This sizzling, spicy 11-track compilation of Tito Puente's greatest works including his hottest rumbas, mambos, and what is sometimes referred to as the double mambo, the chachachá, is the closest documentation of the "live" excitement and fervor that the genius brought to his audiences during his brilliant lifetime. Packed with the vibrant energy of the world-loved bandleader, Party With Tito is just that, a great party. Tito Puente & His Latin Ensemble play a solid program featuring songs from many of his previously released CDs, including five that he wrote for a variety of formats. "Oye Como Va," the major hit recorded by Carlos Santana and "Ran Kan Kan," with its killer brass section and exciting trumpet master Ray Vega, are just two of the songs that show the vast dimensions and greatness of the conguero. "Salsa Caliente" and the abanico on "Lambada Timbales," a song that displays why Puente felt so strongly about the importance of the timbales in Latin jazz, along with his masterful "Azu Ki Ki" are further proof of the depth of the compositional brilliance of the great Tito Puente. As he continued to entertain millions of audiences around the world, many great songs, including the Benny Golson classic composition "Killer Joe" originally released on Tito Puente, His Latin Ensemble & Orchestra Un Poco Loco, were recipients of his Latin heart, soul, and excellence. There will never be another Tito Puente Sr. but he continues to live in our hearts, minds, and souls and is very much alive on Party With Tito.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein