Here's an album I am digging lately: classical/jazz musicians are collaborating with a latin percussion section in butchering a few famous classical pieces.
This might sound kitchy, and it is - but there is a lot of substance to this record behind the style. The musicianship is virtuosic, the arrangements are inventive, and everybody sounds like they are having fun. The bass player is on fire!
Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion - Classic Meets Cuba
2. Cuban Dance
3. Danzon De La Trucha
7. Pathetique I
8. Pathetique II
9. Pathetique III
10. Salsa No V
13. Carmen Cubana
14. Flight Of The Bumble Bee
15. Guten Abend
They made more records - one I will be checking out in the near future is Classic Meets Cuba: Symphonic Salsa (available here): same concept, some tracks overlap with the one above. They also recorded Jazz Meets Cuba - I am kinda sceptical about that one. After all, jazz met Cuba some 50 years ago. If I'd want to hear latin jazz, I'll go get my Gillespie and Machito records. Still, if it's half as good as Classic..., it might be worth hearing.
PS Once we're on the subject of the kitchy classics covers, I'd like to remind everybody of the excellent album Let's Go Classics by the japanese guitarist and surf music titan Takeshi Terauchi AKA Terry and the Bunnies - I shared his music here before. Let's Go Classics is available over at WFMU blog, and the LP cover art is here. The songs are downloadable individually. If you can't decide whether you want it or not, I recommend you try Fur Elise.
PPS I finally listened to the Symphonic Salsa album - don't bother with it.