusion, “End Samba,” which also cannot be experienced just by listening to the CD.

This live CD/DVD’s sound is excellent. Sometimes live releases sound like they were recorded out the front door and two blocks away from the hall, which of course sacrifices any concert disc’s intended intimacy. Live At The Fillmore, though, makes the listener feel like he or she is right up at the front of the stage and receiving all the heat from Ozomatli’s beat.

If you have the inkling to get down and party multicultural style, Live At The Fillmore by Ozomatli was created for you.

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