From the very beginning of Desde el Carnegie Hall, Victor Manuelle and his crew are a cut above the rest. This is easily evident in the adoring cries of a packed-out house, sometimes nearly overpowering the confidently swinging band. As with any project out of the Estefan camp, the arrangements and instrumental performances are virtually peerless. With a strong preference toward the studio, most salsa artists of the day miss out on the opportunities afforded by the live disc, which are both obvious and richly appreciated on En Vivo. The raw, vital sound quality of the instruments is a fresh change from the sterile over-processed tone listeners have come to expect, and the oceanic sway of the groove over rigid studio precision would be the clear choice in a blindfold taste test of any salsa fan. With a crowd-pleaser-filled set, including "He Tratado" and "Tengo Ganas," Manuelle has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand, and the sentiment is contagious. Finally bringing down the house with "La Vida Es un Carnaval," Desde el Carnegie Hall is not only a fine choice for dedicated Manuelle fans, but for anyone looking for the hottest live sound to grace salsa in years.