By Ernesto Lechner
Updated September 01, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

On ¡Cubanismo!, Cuban sabrosura fuses with Cajun soul on Mardi Gras Mambo, an exploration of missing links between Havana and New Orleans. R&B harmonies merge with son montuno piano lines in ”Marie Laveaux,” while the funky ”It Do Me Good” becomes a cheeky cha cha cha, complete with sweet flute acrobatics. Traditionalists might object to this coupling of genres, but open-minded listeners will succumb to the album’s hybrid charms. B+