Salsa Around the World

If salsa is getting stale in the U.S.

If salsa is getting stale in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, it seems to be flourishing elsewhere—judging by this collection of salsa tracks from non-Latin countries. Although major salsa acts have long and loudly said that only Latins can play salsa and that salsa can only be sung in Spanish, this set proves otherwise, with tracks in Greek (by the band Apurimac), Arabic (Mousta Largo) and Hindu (Shaan), among others. If several tracks here are weak, it has less to do with them being imitative. In many instances, the blend of music hasn't quite gelled yet. But when it does, notably in the music of Senegal's Babacar y Sabor Internacional, Scotland's Salsa Celtica and Haiti's Haitiando, the results are breathtaking.—LC