My youngest daughter was for many years a competitive ballroom dancer, which in New Zealand and Australia is made up of three different disciplines of Ballroom, New Vogue and Latin, with five dances in each. Whereas the first two are very set in their formats, it is the last that allows dancers to really let go and express themselves and is always the most exciting as the music demands the dancers really get into the rhythm and let themselves go. Instead of wearing long flowing dresses, almost sedate and demure, the girls and women instead are in outfits that really let them move (for some reason the less material the more expensive the dress), and while they leave Ballroom with all their make up and hair in place, Latin finds them departing in a sweaty mess.
This is an album which makes me think of the latter throughout, as it takes a real force of will to sit still behind a keyboard to write a review as every note and beat of percussion demands the listener need to move. This is not music to be sat and listened to demurely, this is music to be played in a sweaty club where everyone is on fire and it is no surprise to discover that Rizo actually makes his living as a DJ. Rizo does not perform on the album, but instead he is the musical director and composer and provides five of the tunes performed, and he has surrounded himself with a ten-piece of band along with some guest singers, although more than half of the album are instrumentals. It is the use different percussions which really makes this album stand out, really makes it swing. At times the piano can be the lead instrument, at others it is the violin, but always at the heart are the timbales and congas which drive it along. The result is something which is perfectly designed for the hot Summer sun, and highly recommended for all those who wish to get out on the floor and just dance!
8/10 Kev Rowland