An interesting take on Putumayo's fascination with Caribbean music, this album takes the standard salsa and finds bands around the world performing it. The album starts out with a nice Scottish salsa band, then moves through Italy, Curaçao, and Greece before ending up with Putumayo stable standards Touré Kunda
from Senegal. Moroccan and Indian takes show a little bit of regional influence, leading the way for another Senegalese group. Japanese, Cameroonian (with outstanding guitarist and writer Richard Bona
), and Finnish takes on salsa hasten the end of the album, back in the Caribbean with a Haitian group. What one would expect here would be a base of salsa in each work with a heavy influence of the local forms upon each one. This isn't the case, perhaps to the disappointment of listeners. The songs are almost entirely in standard salsa form. They're well-performed, but there aren't any boundaries being broken here. The majority of the performers opt to sing in Spanish, and the instrumentation and style stay distinctly Cuban throughout. There are small bits of influences to be heard here and there, as Moroccans Mousta Largo keep their heavy North African accents as ornamentation, and Richard Bona keeps his smooth vocal delivery despite the mood of the song. There's a touch of Bollywood in Shaan's Indian version of the genre, as tablas creep in alongside electric guitars, and Greek troupe Apurimac retains a bit of panpipe. Aside from those exceptions, the music is almost entirely strictly Cuban salsa. In itself, this is noteworthy, as the performers have dropped their accents and taken on new ones, performing to a high degree of excellence in salsa. At the same time, having the album billed as salsa from around the world would lead listeners to expect regional flavors to be embedded in the songs, which is far from the case. It's a good album of salsa, and should be heard for the unity of different cultures producing the same sound, rather than the diversity of the same sound being spread across different cultures.