Sounds like SAMBA to me.Cheers.
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Definitely sounds like Salsa to me with the horns, decidely not Samba, AT ALL. Brazilian music (Samba included) is unique to itself and as varied, posssibly more so, than music in virtually all other cultures.
Examples? I don't listen to Salsa but have a Reference Recording called the "Blazing Redheads" by a 7 piece all female group. Whether this is a good example of this genre of music maybe someone else could tell us? Sonically great, musically, wanting, IMO.
You were very likely listening to Colombian style street salsa. Nowadays it's about the only true salsa being released. Salsa from P/Rico is nowadays being marketed to women and made bland and homogenized. Good salsa bands have to perform in Colombia, Panama and Venezuela in order to make a living! If you look at the sampler s sold at The Sharper Image outlets they are mostly Colombian bands.
Try Grupo Niche for a sample of great Colombian salsa. Most of the salsa greats from the 70's are available on CD: Willie Colón/Hector Lavoe, Eddie Palmieri, Richie Ray, Harlow Orchestra, Cheo Feliciano. Gilberto Sana Rosa Live in Carnegie Hall is a really outstanding example of ballroom salsa.
For a change, get any early Olga Tañón album and fasten your seat belts. A lot of of this stuff you can get through CDNow. Do not expect audiophile grade recordings, though.
For powerful female salsa vocals look for anything by La India.
I recommend Sobre El Fuego and the older Dicen Que Soy.
As stated by Psychicanimal Olga Tanon is another excellent choice, she has even recorded a song with Egyptian singer Hakim on his 2002 CD Talakik called Ya Albi, that is a must hear if you like World Music.