Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop
Listen to Samples
Maraca & Co. Continue their Winning Streak
zimri-lim | London, England | 07/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another great CD from Maraca and his band. This is getting to be something of a habit! However it seems that the band is following a path more towards Salsa than the more Jazzy types of music in some of their previous releases. And that's no bad thing when it's this good...For those of you who are new to this band or even to Cuban or Latin Jazz here's some observations: Maraca is the leader of a young and dynamic band under the same name. In many ways this is Cuba's finest Latin Jazz outfit and certainly the one which points the way to the future. Maraca plays flute and leads the band as well as writing some of the material. The genre of music is Cuban Jazz but increasingly the band is turning out music which tends towards Salsa. While doing this, however, they have not lost their ability to find new ways of developing themes and instrumentation; Jazz disciplines including the sheer quality of the playing are very much in evidence here also.For those interested in high-quality Salsa that's loaded with feeling there are at least four killer songs here. The rest of the CD is made up of other latin forms, again brilliantly executed with the very highest standards of musicianship.I have been following Maraca from his early days - see also my reviews of "Havana Calling", "Sonando" and "Descarga Total" - and am hugely impressed by the quality of the music he has put forward. In a way it's not really suprising as Maraca worked for many years with Chucho Valdes and his band "Irakere" held in the highest regard by Jazz and Latin Jazz fans alike. Despite owning more Latin Jazz and Salsa CD than I can possibly listen to on a regular basis I return again and again to Maraca's recording as the sheer quality and excitement of his productions is at the highest level.For any lovers of Salsa, Latin/Cuban Jazz or just music which goes beyond the mainstream this is a release you really should have.Highly recommended."
Maraca is unstoppable!!
A. Rodriguez | Dallas, TX | 08/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the backing of "Otra Vision" largely youthful personnel, Maraca's refined but powerful flute recites the epic poetry of Cuban music throughout an entirely original repertoire. The title of Maraca's 3rd Ahi Nama release serves to clarify the new mission undertaken by the invetive liberator of the Cuban flute. The chosen title, Tremenda Rumba, implies inclusion of all that is needed for the integrity, perfection and fulfillment of the "Cuban Jam" concept pioneered by Bebo Valdes in 1952. The most versatile and innovative Latin American flutist of our times offers an attractive musical option by preserving his band's nurturing link with the dancers while allowing his instrumental companions to creatively improvise in a style which is wholly their own. Highly Recommended!"
MY favourite Maráca recording to date! A modern Salsa must-h
S. | 10/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 2002 Orlándo Valle "Maráca" album is a very good and modern style of salsa recording which doesn't emphasise at all on Tímba as its follow-up recording from 2005 "Soy Yo" does.
The emphasis here is on a lively and powerful style of Salsa which does not sound traditionally Cuban, BUT, which DOES sound the way contemporary style of Salsa should in terms of the intensity and the rhythmical approach, rather than the bland, "passive" and monotonous styles of Salsas that began in the early-mid 80's...
The other thing well worth mentioning is that `Maráca' DOES "break his head" to come up with original compositions, rather than doing mainly cover tunes like many unimaginative bands of nowadays do!
He came up with 9 of the 11 songs from this album, which for me, does deserve credit!...
I must also say that it is agreeably surprising to come across a singer as consistent and good as Wilfrédo Campa in 21st Century Salsa, particularly knowing about the sort of singers we have nowadays!...
The 1st tune Castígala is an exception. It's a very modern style of tune which isn't pure Salsa all the way through.
It includes some Rap parts with the American drums/cymbals doing a Rap/Raggaetón rhythm in quite a few parts. The salsa parts and the mixture overall are pretty well made, so it saves the tune from being un-listenable (for my opinion), BUT I would STILL have preferred NO "Salsa-Ragga" (as written at the back of my Warner Music France edition).
El Fuelle is a great, happy and cheerful song which DOES sound traditional, with the Tres-guitar of Pancho Amát in the background, and later on, a violin from actual Orquesta Aragón's Lázaro Dagoberto González.
The intensity builds up as the song goes through with great semi big-band Trumpet/Trombone/Sax arrangements, and a pretty solid and more traditional Maraca Flute solo towards the end, when you don't want this highly enjoyable and very danceable tune to finish!
DEFINITELY one of my favourites from the album!
Caramélo a Quílo starts in a rather fast Afro-Cuban Guaguancó rhythm.
It eventually turns traditionally into a Rúmba (which originally means [I think] a faster paced rhythm than Són with the same Conga-drums still accompanying in the background the orchestration, the vocals, and horn arrangements) and again, lots of liveliness through an enjoyable and very danceable tune which also includes Spanish Afro-Cuban style of vocals.
Pura Ilusión is a less melodic Salsa tune that sounds way less Cuban, with more "Maraca character" than anything else. The horn instrumentation gives a bit of a big band feel during the arrangements, and the tune is rather modern in terms of the sound.
DEFINITELY enjoyable again, and pretty danceable too!...
Now, we're in for A BIG TREAT with the big promotional hit from the album: Se Te Acabó La Rúmba!
It's a GREAT tune! The band shines through together with lots of swing, excellent and varied arrangements, a short and technical Luis `Changuíto' Quintana Timbale solo, great vocals by Wilfrédo Campa again, and the landmark Maraca flute solo to finish off!...
This is actually the tune that made me buy this album (when I saw the video one day), and SHOULD do YOU enough by typing in youtube Maraca Se Te Acabo Rumba for the higher quality video!...
The Danzón is a GREAT tune to take in a relaxed manner.
Listen to the smooth String and Flute musical melodies of the 1st part.
Then you'll get your 2nd Cha-cha-chá part with Maraca soloing properly on Flute with the Violins following rhythmically in the background, and in the middle, the landmark Danzón Piano solo!...
This one's a BIG Charanga fan's alert!
Unfortunately, these Cuban musical genres are getting forgotten nowadays!...
La Novéla is a typically modern Cuban style of "Salsa" tune (a Tímba).
Here, the American drums/cymbals are noticeable in the background, and there's another fast soft jazz flute solo by Maraca...
The fact that it's interpreted by his band saves it from being un-listenable (I believe), but I still dislike the tune.
Cuba En Carnavál is a musical and fast paced tune in the 1930's-40's Afro-Cuban rhythm of Conga.
It includes lots of cheerful carnival ambiance, different musical passages, choruses and vocals, and the Conga-drums constantly playing in the background.
It's basically a festive tune purely `designed' to dance.
The excellent Yo Báilo de Todo is given a classic salsa treat here (compared to the interesting and more experimental version from The Two Sides of Tipica'73).
The tune then gets given a Maraca treatment with a new 2nd part, more arrangements, and different choruses.
Again, a very FINE tune!
The ambitious Obbatalá Ayacuna begins VERY African.
It includes the Batá-drums and (very probably) an African lady singing for the 1st minute.
The tune then gets turned into a wonderful smooth Afro-Jazz with the American drums and Maráca soloing on Flute in between the Jazzy arrangements.
A FINE Flugelhorn-trumpet solo is followed by a 3rd part where the "African" lady comes back singing with a very fast-paced background backed up by the Batás and American drums and faster jazzy arrangements!
DEFINITELY an interesting and very particular tune, if not a bit inconsistent at times...
This talented band is, to MY own personal knowledge, the only Salsa band from Cuba these days that can give me a bit of joy unlike all these too modern or too dated bands that there is now there.
Therefore, I gave this excellent Cd 4 stars simply because I prefer MUCH MORE the MIGHTY-GREAT classic stuff from the 1970's/80's (Eg. FANIA and SAR), and to me, MOST TIMES, there's NO possible comparison between those days, and any good Latin music of today. (Other people have given this album 5-stars in amazon.com).
Total play-time: 51.26 minutes.
Get this album, and avoid (in my opinion) 2005's Soy Yo, and particularly 2008's Lo Que Quiero Es Fiesta!
Check them ALL out at [...]