Evolution was Malo's third album within a year. Perhaps because of that rapid pace and another shift in supporting players around the core trio of Jorge Santana, Pablo Tellez, and Arcelio Garcia, the band was starting to sound more formulaic and anonymous. There was a heavier reliance on fusion jazz keyboards and a lower fire in Jorge Santana's guitar than there had been on the band's initial two albums. It's still competent and often pleasing Latin rock/jazz, given as ever to lengthy but taut, well-structured instrumental sections. And there was, again, a soul-slanted romantic song that seemed more pointed toward the singles market than most of their repertoire, "I Don't Know." The most Latin-oriented facets of the band came to the fore on "Merengue" and "Dance to My Mambo," as their sappiest pop leanings did on "All for You." When set against tougher, funkier items like "Street Man," the band did not seem to be maintaining their eclecticism as much as starting to lose some of their focus. The album has been reissued on CD as one of the discs in Rhino Handmade's Celebracion box set, with the addition of single edits of "I Don't Know" and "Merengue." AMG.
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