As “salsa” celebrated its coronation and strong commercial success, other stylistic currents were emerging to signal the incubation of a new musical sensibility. In 1974, Afro-Philippine bandleader Joe Bataan released a Latin soul album, Salsoul, with a new small company. The album was so successful that the company took that title as its name, becoming Salsoul Records, and began to release musical production that did not fit into the Fania formula and was a deliberate rejection of mainstream salsa. In addition to Bataan’s work, which anticipated in important ways the emergence of Latin hustle, disco and hip-hop, Salsoul also put out the two landmark albums of the Grupo Folklórico y Experimental Nuevayorquino which became huge successes and began to elicit nervous responses from the Fania bosses. Grupo’s music combined a deep “roots” grounding in Cuban rumba guaguancó and a marked connection to jazz in its most serious experimental form. In all regards, the releases of Salsoul records and other alternative labels set the stage for a new, “post-salsa” Latino sensibility which was to take shape in the 1980s and subsequent years.
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