If there was no Fania Records, there would be no Salsa--it really is that simple. Salsa was an invented form, taking elements of Latin music (especially Afro-Latin) and American jazz to please and excite a Latin-American audience--the Puerto Ricans of New York in the '50's. Take an excellent PR player/writer and producer, and a PR NYC police officer, combine passions, contacts, knowledge, and energy, and there you have it--Salsa! Not just Puerto Rican and covering romance to politics, it is always danceable. If you can't do those moves to it, it's not salsa. Here's a NYTimes thing on Fania's 50th with plenty of click-throughs but let me get you started--your ass can be bigger than Budhha's belly but you'll be moving it (please no vids--I have nightmares enough now).: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/ar...sa-legacy.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7KQUjIK-GY << an hour+ of Ruben Blades--came close to being elected the President of Panama
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2-ZmO13_dI << the Fania All-Stars in Africa. They were loved there, not strange considering how "African" both PR and Cuban music is. They definitely groove to the clave (3-2) beat and poly-rhythms are their basis. Spain and Portugal weren't the bigger colonizers but still had a strong, reciprocated influence--and a lot of their mid-level folks came from and some slicker Africans went to Latin America--a lot of slaves were exported to LA also, of course. Perfect circle...from our POV now.